BY COACH PAUL TREMLIN
There’s a saying in the performance world that goes like this,
“Train like an athlete, EAT LIKE A NUTRITIONIST, sleep like a baby.”
For a top performance athlete those three elements go hand-in-hand. The culture of athletes we train with on a daily basis understand the value of training. Many athletes can easily grasp the fact that taking an extra 200 swings before bed will aid in gaining repetition and lead to muscle memory. Where those athletes might lack is in their understanding on the impact that sleep and healthy nutrition have on their training. For information on how important sleep is for athletes, check out Crossfit Collinsville Coach Jen Doehring’s article, “Is sleep affecting your workouts?”
If athletes do not have good sleep habits and are not fueling their bodies properly with healthy nutrition, then all the training in the world is not going to allow those athletes to maximize their training to reach their fullest potential. Period. So here’s a question for everyone reading this, “Do youth and high school athletes have a grasp on how to utilize healthy nutrition to maximize their training potential to become top performance athletes?”
Something to think about.
Once athletes recognize that they do not utilize healthy nutrition to complement their training, their question is always, “Where do we start then?” For the sake of this article, let us put our focus on getting athletes to avoid certain foods that are associated with poor nutrition. Links will be provided for you to gather more information on each food listed below.
As Dave Dameshek would say, “Let it begin!”
# 1 Artificially Sweetened Drinks
We already know that soda is terrible for our health, but add artificial sweeteners to it (diet sodas) and we just made something that’s bad, worse. Artificial sweeteners offer no nutritional benefits, cause health issues and weight gain. If your athlete consumed diet sodas or energy drinks with artific-ial sweeteners on a daily basis, get them to STOP NOW!
#2 Sugary Cereals
Breakfast is a big area that athletes struggle in. Most either have a quick bowl of cereal with high amounts of sugar or nothing at all (which is a whole other topic!). Not only are sugary cereals filled with empty carbs, but they also lack protein and (you guessed it) have a high amount of sugar that spikes the body’s blood sugar levels. This is a recipe for weight gain and not the good kind athletes are looking!
#3 White Bread
White bread is processed in a way that totally strips any nutritional value bread is supposed to have. According to Livestrong.com, “(White bread) is made of refined grain that is created when a whole grain is finely ground and stripped of its bran and germ, the elements that contain natural fiber, vitamins and minerals.”
#4 Canned Goods
Canned goods are loaded with the following: Bisphenol or BPA (which are plastic contaminants), preservatives, leaking aluminum, and low quality of food.
#5 Fried Foods
This is an obvious pick, however we still see athletes consuming fried foods in the facility on a daily basis. We need to think of fried foods like the way we think of putting fuel into our car. Eating fried foods is comparable to putting poor quality gasoline into our cars, which will have a negative impact on our car’s performance. The same principle applies to the food athletes consume into their bodies.
We live in a culture of food on the go, highly-processed foods, GMO’s, BPA, MSG, and artificial sweeteners. For athletes to maximize their training to reach their fullest potential, we have to understand that training is 20% of the work it takes to become a top performance athlete. The rest is proper sleep habits and what ends up on the plate.
Beep, beep, beep! It’s time to shake off the sleep and start to focus your mind for the day ahead of you. Your body feels rested and ready to tackle the next 12 hours but your mind may be restless, doubtful, nervous or anxious for that moment where everything counts. Every swing, pitch, catch or throw will be put on the line and may determine what is in store for your future. You will be timed, analyzed, studied and put in situations for all to see what you’re made of! Suddenly, you feel your heart beating just as quickly as the beeps screaming from your alarm clock. You ask yourself, am I ready? Did I prepare enough? Could I of done more?
