Steven Lo is the Offensive Coordinator, Quarterback Coach, and Director of Strength and Conditioning of the 2019 National Championship football team at St. John Bosco High School. Coach Lo shared with us his top tips for a player’s successful recovery after practices and game days.
NUTRITION is key leading up to any intense training. Carbohydrates provide energy; protein prevents muscle breakdown. You’ll also want to eat after your workout to replace what you lost – protein to repair muscles, carbohydrates and fruits to replace muscle glycogen (which supplies energy for your next workout or competition).
HYDRATION, both during and after competition, replaces fluids. This is vital in order to avoid dehydration and flush waste products out of your system.
MOVEMENT is medicine. After the rough part of the day is over, don’t forget to cool down. And the next day, no matter how sore you feel, you’ll want to get the blood flowing with some easy exercises to help the repair process.
ACTIVE RECOVERY is crucial when it comes to recovering from a tough training session. Start with a dynamic warm up, walking, swimming, or light running. Also include some flexibility work, like yoga.
SLEEP is the only time your body can truly rebuild and recover microtears in muscles so it’s important to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.
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Gift giving can be difficult, especially when it comes to your coach. You want to say a big “thank you,” but what do you really know about them besides their favorite sport? So the end of the season rolls around and you just pick up a card for everyone to sign and put some cash inside. But with a little planning, you can find the perfect gift that you enjoy giving and your coach will appreciate receiving. So peruse the list below, find the description that best fits your coach, and check out our top gift idea.
For The Sentimental Coach
Most likely to be heard saying: “I said it to last year’s team, and I may say it to next year’s team, but that doesn’t mean I don’t mean it now: you guys are the best team ever.”
A simple, yet special, gift idea is a signed ball – not only is it personal, but it’s unique to this season. Plus, if anyone on your team ever makes it to the big leagues, it could increase in value. Sports using larger balls are easier for a whole team to sign, but a baseball could be difficult, so consider having each player buy their own ball and decorate it as they want with their signature and maybe a favorite memory or inside joke. Then you can drop the whole lot of them off at your coach’s office for a nice surprise.
For The Always-Prepared Coach
Most likely to be heard saying: “Don’t worry, I’ve got an extra pair of socks.”
You know this coach. They’re the one who’s car trunk looks like chaos with extra gear for players who may have forgotten to thoroughly pack their duffle bag. So for this coach, we’ve got an easy and fun gift idea. Find a bag in your team colors and fill it with an assortment of goodies – a water bottle, a funky pair of socks, sports drinks, snacks, small sports items like a whistle or stopwatch, and for extra “aw” – cards from the whole team.
For The Fan-damn-tastic Coach
Most likely to be heard saying: “Did you see the game last night?”
If your coach has a favorite college or professional team, you probably know it. You’ve seen them sporting a hat or jacket with the team logo, seen their car bumper sticker, or heard a rant at practice after a rough weekend loss. If this is your coach, consider gifting them a new piece of professional or collegiate fan gear.
For The Sneakerhead Coach
Most likely to be heard saying: “Watch the shoes!”
Help your coach stand out on the sidelines with a gift they’ll love – a new pair of sneakers. We’ve got everything from the latest Jordans to Brooks running shoes to classic Stan Smiths. No matter what brand or style your coach prefers, you’re sure to find them the perfect pair of shoes.
For The Practical Coach
Most likely to be heard saying: “I don’t need a gift. The best present you can give me is a championship.”
Sometimes the best gift is the one that lets your coach pick out exactly what they want. Sure, it may not be exciting to purchase or fun to put together, but when all else fails, there’s gift cards! Let your coach spend the money however they choose, whether that’s a piece of clothing for themselves or a piece of equipment for the team.
We want to hear the best ideas, comment a gift you gave (or received) that was a hit! And check out our other gift guides to find something for everyone on your list.
In 2013, Danny Mackey was hired as head coach of the newly formed Brooks Beasts Track Club in Seattle.
With years of experience as a
competitive runner and a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and
Biomechanics, Danny’s earned the respect of his team with his knowledge of
science and sport.
“I’m not a scientist; I majored
in Econ,” joked
Henry Wynne, a 1500m Brooks Beast. “The science stuff is Danny’s job, but
I trust him enough to train hard and give my best.”
“When an athlete asks Danny why we’re doing something, it’s not just, ‘Because you’re told to.’ He knows exactly why we’re doing this and working on that,’” said Josh Kerr, a 1500m Brooks Beast. “It makes you much more confident.”
