Sports and Athletics

Diet and Nutrition play a vital role

Good diet and nutrition are equally important for the athletes to enhance their sporting performance. A diet should contain foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meat, whole grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy products and sufficient quantity of fluids. Every athlete should achieve optimal body weight and fat levels for boosted performance. It is necessary to take adequate energy and nutrition required for training and exercise.

Take plenty of calcium and glucose particularly if you are training for performance. A low carb diet is essential to suppress the training fatigue and to maintain the energy. For body recovering I would suggest to consume carbs after workout as well. Don’t forget to include calcium rich foods like skim milk, Greek yogurt and low-fat cheese in your diet or even a calcium supplement will do.

Take plenty of water

Taking plenty of water is primarily important to keep yourself hydrated which otherwise would influence the performance negatively. Hydrate pre, during and post training sessions. Proper rest is mandatory for the central nervous system to function properly. At the same time rest will rejuvenate you for the next training session.

Boost your training performance

When training for athletics, it is imperative to emphasize on improving building strength and ability to accelerate. Lifting heavy weights, compound exercises like squats are the way to begin with. Bring some pace in your reps and put in more efforts. Spending more time in the downward position may eventually detract the athlete from his/her performance on the field.

I would recommend every athlete to not to restrict the cardio indoors rather take the cardio outside. Hill sprints, agility drills, mountain biking, rollerblading, running are great to boost the cardiovascular endurance and also improve the balance and control.

Avoid injuries to improve the performance

As an athletic trainer, my priority is to prevent injuries and ensure long-term safety of the athletes. It is important to avoid injury and if it occurs treat the injury immediately and help athletes recover faster. Correct use of equipments along with performing proper techniques is important not only to prevent injury but also to improve the performance.

Youth Sports and Exercise

As a coach, I am constantly asked questions about how a child/adolescent can become successful as an athlete. The most common questions I’m asked by parents and the athletes as well are 1)What types of food should my child eat? 2) When should they start weight training? 3) Should he/she concentrate on only one sport or should they be involved in multiple sports? These are all extremely important questions to ask, but unfortunately, depending upon who you ask, you may find that there will be multiple answers for each. Nutrition, by itself, will supply you with more than enough contraindication and misinformation to last a lifetime. In this article, my hope is that you come away with a better understanding of each of these questions and I will do my best to supply you with resources to investigate further.

The first question regarding food intake is far beyond the scope of this and many other articles due to the complexity of the subject. So instead of writing a snippet, based upon my own experiences and prejudices, I will list several sources that can be investigated. This way, you will be able to use your own experiences and prejudices to make informed decisions for your particular situation. Before I list these sources, it should be pointed out to the reader that these sources are holistic-based and therefore will not include specific, “one-size-fits-all” diets.

Nutritional Resources

1. http://www.mercola.com (very broad health and nutrition website, that is very informative)

2. http://www.westonaprice.org (the foundation of nutritional information)

3. http://www.price-pottenger.org (the combined website of two pioneers in the field of nutrition)

4. [http://www.personaltrainingonthenet.com] (a website that should be the foundation for all health professionals; includes information on nutrition, exercise, lifestyle changes, etc. This site requires a $9.50 per month fee.)

5. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

6. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

7. Pottenger’s Cats by Francis M. Pottenger

The second question that is usually asked is When should my son/daughter begin weight training? This is a great question that requires a great answer, which unfortunately rarely happens. The common response from the “experts” in the field usually either that they have no definite answer or they say, “as soon as they can.” The subject of resistance training with youth is a complicated one since there is so much misinformation in lay publications. Too often have I witnessed a pre-teen in a gym setting with their parents or off on their own lifting weights that are too heavy or performing exercises suited for bodybuilders. While the parent should be applauded for introducing their child to a potentially positive hobby, they should be careful with how early they introduce them to resistance training.

First off, a child doesn’t finish physical development until their early to late 20’s. This is an important point to make, since resistance training can be extremely stressful to an individuals joints and connective tissues at any age. If a child’s tissues haven’t fully developed and they are subjected to forces greater than what could be considered normal, there is an increased risk of irreparable damage. This can be seen in many trainees that begin around 13 or 14 years of age and end up requiring major surgery before high school graduation (author included). Far too many cases of ACL/MCL/PCL tears have begun to appear as early as 15 in our area as a result of improper training protocol and age of exposure. I personally know of a half dozen cases of this, with one individual in particular that has received two ACL repairs before the age of 17! This should not be happening!