I must say that if you have even ONE of those questions lingering in your mind then you may not have done enough. However, what if I told you that by taking a couple hours out of your Saturday it may ease some of those thoughts going through your head? Would you take advantage of those two hours to prepare for your high school try out? Two hours to sharpen your skills, receive solid feedback on your skills and a few tips to take on your try-out! If you’re nodding your head and your mind is screaming YES, then I attend our upcoming “Pre-Try Out” Camp on February 28th.
Within those two hours we have programed drills that will focus on improving mechanics and fundamentals to get you ready for your try-out! We will give insight to what your coaches will be looking for and will provide tips that may better your chances of having a successful try out. Our instructors will give you instructions on how to better improve your skills as well as getting a chance to test your sprint time, throwing accuracy, hitting power and run the bases.
By Coach Abbie Bates
One of the best ways to see and track progress that you are making on and off the field is to set goals for yourself. Goal setting can be a very helpful process to get you where you want to be within your sport or your life. Many people spend a lot of time thinking about what they can do to better themselves but never do anything about it to make that change. That’s where goals setting comes in.
Make The Changes You Need To Succeed
You need to set realistic goals, ones that you can reach so you are able to set new goals in the future. You don’t want to have a goal that you will never be able to accomplish. There are some steps that you can take to make sure you create good goals that you will able to accomplish.
The What and Why
First, you need to decide what you are trying to accomplish. What kind of goal will help you get there? Is this a realistic goal for you to reach? This is called creating a goal statement. An example of a nonrealistic goal would be, I want to lose 25 lbs in 2 weeks. This type of goal is setting you up for failure. It is almost impossible to reach that kind of goal. A more realistic goal would be, I want to lose 5 lbs in 2 weeks.
Once you have that in mind then you will need to write out the steps that you are going to need to take to reach this goal. Really sit down and think about what you can do to reach that goal. This will lead into making an action plan. An action plan is what you are going to do every day to go get a little bit closer to accomplishing your goal. This should be a step by step plan that you can follow to reach your goal. With this plan you should be able to check off each step when you complete them. This will help you stay on task to reach your final goal.
Consistent ‘Til the End
Make sure that you look over your goal statement frequently to keep it fresh in your mind. By looking over your statement you can reassess what steps you have been taking to see if they are really working and where you need to make changes to accomplish your goal.
Once you reach this smaller goal now you can set a new goal to accomplish. All your smaller goals should lead up to our ultimate goal. With these steps goal setting can be a great way to make changes in your life and your sport. You will find yourself accomplishing more and setting higher goals to reach in the future.
Ball Players Don’t Lift?
It is no secret in sport today that strength and athleticism are valued. Every sport sees the benefits that explosive training brings to their athletes, but ball players always seem to be a step behind.
The most common reasons are as follows…..
“Ball players should not lift weights”
“Working out is bad for my throwing arm”
And my favorite…..
“I don’t want to lose my flexibility”
Now, the debate on what ball players should and should not do will go on forever and I’m not here to solve that today, but what is happening is we are creating natural excuses for athletes to do nothing.
What has happened is we are creating a sport were skill is highly valued and strength is grossly undervalued. Most ball players see the value that their hitting or pitching lessons bring them, but as an instructor myself I will be the first to say that the athletes that see the best results with their skills are the ones that back it up with strength and conditioning. This is a big reason why at Turn 2 we have always been passionate about having an in-house strength and conditioning department. Ball players need that outlet. It is also a perk as an instructor to be able to point out weak areas in athletes and have a team of CFC coaches that I can collaborate with and know that those weaknesses are being attacked.
Here are a few major points that I see as an instructor in the cage and a coach on the field….
Quickness and Explosion – Whether it is making that quick first step to track down a ball, or legging out a triple, ball players need the explosiveness in their core and their legs to maximize each step. Good running form is great, but it needs to be partnered with strength.
Room for Error – Simply put, being stronger gives more room for error. The hitter that gets jammed, but still manages to muscle the ball out of the infield, or the pitcher that misses their spot, but because of the velocity, all the batter can do is foul the pitch off.