Danny’s training methods work on
holistically improving his athletes so that come race day, they are the best
version of themselves: strong, fast, passionate runners ready to win.
Throughout his coaching career, Danny’s
noticed that many runners don’t implement strength training into their
workouts. But he believes strength training is critical for professional runners
for multiple reasons.
“The first thing strength training helps with is injury prevention,” Danny said. “Running is very hard on your body. So if there’s a weak link in the chain, it’ll come up at some point, and something will get hurt. But when you’re structurally stronger, you can handle an 8-mile tempo run like our team does.”
“The other main reason for
strength training is that there is a direct performance benefit because you’re
able to generate more power,” Danny said. “Every race comes down to a kick, the
last centimeters, and being in the weight room helps you build strength to
generate power to sprint.”
Before he turned
professional and began training with Danny, Kerr didn’t regularly integrate
strength training into his workouts. Now, after joining
the team and implementing Danny’s advice, Kerr is convinced that strength
training is crucial for professional runners.
really does make you feel more stable and stronger,” Kerr said. “It’s
definitely a beneficial part of our program, and I think we have the lowest
injury rate among the professional teams because of that strength program.”
encourage people to just start somewhere, even if you’re just in there for 10
minutes,” Danny said. “Anything will help.”
As mentioned earlier, races come down
to who has the endurance and speed to give a little extra oomph during the
final stretch. Altitude training helps professional athletes gain that edge
above their competitors by increasing the efficiency of their run. *
For the Beasts this means heading to
altitude camp in Albuquerque which is at an average elevation of 5, 312 feet
above sea level.
“We usually head to altitude camp twice
a year for like four weeks, and that’s enough time to gain the benefits,” Danny
said. “Now, one of the simple benefits is gaining time in a hypoxic
state which just means there’s less air available to breathe.”
Since air gets thinner and air
pressure drops as your go higher, your body works harder for each breath you
“This causes stress in your body
and an increase in red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body,”
Danny said. “So when you go down to sea level to race, you have the ability to
carry more oxygen, which should translate to being able to run faster.”
Train Because ______ .
Seeing the bigger picture is an
important part of distance running, both during competition and during training.
Danny has woven this idea into the Brooks Beast culture so that both he and the
team remember why they run.
“The team is big on finding your
narrative and what story you’re writing day-to-day,” Danny said. “When that’s
happening, you can get more out of your body.”
Every runner has a reason
why they run – to win, to feel good, to look good, etc. Danny is no exception.
“I run for a couple reasons,
one is because I’m big on raw and simple,” Danny said. “You can run anywhere,
and all you need is a pair of shoes and two articles of clothing, three if you
“Another big reason I run is
to challenge myself,” Danny said. “Having milestones is a basic human need,
something to strive for and try to achieve. When I get home from a run, I’m
proud, and no one can take that away from me.”
The last reason Danny gives
for running is the mental health benefits.
“Running is a meditative thing
for me,” Danny said. “When I’m running with no music, just breathing, I’m aware
of what my body’s doing. I’m in a better state to be a better coach
and a better friend. All of those other things happen because of running.”
Why do you run? Share your story on social media using #WhyIRun. To find out why the rest of the Brooks Beast team runs, check out the Run Like A Beast video series.
*It is important to note that without proper preparation altitude training can be dangerous, so be sure to consult professionals before engaging in activity at higher elevations.
Think back to your days as an athlete, did you have a coach who inspired you? Who pushed you past your limits and made you stronger? Well Coach Jean Bell is just that person and coach to her female athletes at her track club, Jeuness in Brooklyn NY. We got a chance to sit down with Bell and learn how her role in these athletes’ lives extends way beyond the track.
Making A Difference: Coach Bell with the Sheppard Sisters (Photo Courtesy of Coach Jean Bell)
Bell has recently made headlines for helping and inspiring three young homeless women who run for her — the Sheppard sisters. They competed at the AAU Junior Olympics the past couple of years and have all won medals in their events, including this year when they helped take home gold in the 4×800. With the help of Bell, and a GoFundMe account, these girls were able to get to Texas for the AAU Junior Olympics and showcase their skills.
But Coach Bell’s devotion to her athletes extends far beyond the Sheppard sisters. As a former track athlete herself, Bell saw an opportunity to open a track club that could empower girls in the Brooklyn area, so she founded ‘Jeuness.’