So when should your child be introduced to resistance training? A good rule of thumb could be shortly after they begin puberty and only in a very limited fashion. The types of exercises should be bodyweight and/or light implement types, I.e. bodyweight squats, pull-ups, light dumbbells on a Swiss ball. The total volume (total amount of reps in a given session) should be kept extremely low for the first year or two of training as well as the intensity (amount of weight per rep) of the exercise.

The third question, Should my child concentrate on only one sport or should I be involved in multiple sports, is one that requires your child’s input as well as many educated decisions. To begin, a concept must first be understood, and that is the concept of Biomotor ability. Bio, refers to life and motor refers to movements making Biomotor ability an individual’s particular strengths and weaknesses in life movements. Why is this important? Since every sport requires specific Biomotor abilities, an athlete will be required to be proficient in them in order to succeed at elite levels. Common logic would then say that the child should then choose only one sport early on because this will help them concentrate on the abilities that they need the most for their particular sport. For example, a baseball pitcher would require high levels of power, coordination, balance and flexibility with the others being less necessary to achieve success. So logically, specializing in baseball would ensure that the child reaches his/her full physical potential…right? Not necessarily.

First we must understand how power is developed in the first place to realize how flawed this ideology is. In order to develop optimal power, the child must first have a solid structural/stabilizer system that can withstand the forces placed upon it naturally. The next component needed before power can specifically be trained is strength which should only be trained once the stabilizer system is adequate. So we can now see that in order to have one of the Biomotor abilities necessary, other abilities must be focused on first. How is this accomplished? By using other activities and/or sports as “supplemental” training for their favorite sport. Think about it. How many times have you been watching college or professional sports and the commentators are talking about the past of a particular athlete? How many of these athletes were top ranked quarterbacks, pitchers and point guards in high school? This further demonstrates the need for additional activities/sports to achieve a high level of success. So the next time a coach gives your child an ultimatum requiring them to choose between sports, hopefully this article helps with the debate that will no doubt ensue.

Customized Athletic Promotional Gifts – School Spirit Idea For Booster Clubs and Athletic Department

Customized athletic promotional gifts are fabulous for boosting school spirit and pumping up a crowd for the big game. Booster Clubs and school athletics departments looking for ideas to generate fan support often turn to customized athletic promotional gifts. Not only do they make excellent giveaways, they can also be used to stock the school’s or team’s gift shop and raise money for sports programs, equipment and athletic scholarship programs. They can also outfit the team and create a sense of unity and excitement.

The North American Booster Club Association recognizes the importance of athletics and team spirit in the lives of students everywhere. NABCA’s mandate is to promote school athletics programs and the parents who work hard to ensure that those programs continue. The NABCA recognizes that sports and athletics “enhances the educational experiences of all kids.” Unfortunately, extracurricular sports programs and school athletics courses are in danger of ceasing to exist in many schools in North America. Budget cuts and lack of outside support are the major reasons for the downfall of school sports. Because of this, the NABCA supports the efforts of booster clubs to maintain school spirit in the face of declining financial support and keep school athletics programs intact. One way to help is through the use of customized athletic promotional gifts.

Imagine stadiums of high school football fans waving customized pennants or pom poms in support of the team at the annual homecoming game. Picture pristine practice uniforms complete with team names and logos on each shirt and pair of shorts. Imagine the noise at your school’s next pep rally when students are outfitted with customized whistles and noisemakers, all in support of the school team. Whether you’re looking for giveaways or need fundraising products, try these customized athletic promotional gift ideas on for size at your next Booster Club meeting:

Noisemakers: Make some noise in the stands with customized athletic promotional gifts like kazoos, clappers, horns and tambourines. With your school’s or team’s name emblazoned prominently on the side, there will be no doubt about which side you’re cheering for.

Sweatbands, wristbands and bracelets: Sweatbands stitched with your team’s name are a great accessory for creating unity amongst sports team members. They’re also highly practical for both games and practices. Wristbands and bracelets are excellent items to carry in your school’s spirit store. Or, simply take orders from students and parents for a spirit-boosting fundraiser.

Practice uniforms or gym strip: Your school’s or team’s name on shirts, shorts, socks and other athletic wear will let everyone around know that athletic programs are supported at your school.

