Recovery Tips for Football 2-a-Days

August 23, 2013 Leave a reply

Have you ever tried two-a-day football workouts?

If you have, then you know those aren’t very easy to recover from. Two-a-days leave your body precious little time to bounce back for the training or game the day after. It leaves you with dead legs, little lift, and an overall lethargic feeling that can even carry over to the next day’s performance.

Recovering from football two-a-days boils down to employing the right strategies and techniques that will allow your body to heal quickly and efficiently. It’s all about being meticulous with the recovery plan, staying away from things that can aggravate the fatigue, and doing the things that best promote recovery.

In this post, I will outline some of the most important and medically proven techniques that athletes can implement so they will feel fresher and more prepared for the work that will come the next day.

Here are the most important things that you can do to recover effectively from football two-a-days.

  1. Ice your legs immediately after workouts. Ice prevents the muscles from swelling and effectively negates the soreness that you feel afterwards. Spend at least 30 minutes icing your legs and arms after a heavy workout so you can feel fresher the next day around.

  2. Stretch properly. Stretching can help loosen tight muscles and prevent the pooling of lactic acid which is the primary culprit of muscle soreness. Studies have shown that people who stretch properly after workouts are able to recover better than those who do not have a proper stretching plan.

  3. Drink plenty of fluids to replenish your stores. Also include electrolytes in your drinks. You can do this by drinking sports drinks within the first 60 minutes following your workouts. Adequate hydration will keep your muscles loose and limber because they are properly nourished.

  4.  Get some massage wherever possible. A proper massage can do wonders to your tired muscles. Trained masseuse can actually flush out the lactic acid build-up so your body heals faster.

  5.  Reward yourself. Psychological recovery is just as important as physical recovery. You can reward yourself with sports roses for completing two-a-day football workouts. After the training season is done, you can frame these sports roses inside shadow boxes to remind yourself of the effort and sacrifice that you put into the training. This mindset can do wonders for your tired body.

  6. Get enough sleep. Sleep is your body’s best friend for recovery. Never take it for granted. After two-a-days, see to it that you get 8 to 10 hours of sleep so your body has enough time to recharge and recover.

Armed with this knowledge, you can now make a conscious effort to take care of your physical and psychological well-being in order to effectively bounce back for the next day. Even with something as simple as sports roses, you can motivate yourself to push harder and break your limits to become the best athlete that you can be.

How long does it take you to recover from two-a-days right now?

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Preparing for School and Fall Sports Success

August 9, 2013 Leave a reply

How many times has your team stumbled out of the gates to start a season?

Bad preparation is often at the root of all these miserable starts to a tournament. When teams don’t prepare well enough, the rust quickly shows and better prepared teams easily take advantage. As a result, teams suffer through multiple losses before finding their identity and stringing together wins.

But preparations for fall sports success need not be difficult. Armed with the right set of training techniques, teams can win a tournament because of a strong start.

In this post, I’ve listed down some of the most important training and preparation considerations that any team who wants to succeed should keep in mind. With this, summer training and preparation need not be hit-or-miss.

Here are the tips that you can implement to put your team in a better position to succeed come fall.

  1. Properly define the roles of each of your team members. Team success is closely tied to cooperation, which in turn is based on understanding the different roles that each team member must play. Do not head into a season or tournament without clarifying these roles.

  2. Reward effort and hardwork during training. Don’t wait for the games to matter before you begin recognizing hard work. Even something as simple as sports roses can boost morale and inspire the team to work harder in training. When you recognize effort and hardwork, you are showing that you are paying attention and that their efforts do not go unnoticed.

  3. Spend time developing chemistry and relationship within the team. Winning isn’t simply about skills. Often, chemistry and relationship lead to intangibles that make a good team great. Spend more time developing this and you will have better chance at success. Again, even something as simple as sports roses as gifts, tokens, or rewards can pull a team together.

  4. Focus on specific needs as opposed to general off-season programs. Many coaches and team directors fall into the trap of embracing generic training programs and forcing everyone on the team to do it. This is not good for peak performance. Focusing on specific needs will produce more results than if you were to subject an athlete to a generic training plan. In the end, remember that the specific skills are the most important factors that translate to winning.

  5. Don’t make your off-season training too long but don’t make it too short either. In many cases, a team is already fatigued heading into a tournament because of the rigorous training routine. This can result in defeat and the team members being demoralized. Of course, not training enough is also bad for performance. Balance the length of the training sessions to ensure that your team is performing at peak condition during fall.

