As fall sports practices begin to pick up in August, so do the temperatures and workouts. Not only are you practicing once a day for your sport, but you are probably pushing through two-a-days.
To help you excel during your summer practices for football, soccer, volleyball, and more, we talked with Scott Gadeken, head of physical conditioning at IMG Academy for some tips!
Step 1: HYDRATION! HYDRATION! HYDRATION!
According to Gadeken, whether it’s with Gatorade or water, hydrating throughout the day is key to keep your body functioning properly during practice.
“Hydrate early and often. Don’t wait until you get thirsty, because by then it’s too late,” he said. “Be sure you are drinking throughout the day and mixing it up. It doesn’t always have to be water, you can mix it up and drink Gatorade to get your electrolytes as well.”
Step 2: Eat Your Breakfast
At the top of Gadeken’s list nutrition-wise is making sure you are getting a good breakfast before your workout, otherwise you will be going to practice without any fuel or energy in your body.
“If you haven’t eaten since dinner the night before and don’t eat until lunch, you are looking at a 15-hour window since you last had a meal,” Gadeken said. “And it’s really hard to fuel yourself, prepare, and have a good practice, mentally or physically, with low blood sugar and little energy.”
Step 3: Stick To A Training Program All Summer
Starting in May and up until August, make sure to follow your coaches’ or trainers’ summer programs in order to be in the best possible shape for the season.
“Start early in the summer and train hard so when practice rolls around, you are in shape and can devote your time to focusing on learning plays and different schemes,” Gadeken said.
Step 4: Build Up Bonds Early With Teammates
Use this time early in the season to build relationships with teammates. This will pay off as you get into the season.
“You’re building up bonds with teammates early in the summer. You’re working out, you’re sweating, you’re struggling, you’re training, and you’re forming those relationships and getting in extra work with these teammates,” Gadeken said. “Two-a-days are the culmination of all of the hard work you put in and when you really put it all together.
Step 5: Get To Bed Early And Work In Naps Between Practices
If your practice schedule gives you enough time in between, definitely think about napping. The more rest the better.
“Get plenty of sleep at night and take naps as well,” Gadeken said. “Don’t stay up on your phone or I-Pad. Get to bed early and get as much rest as possible.”
No matter what sport you play, two-a-days are a great way to get yourself prepared physically and mentally for the season ahead. Keep hydrated, eat well, and work hard. That is your recipe to success as fall sports are back!