It might be summer break, but fall sports are just a few months away and that means it’s time to start preparing for a new season. Now is the time to start making changes, mentally and physically. You don’t want to waste your summer sitting around when you can be preparing and training!
While eating popsicles and munching on popcorn during summer sounds like my kind of day, it’s a wise idea to ditch the junk food and start eating healthy. Nothing will slow you down more than eating junk food. Increase performance by eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Start off the day with a nutritious breakfast. Make sure your athlete gets enough protein to fuel their day. Say goodbye to donuts and muffins and start eating a breakfast that will energize—eggs, bacon, fruit, and a piece of whole wheat toast will fill your child up, keep them focused, and give them the energy they need to propel them forward.
Eat a snack between breakfast and lunch. Again, ditched the processed junk food, like chips or crackers, and opt for something healthier, like vegetables and dip or an apple with peanut butter.
When lunchtime comes, balance is key. Avoid processed foods and stick to natural. A salad filled with meat, vegetables, egg, fruit, nuts, and other nutrients will fill up your child to get them through the afternoon.
In the afternoon, have another healthy snack waiting for them. Pistachios or almonds (any nuts) and some cheese is a good afternoon snack.
Keep things healthy for dinner. Lean meat, like chicken or fish, paired with steamed vegetables and fresh bread are a great way to end the day.
In addition to changes in diet, it’s important to get up and get active before the start of the season. Start training by increasing cardio, weight training, and practicing your sport.
Cardio doesn’t have to be boring. Be creative and proactive with things your enjoy, like a dance class or a cycling class at gym. If your athlete prefers the great outdoors, go for a bike ride, jog around the neighborhood, climb the stairs at the football stadium, or go hiking. Find a way to get your heart rate going before diving into weight training.
Create a workout schedule that’s attainable. After cardio, hit the weights. Build up strength for your sport. It doesn’t matter the location—whether it’s the gym flow or the comfort of home—just find a place to build up muscle strength.
Practicing the Sport
Part of training requires dedication to the sport. Practicing drills, looking at tape, working on balance and footwork are all tedious tasks that will make a huge difference. It’s not always fun, but it’s crucial in performance.