Flexibility – The truth is that simply lifting weights will not all of the sudden make you look like a stiff body builder. A proper program will add strength while also INCREASING flexibility.
Injury Prevention – I’ll go back to the excuse “Working out is bad for my throwing arm.” You know what is bad for your throwing arm? THROWING!! No one will tell you that throwing a ball overhand is a good thing to do for your shoulder and arm, but it is necessary to participate in the spot that we love. The best way to prevent injury to your arm or any other part of your body is to have a strong and athletic foundation and back it up with the best possible mechanics
Ability to Adjust – I see this first hand as an instructor, the better the athlete, the higher their ability to repeat good mechanics and adjust to bad mechanics.
Mentality – My personal favorite, there is something to be said for the mentality of the athlete that works hard either on the field or in the cage AND works hard in the gym. Getting through that high intensity workout not only makes a physically stronger athlete, but a mentally stronger athlete. Those players have more blood, sweat, and tears invested in their sport. They are much more capable of stepping up in big situations and handling adversity when it happens.
Overall, athletes need to value their strength and athleticism just as much as they do their mechanics. No more excuses! Get out there and get to work and get the most out of what you have!
Turn 2 Baseball
Tryouts: What’s a DO and What’s a DON’T
By: Premier Assistant Coach Lauren Popov-Muniz w/ entries from Premier Baseball & Softball Staff
Today marks the 1st of August and in the world of select baseball and softball, national and league championships are wrapping up and the focus of athletes and their families has already begun to shift to middle school tryouts and even select tryouts for the 2013-2014 season.
While the velocity of your fastball, the accuracy of your throws, the quickness of your feet, and the consistency of your bat are essentials to making any team, more often than you think, athletes are selected to be members of a team because of their positive attitude, independence and fundamental knowledge of the game. At tryouts, separating yourself from the pack is essential, and YOU have complete control and the ability to do so.
See the Turn 2 Premier Baseball and Premier Softball staff’s Do’s & Don’ts of tryouts to get your head in the game before tryouts.
Do NOT eat biscuits and gravy washed down by an XL Coke for breakfast.
DO come properly fueled and hydrated. Begin fueling 24-48 hours prior to tryouts on fruit, vegetables,
Non-processed protein and water.
Do NOT arrive late.
DO arrive at least 15 minutes early.
Do NOT have mommy or daddy carry your equipment for you.
DO show independence by carrying your own equipment, completing the registration process (except
for the parent/guardian signature), ask questions, stay focused and be attentive from start to finish.
Do NOT wear jeans, booty short, skirts, neon tye-dyed socks or your hat like Just Beiber.
DO look the part and wear baseball/softball pants with appropriate socks, shirt tucked in, hat/visor on and
girls pull your hair back!
Do NOT wear fashion sunglasses.
DO wear athletic eyewear and ALWAYS take off your sunglasses when a coach is speaking.
Do NOT isolate yourself from coaches and other athletes.
DO interact with coaches and athletes by asking appropriate questions and engaging in appropriate conversation.
Do NOT ignore coaches.
DO introduce yourself to all coaches and give a firm handshake.
Do NOT walk…ever! Walking is LAZY!
DO be INTENSE and jog…everywhere!
Do NOT have friends, family or boyfriends/girlfriends sitting in the stands cheering you on!
DO have your parents or legal guardian with you at check-in and ALWAYS be polite to them!
Do NOT look at the dirt, sky, other athletes or anywhere else while coaches or other athletes are speaking.
DO make eye contact with whoever is speaking.
Do NOT talk back to a coach.
DO always respond, “Yes, Coach.”
Do NOT be a Negative Nancy or a Negative Nicky.
DO ALWAYS have a positive attitude.
Do NOT show lack of fundamental knowledge.
DO show strong fundamentals—coaches want to see consistency with routine plays.
These are few of our thoughts heading into tryouts—good luck to all!
Premier Softball Assistant Coach