Jackets and outerwear: The game must go on, even when it rains. Team jackets will keep athletes and fans alike warm and dry on game days when the weather is less than ideal.

Sports/duffel bags: Keep balls, equipment and uniforms together and tidy with a team-logo duffel bag. They’re handy for transporting equipment, especially to away games. Drawstring bags are a convenient way to carry shoes or practice clothes.

Sports and Athletic Performance Improvement Tips by a Personal Trainer

Predicting success in athletics is not easy but yes certain factors can help determine the performance. Working on the ability and potential provides a better vision as far as athletic side of an individual is concerned. As an athletic trainer, I completely understand that the better I train athletes the better will be their athletic efforts and hence the performance.

Diet and Nutrition play a vital role

Good diet and nutrition are equally important for the athletes to enhance their sporting performance. A diet should contain foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meat, whole grain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy products and sufficient quantity of fluids. Every athlete should achieve optimal body weight and fat levels for boosted performance. It is necessary to take adequate energy and nutrition required for training and exercise.

Take plenty of calcium and glucose particularly if you are training for performance. A low carb diet is essential to suppress the training fatigue and to maintain the energy. For body recovering I would suggest to consume carbs after workout as well. Don’t forget to include calcium rich foods like skim milk, Greek yogurt and low-fat cheese in your diet or even a calcium supplement will do.

Take plenty of water

Taking plenty of water is primarily important to keep yourself hydrated which otherwise would influence the performance negatively. Hydrate pre, during and post training sessions. Proper rest is mandatory for the central nervous system to function properly. At the same time rest will rejuvenate you for the next training session.

Boost your training performance

When training for athletics, it is imperative to emphasize on improving building strength and ability to accelerate. Lifting heavy weights, compound exercises like squats are the way to begin with. Bring some pace in your reps and put in more efforts. Spending more time in the downward position may eventually detract the athlete from his/her performance on the field.

I would recommend every athlete to not to restrict the cardio indoors rather take the cardio outside. Hill sprints, agility drills, mountain biking, rollerblading, running are great to boost the cardiovascular endurance and also improve the balance and control.

Avoid injuries to improve the performance

As an athletic trainer, my priority is to prevent injuries and ensure long-term safety of the athletes. It is important to avoid injury and if it occurs treat the injury immediately and help athletes recover faster. Correct use of equipments along with performing proper techniques is important not only to prevent injury but also to improve the performance.

Fitness For Sports And Athletes

Keeping fit is all about remaining healthy, free of any disease or ailment and not getting disabilities in the pursuit of one’s daily routine for making a living. Sports Athletes in all fields of activity are prone to injuries, which may affect them temporarily in the physical aspect but may do permanent damage to the professional careers as a sports athlete.

Traveling, different types of food at different places and climate changes may affect their general health also. Of course, these days all sports athlete are advised a particular diet and regimen of exercises to keep themselves competition fit.

Their sporting and the resulting earning careers are of short duration ranging from 5 to a maximum of 15 years, in a few rare cases. So, they are usually careful in these matters and keep themselves in a physically fit condition.

The recommended diet varies from person to person and activity to activity. But, generally it is a high carbohydrate diet, which is considered most suitable for athletes supplemented by plenty of fluids. It depends on the body weight also.

For a person with a body weight of 60 kgs, 360-600 gms of carbohydrates are required. A fluid requirement of 400-600 2hrs before an event and 150-350 ml whenever possible has to be met. Minerals, vitamins and fibers are to be taken as per the advice of doctor or dietician. Proteins are required for building of muscles but carbohydrates and fluids are the most important aspects of a sports persons diet.

Plenty of cereals sports drinks, fruits have to be taken. A non-vegetarian food like beef is a good source of protein and vitamins but the high fat content is taken into account. Fish and chicken are also high in protein content. An average of 12 – 14 gms per 30 kg body weight is recommended. Lean meat, fish and poultry and low fat milk are part of the diet.

Regular exercises as per the regimen must be done to keep fit. The purpose is to build up strength, stamina and suppleness. Arm circles, trunk twists, leg flexes, basic and advanced push-ups, squat jumps, sit up, walking and jogging etc have to be done under supervision and watchful eyes of the trainer.

Injuries vary from muscle cramps to fracture depending on the sport. Some may need hospitalization also. An athlete or sports person who leads a disciplined life with proper diet and exercise can hope to last long in the field.