There are many more tips for ensuring proper preparation to increase a team’s chances of success, but these are excellent starting points. With these, your team should not have to struggle to begin playing and winning the games that matter.

Do you see any tips here that you can implement to boost your team’s chances of success?

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Top 7 Motivational Summer Training Tips

July 27, 2013 Leave a reply

It doesn’t seem to matter how much your athletes love their sport, training over the summer still feels like a hassle to them. Trying to motivate athletes to train over the summer often feels like trying to make a toddler eat vegetables. You know it will be good for them, but it takes some work to convince them.

What you need are the right motivational tools. You have to be creative in developing motivational tricks to inspire athletes to give their best during the summer.

Here are our Top 7 Motivational Summer Training Tips to re-energize your lethargic training plan:

  1. Develop a training plan for your team and post it ahead of the training period, but don’t give out all the details. You want to give your athletes a taste of what’s to come but not too much so they’ll have something to look forward to. For example, you can indicate that Tuesdays is dedicated to “track work” but leave out the details so they’ll never know that you are planning wind sprints or hill sprints to develop speed. Remember to give hints in your training to any fun or different training exercises you’ll be throwing in!

  2. Organize mini competitions among your team and use end-of-day rewards. Mini competitions can get the competitive juices flowing and is a great motivator for athletes to give their best. You can develop end-of-day contests and then award gifts like Sports Roses to the best performers. Even a small award can be an effective motivator when bragging rights are at stake.

  3. Invite a professional athlete to provide inspiration. This is a proven way to motivate athletes to train. If you know athletes residing near your area or a famous Alma-Mater, invite them over for a quick talk and a short workout. You can also give a bouquet of Sports Roses to your visitor afterwards as a token of appreciation.

  4. Treat your team. All work and no play can lead to boredom in a hurry. Even dinner invitations or barbeques at a local hang-out can do wonders for your team’s morale. Summer training isn’t just about reps; it’s about building unity.

  5. Organize mini meets or friendlies with schools from across town. Once you’ve built-up a certain level of fitness and skill from the training, it is always nice to test out how far your team has progressed by scheduling meets or “friendlies” with other teams.

  6. Declare a BEST PERFORMER at the end of the training season. Always find time to honor the best performer in your team. Don’t let all that hardwork go to waste by not taking the time to recognize him or her first. Trophies and Sports Roses bouquets are inspiring rewards for athletes who gave 100% during the training period.

  7. Make sure you organize an award program that recognizes the best athletes, even if it is just a simple event. Put a little fanfare into your award program. Invite parents over or do it at a local venue where people can watch. Making it a bigger deal will give it some legitimacy and will inspire athletes to work harder.

Which of these tips will you implement first this summer training season?

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Sports Athlete Performance – What You Need To Know About Ice Baths

January 16, 2013 Leave a reply
Team USA Womens Gymnastics team dipping legs in ice bath during the 2012 Summer Olympics

2012 Team USA Women’s Olympic Team taking a dip in an ice bath. Source: Instagram user mckaylamaroney

A focus on body recovery with ice baths can help reduce injuries and maintain regular training to improve overall body condition for sports.

With baseball and softball season approaching, players are getting their gear ready for another exciting season on the playing field. Our last blog article focused on nutrition to help keep an athlete’s body in top shape for a season of high physical activity. This week we will look at body recovery using ice baths.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, athletes from gymnasts to volleyball players were seen posting pictures on social media taking a dip in an ice bath after their performance. According to Runners World Ice baths suppress inflammation and “help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles”.

Kerri Walsh from Team USA Volleball takes an ice bath during the 2012 London Olympics

Kerrie Walsh, Team USA Volleyball. Source: Instagram User kerrileewalsh

Andy Schmidtz from USA Triathlon writes more on the theory behind ice baths.

The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise. The ice bath is thought to constrict blood vessels, flush waste products and reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Subsequently, as the tissue warms and the increased blood flow speeds circulation, the healing process is jump-started. The advantage of an ice bath submersion is that a large area of intertwined musculature can be treated, rather than limiting the cold therapy to a concentrated area with a localized ice pack.

Jackie Traina pitched on the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide Championship team.

