DURING THE SEASON
It’s that time of the year folks! The grass is getting green, the sun is shining and the season is here. I know all of us here at the facility are excited for our athletes to put all their hard work into action on the field. One of the best parts about starting the season for an athlete is the feeling of being strong, explosive and healthy. However, as a former Division I college and professional athlete, I can tell you personally that sense of strength and health does not automatically maintain itself throughout the course of the season. The honest truth is it takes a lot of discipline and consistency in many areas to stay strong, explosive and healthy. This article is going to focus on 5 areas that athletes need to be disciplined and consistent in to take care of their bodies in order to compete at their highest potential through the season.
- Nutrition – Being a former pitcher, I saw a big change in my velocity based on how my body weight would fluctuate. When I lost weight during the season, I lost velocity (power). When I maintained a good weight, I maintained my velocity. The same principle goes for hitters and athletes in other sports. Nutrition is so important for athletes (hence the previous two blogs!) in staying strong, explosive and healthy. What athletes should focus on most is fueling their bodies with proper nutrition and LOTS OF IT! For more on proper nutrition and 5 things that athletes should be having, follow the link below.
- Strength & Conditioning – A consistent theme that we see in the athletic community involves most athletes slowing down (or completely shutting down) their strength and conditioning during the season due to fear of overload. The truth is that strength and conditioning is an important part in athletes maintaining their strength, explosiveness, flexibility, and health through the season. If an athlete is properly using nutrition to fuel and recover their body, then utilizing a strength and conditioning program will be nothing but a major advantage for that athlete in maintaining strength and health. For more info, check out Coach Chris Fair’s article
Don’t get me wrong, there is such a thing as doing too much during the season. However don’t let the fear of doing too much keep your athlete from doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING when it comes to strength and conditioning during the season.
- Mobility – Range of motion (flexibility) is something athletes tend to lose naturally as the season progresses due to the physical stress placed on the body during competition. Where athletes can combat this loss is by utilizing a mobility program as a source of PRE-HAB (not REHAB). Most athletes (and adults) focus on mobility after an injury versus using mobility as a way to maintain range of motion (flexibility) and prevent injuries. One resource that I personally utilize is Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD.com. He has tons of free information and videos that you can view to improve and maintain good range of motion. If you’re a little nervous about trying to mimic Starrett, CrossFit Collinsville offers great mobility sessions for athletes (and adults) of all ages.
- Hydration – Just like nutrition, proper hydration is the difference between being a healthy athlete and a weak athlete. The weather here in the Mid-West alone should cause athletes (and everyone else) to pay very close attention to their intake of fluids. Stick with water and drinks with electrolytes (without artificial sweeteners or high amount of sugar!). If you’ve missed Coach Chris Thomas’s article about water, I’ll leave the link below for you!
- Sleep – Sleep is recovery. Athletes with poor sleep habits will find themselves feeling more tired and weaker since they aren’t allowing their body to recover through the night. It’s quite simple, get plenty of sleep through the season to allow the body to recover and your athlete will notice a difference in their strength and focus. For more info on sleep, check out Coach Jen Doehring’s article “Is Sleep Affecting your Workouts?”