In-season Tips for coaches and athletes

The start of spring sports is coming on quickly. So coaches and athletes that play baseball, softball, and lacrosse here are some tips for you.

1. Always prepare your body for practices and games. This means to hydrate before, during and after. A sports drink with a good protein to carbohydrate ratio is always a good bet. This will help muscles recover quicker, eliminate soreness and keep you focused. Accelerade is an excellent drink that is researched based and my athletes have had success with it.

2. Eat ! You are using up a lot of energy which means your body has to burn something for fuel. Try to eat at least 5-6 small protein and carbohydrate meals throughout the day for sustained energy. Eating a candy bar before your game or practice will only give you quick energy and believe me you WILL fade later on. Also, lay off the sodium bombs like pizza slices and chicken nuggets before as well. It will make you tired. Examples are: Apple with peanut butter, protein shake mixed with fruit, yogurt mixed with protein powder with a piece of fruit. You get the hint?!

3. Always perform some dynamic flexibility and movement preparation that target the working muscles before you begin your practice or game. Getting the hips, ankles and shoulders loose will pay huge dividends. Your chance of injury will decrease, and your movement for speed and agility will increase. You must incorporate these drills into your routine and stick with them. You won’t be sorry.

4. Coaches, if you are going to test your athletes, please make it conducive to your sport. I’m begging you! Does it make sense to test them on a 3 mile run for endurance ? Or repeated long sprints with minimal rest to see how fast they are? Wrong tests! If you are unsure please contact me or check my website for some answers.

5. Remember too much running especially long distance running is unnecessary. It will make your team slow and chances are will lead to shin splints that will linger may be throughout the season.

6. Coaches, also look for over training signs. For example, sluggishness in body and attitude, and athletes not recovering well from practices are some signs. If this occurs, cut down intensity and probably volume of training and question athletes to see if they are hydrating and eating enough.

7. Stretch after practices! Make it habit.

8. Work on speed! Do short acceleration work first (5 –10Yd bursts) and then longer acceleration (25-50yds) Remember to rest longer in between sprints for the longer sprints. 2-5 min. is probably necessary. Do at least twice a week with 36hrs rest in between. So, Mon. and Thursday for example for speed work.

9. Add agility work twice a week and conditioning run or circuit for a lactic acid flush on Fridays only. This will “flush” out tired legs and build conditioning conducive for your sport.

10. Stick with this type of plan and you will notice a better performance

Please, if you have any questions, contact me.

Thanks for reading

Andy