Source: University of Alabama

And top college softball players are utilizing ice baths to improve their ability to play during demanding performance schedules. Alabama Crimson Tide pitcher Jackie Traina spoke with AL.com during her teams run to the championship in the 2012 Women’s College World Series. Traina mentioned that she never ices her arm but instead uses a technique of icing her lower body to maintain a shape where she could pitch 600 innings over a 2 week period.

Traina’s level of performance took a lot of work building up her endurance and ice baths aided in keeping her training up. Alabama pitching coach Stephanie VanBrakle also added that Traina is “aware of when she’s sore. She knows the difference between being injured and being sore, because there’s a difference. She takes the necessary steps to take care of her body.”

So what should a player know before adding ice baths to their training regiment?

Andy Schmitz from USA Triathlon recommends the following tips for ice baths.

  • Don’t go too low with the water temperature. It shouldn’t be freezing cold, but instead a temperature of 54-60 degrees is ideal. Temperatures below 54 degrees can be dangerous.
  • Some people may be very sensitive to the cold water and can use booties made of wetsuit material to help sensitive toes
  • Don’t overexpose your body to the cold water. 6-8 minutes is all you need.
  • If you are uncomfortable with 54-60 degrees temperature, you can also see good results using higher temperatures (60-75 degrees). Ease your body into ice bath routines.
  • “Don’t Rush to take a warm shower immediately after the ice bath”. You want to gradually warm your body so try warming yourself with a blanket before jumping into the shower.
  • Apart from ice baths, active recovery with very light exercise can also help “facilitate blood flow to musculature”

As with any training and nutrition techniques, it’s a good idea to do your homework on ice baths and consult with a professional for questions about your individual body. Good luck this season and leave us a comment below on how you recover after your workouts and games.

Preparing For Softball Season – 5 Nutrition Tips To Give You The Edge

January 1, 2013 1 Comment

softball rose 2013 new year preparing for the new season

Happy New Year From Softball Roses!

2013 is here and that means a new season of softball is only weeks away! We hope you’ve been keeping in shape throughout the fall and winter. Many of us are setting goals and resolutions for the new year, so we thought it would be a good time to review some essentials for nurturing your body and mind so that you can perform your best!

5 Important Performance Enhancing Nutritional Tips

from Allaboutfastpitch.com

  1. Don’t leave out breakfast.
    Are you always in a rush to school or work each morning? Many of us hit the snooze button on the alarm clock until the last minute and then we rush to get dressed and get out the door without refueling our bodies. Foods that contain carbohydrates, protein, and fat are essential.

    “Some good food choices to start your day are, fresh fruit, yogurt with fresh fruit, toast with peanut butter, toast with low fat cheese or whole grain cereals with milk.”

  2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. We hear it all the time, but if you were to log how much water you drink each day, you will probably be surprised how little you drink. Eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids a day has been a general rule and it is supported by doctors. But if you are working out (especially in the sun), you may need more replenishment during those times. Sports drinks with electrolytes are a great choice before your work out. Don’t forget to drink fluids between innings and on breaks.

    “Consumption of adequate fluid before, during and after strenuous activities can help maintain blood glucose levels during exercise, and maximize your performance.”

  3. Eat foods high in carbohydrates. Pastas, breads, fruits, and smoothies are just a few great examples to make sure you body has the energy it needs during your work outs.
    illustration of pitcher throwing softball from softball rose

    “Have a snack at least 1 hour before a workout. Good snack choices may consist of granola bar, large banana, or even a ½ bagel.”

  4. Skip the vitamin and mineral supplements. If you are eating right, these aren’t needed. There may be some situations where supplements should be used, leave it to the professionals and consult your doctor to help you decide.
  5. Remember Your Time After Exercise Activity. Often overlooked, but just as important as your pre-exercise routines is to make sure you are taking care of your body after strenuous physical activity. Drink 3 cups or more of water to rehydrate your body after physical activity. And also make sure to eat after physical activity to replenish nutrients that were used up.

    “One way to check your hydration level is to check the color of your urine. If the color is dark yellow, more consumption of water or sports drink is needed.”

  6. By keeping these simple tips in mind throughout the year, you will be preparing your body and mind so that it can be ready to perform at it’s best when you need it the most. You may be young and healthy, but when you are competing with top athletes, you’ll need every bit of edge you can get. Start forming good habits now while you are young and you’ll see the rewards later on in your career.

    “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” – Aristotle

    Have any recommendations on how you prepare yourself for the season? Share them in our comments below.

    Learn from the Best! An inspirational guide for aspiring young softball players by Jennie Finch