It is that time of year when August rolls around that many sports begin their preseason training. If you play football, you will probably be experiencing two or three a day practices for a week or so. Some of the other sports like field hockey, soccer, and so forth have similar requirements to the two a day training protocol. It does not matter really what sport you are playing, but more so what have you done to prepare for the preseason training protocol. There are some players who have taken the summer to work on their strength, speed, agility, and flexibility. There are also quite a few who have watched several Netflix shows and eaten carelessly for the last several months. In both of these preparation methods there is a methodical system in which the individual justifies his/her actions. In this article we will be focusing on the first method of preparation in which you are actually putting work in to become a better athlete. The second training protocol will have its own set of consequences, which will be far more painful.
If you are like most athletes you may or may not have received a to-do-list by your perspective coach to fulfill for the summer. The challenge with summer packets is that some come from Division 1 programs and/or Pinterest workouts, neither of which are typically put together with any sort of scientific research. Most college programs put together some ridiculous training protocol in which only a superhero could actually complete without injuring themselves. I am convinced that most schools just look at their competitors packet and decide to up the ante and make it infinitely harder. The best advice I can give anyone is gradually increase your intensity week by week as you get stronger and more disciplined. Here are some other things that you should do to prepare properly for the rigors on the training protocol.
One of the most important pieces to your success as an athlete is also one of the most over-looked areas, that being the nutritional program that an athlete has in place. There are a fair amount of athletes that want to be the best, but then do not put any effort into what they fuel their body with. It is IMPOSSIBLE to be an elite athlete without proper nutrition leading up to training, practices, and games. You cannot skate by on a soda and cupcakes before a game and think that you are going to crush it on the field. At bare minimum you need to make sure that you consume at least 1 good carbohydrate and 1 good source of protein every time you eat. This does not mean a happy meal from McDonald’s. Things that can be considered good carbohydrates are: oatmeal, apple sauce, brown rice, quinoa, multi-grain bread, and some forms of pasta and fruit. Some good sources of lean protein are: steak, hamburger, fish, seafood, pork, chicken, and turkey.
Another area that is often overlooked in an athlete’s training protocol is the importance of things that help in your recovery process like stretching, foam rolling, and rest. Most athletes do not take the time to properly warm-up prior to any activity or stretch appropriately post-workout. Stretching can help you achieve the speed and strength gains that you are hoping to accomplish in your summer training protocol. This simple act can also severely reduce the chance of a serious injury occurring on the field. Foam rolling is another useful tool in which will help and athlete understand what areas of the body are problematic. By identifying these problems areas and taking productive steps to work on them you can make sure that you are putting the best body you can on the field. Lastly, most athletes think that training 24/7 will help them achieve the level of greatness they are striving for. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Rest is such a crucial part of the training protocol. If you are putting in maximal effort into your training, you also want to allow your body enough time to recover so that you can train with the maximum intensity.
My last words of advice in order to get ready for preseason is to consult a PROFESSIONAL for you training protocol. Most people would take this as I mean hire a Personal Trainer. Trainers are a dime a dozen depending on what gym or in shape person you think qualifies as a Personal Trainer. When hiring someone to help you in your journey make sure of several things:
- Make sure the person has been certified through an accredited organization and not some online certification.
- Research the individual as far as testimonials, number of years in the industry, community involvement and style of training.
- If your PROFESSIONAL works out with you OR walks away from you during the session OR is on their phone or socializing with others, please do everyone including yourself a FAVOR and FIRE THEM IMMEDIATELY. These are considered unprofessional in the industry. You do not pay to go to the dentist and the dentist cleans his/her own teeth and yours on your time, does he/she?
If you are struggling with coming up with the proper training protocol to get ready for your Preseason, contact us at Xcellerated Speed Training, we can help.