Archive for “football season” Tag

5 Tips to a Healthy Football Season – And Any Sports Season

Football Season is Here

The season is upon us. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s football season. The time of year where you can lose more friends than in an election year. So with that said, 2016 may be an interesting year. Let’s call 2017 the year of reconciliations.

If you are an athlete, football season can be grueling and can wear you down. If you are a coach, it can do the same thing. If you are a parent…well, parents have it easy. All you have to do is print out this article, tape it to the fridge, and your young athlete will follow all 5 tips, right?

The goal of this quick article is to give the athletes 5 tips to a healthy football season and give coaches some things to harp on with your athletes. In a loving way, of course.

5 Tips to Having a Healthy Football Season

Tip #1: Nutrition

Eating “properly” for performance is a year long struggle for the young athlete and can get even more difficult during football season. One of the hardest goals to meet is getting the calories an athlete needs to perform. With lunch around noon and practice after school, kids can go 6-7 hours without eating in the afternoon.

Pro Tip: Bringing snacks to school is important to fill those huge gaps in the day. But don’t forget, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t skip it.

Tip #2: Strength Train

If we work hard in the off-season, why lose all those “GAINS” during the season? Yea, I know, “I don’t have any time” or “we gotta spend that time watching film” is a common reason for skipping strength training. Time can be of the essence, but 2 days a week minimum is a must! Get into the weight room.

Pro Tip: The main goal in-season is to combat muscular imbalances that are caused by the season which CAN help prevent injuries. Oh yea, athletes CAN get stronger in-season! Don’t skip out on strength training during the season. Your off-season will thank you!

Tip #3: Sleep

You know what? I love video games too! I think it’s important to have fun with friends but don’t let it affect the season. Athletes need 8-9+ hours of sleep each night so the body can repair itself. Period.

Tip #4: Injuries

This is a big one for highly motivated athletes. Nobody likes to be hurt and miss games. But that slightly rolled ankle can quickly turn into a season ending injury if not treated correctly. There is a big difference between some bumps and bruises and an injury that can lead to something more serious.

Pro Tip: Maintain a good working relationship with ATC’s and make sure injuries are discussed.

Tip #5: Academics

Poor academics can lead to ZERO play time. Make school work a priority. Time management is one of the skills athletes will need to learn as a student athlete.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of free time. Use study hall for studying and homework (obviously), and use bus rides for the same thing. Being an athlete is work!

Have a Productive Football Season

Parents, I hope this is “fridge worthy”. Coaches, keep these tips in the front of your mind when it comes to your athletes. I hope that your football athletes will use these 5 tips to have a healthy and productive football season.

Josh Ortegon

About the Author: Josh Ortegon

Josh Ortegon - 5 Tips to a Healthy Football SeasonJoshua Ortegon is co-founder and the Director of Sports Performance Enhancement at Athlete’s Arena in Irmo, SC. Joshua earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University in 2000.

As an IYCA-certified High School Strength and Conditioning Specialist, speaker, and writer, Joshua has helped establish Athlete’s Arena as the premier high-performance center in South Carolina since 2005.

Joshua has worked with a wide range of athletes from youth to professionals specializing in the areas of injury prevention, return to play and performance enhancement.

Are Your Athletes Prepared to Perform this Season?

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Football Pre-Season Prep

5 Things Your Athlete Needs to Do for A Great Football Season

Football season is around the corner. For any young athlete, now is the time to prep for the upcoming season and do what you can to contribute to a successful season.

Here is a list of things a young football player should do in preparation for the season:

kids-56952_640Task #1: Increase work capacity

To be successful in any sport, one needs to be able to handle the demands of the sport.

In simpler terms, you need to get in shape. The less time coaches can spend on conditioning and more on the tactical side of football, the more it benefits all parties involved.

Simply put:

Increase in work capacity = Increase in probability of maximal on-field performance

Task #2: Select appropriate stimulus to increase aerobic conditioning

Part of improved work capacity is increasing the aerobic capacity (engine) in a young athlete.

Pro Tip: This does not mean having a young athlete run or jog around the track. For one, kids often find jogging boring and will be less inclined to do it. Two, jogging is a poor representation of the sport of football.

The sport of football is a combination of sprinting, multi-directional movement and impact. Any type of conditioning should mimic that combination.

Task #3: Master basic fundamental movement patterns

All young athletes should be masters of squatting, crawling, skipping, jumping, etc. These fundamental movement patterns are the foundation of athleticism.

Increasing athleticism improves the ability for an athlete to complete game tasks such as blocking a defender, running a route and catching a football.

Increase in athleticism = Increase in ability to execute game tasks

Task #4: Practice winning habits daily

Challenge athletes to practice habits that professional athletes do.

This includes eating clean foods, staying hydrated and getting adequate sleep. These “little” things make a big difference in how well an athlete performs.

The younger an athlete starts to practice these habits daily, the easier it will be for them to do those habits when they enter high school or college.

Task #5: Get pre-screened/assessed

Every young athlete should have their movement assessed by a trained professional such as a physical therapist or skilled strength and conditioning coach.

It’s important to look for imbalances or dysfunction in movements such as running and squatting.

Communicating with the athlete about the type of dysfunctions/weaknesses they have and what exercises they can do to alleviate these issues is important in long-term athletic development.

Being proactive on this will minimize the risk of injury while at the same time maximizing performance. Assessing athletes helps them decrease injury risk and maximize performance.

Good luck this season!

About the Author: Jeffrey King

Jeff KingJeffrey King, MA, CSCS
– Director of Athletics at Fitness Quest 10
– Co-author of Pigskin Prep: The Definitive Youth Football Training Program


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