Month: August 2017

5 Ways to Maximize Your Athletes Recovery

All athletes know the feeling of being sore, whether after an intense workout, a tough practice or a closely contested game. The discomfort that comes the morning after a tough physical bout when players step out of bed is called delayed onset muscle soreness.

That pain is the result of muscle damage after strenuous exercise, leading to symptoms of swelling, soreness, pain, stiffness, and weakness, often lasting for several days.

Use these five ways to recover faster, avoid injuries and improve sports performance this season: 

    1.) Sleep

Sleep is the most important when it comes to recovery. Adequate sleep helps to provide mental health, hormonal balance, and muscle recovery. You need to get enough sleep, athletes ages 6-13 should sleep 9-11 hours and athletes ages 14-17 should sleep 8-10 hours. Here’s a few tips for deep sleep:

  •     Turn off all electronics an hour before bed.
  •     Drink a glass of milk, which contains “tryptophan” an amino acid which promotes sleep.
  •     Get to bed early. Hours slept before mid-night are proven to be more effective than those slept after.

    2.) Hydration

Drinking proper amounts of water is critical to health, energy, recover, and performance. Typically, athletes are very attentive to hydration levels before and after games, but maintaining proper hydration during training, practices, and during recovery times are just as important. Here’s a few tips for proper hydration: 

  •     Water is the best way to hydrate.
  •     After training, practice, competition consume 20oz for every lb of body weight lost.
  •     Check your pee. The darker and more color in your pee the less hydrated you are and the more water you need to drink.

    3.) Chocolate Milk.

Chocolate Milk provides fluid, carbohydrates to replenish your body’s supply, protein to promote muscles healing and the sodium that you’ve sweated away. Consume chocolate milk in the first 20 minutes after training, practices, or games. Plus, it’s rather inexpensive and tastes so good!

    4.) Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling)

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. 

Read my article and FREE CHEAT SHEET on foam rolling for more information.

    5.) Focus on Mobility

Spending just 5-10 minutes a day stretching can increase your range of motion, improve your movement efficiency, and, most importantly, reduce your risk of injury. Plus, after a tough day on the field, it just feels great.

To get started, try these 3 mobility moves two times a week for one month and I guarantee you’ll feel a difference!

Dedicating additional time to the categories of sleep, hydration, nutrition, self-myofascial release, and mobility will increase your performance, decrease recovery time, and lower your risk of injury. These strategies take very little time, but can make the difference over the course of a long season. Coaches and athletes don’t take advantage of it because they don’t want to dedicate the time to the little things that matter most.

Will you make time?

Plan for a Purposeful Pre-Season

While the fundamentals of the game haven’t changed, the way basketball players at all levels train to enhance performance has changed greatly in the past 15 years. The game today requires true basketball athleticism – a unique combination of strengthpoweragility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning.

A basketball player’s athleticism is the foundation of their entire game. 

If a player can improve their strength, power, agility, reaction, quickness, and conditioning, then they can perform the skills of ball handling, passing, shooting, rebounding, and defending at a much higher, more efficient level before fatigue sets in.

While it’s true not all players have the genetic potential to be as athletic as Michael Jordan or Lebron James. Every basketball player can make improvements to their athleticism. Keep in mind, basketball athleticism is not just sprinting fast, jumping high or dunking.

With proper and purposeful training, players can make impressive improvements in their hand/eye coordination, footwork, acceleration/deceleration, reaction, strength, mobility, and conditioning level.

Check out this video:

Just as a player’s athleticism is the foundation of their game, the pre-season is the foundation for the upcoming season. What players do from the start of the school year until the day of the first practice will determine the type of season they have.

Your pre-season workouts need to address basketball athleticism and prepare players for the actual demands of the game! As simple as that may sound, many pre-season training programs lack this crucial component.

There are 3 important purposes for pre-season training:

  • Reduce the frequency and severity of injuries
  • Improve performance on the court
  • Have fun and build team unity

If any exercise, drill or concept you use this pre-season doesn’t meet at least one of these three… then it is a major waste of time. 

There are 6 primary movements in basketball:

  • Sprinting
  • Backpedaling
  • Defensive sliding
  • Jumping (and landing)
  • Pivoting
  • Lunging

Boston Sports Medicine Performance Group broke down a basketball game and observed the following:

  • Average player’s heart rate: 165-170 beats per minute
  • High-intensity sprints occur every 20-30 seconds
  • 100-plus high intensity sprints per game
  • 40-50 maximal jumps per game
  • Change in movement every 2-3 seconds
  • 30% of time is spent defensive sliding
  • 15% of time is in high intensity

As you can see, basketball is game of quick, explosive bursts of multi-directional movements with short bouts of rest. In order for your pre-season workouts to be truly purposeful, they need to prepare players for these very specific demands.

Do you need help designing or implementing your basketball team’s pre-season workouts? The staff at True Athlete Performance brings a wealth of valuable experience after years of extensive work with youth, high school, and college players.

Our passion, enthusiasm, and innovative training techniques make us some of the areas leading experts on productive training for basketball players. We hope you consider the work we’ve done, the programs we’ve developed and the teams we have helped! 

The Perfect Warm-Up

Knowing how to warm up effectively can be the difference between your players surviving the preseason and thriving in the regular season or your players stumbling through the season due to preventable injury.

Traditional warmups take athletes through a series of static stretches. There’s value in traditional stretch-and-hold, or “static” stretching if done properly and done after a workout. However, static stretching routines performed before exercise increase flexibility only for a short time. There is little scientific evidence that such routines improve performance, reduce delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS), or prevent injuries.

The main purpose of warming up is to prepare your body for the upcoming movement. At TrueAP, we progress through a “Movement Prep” process of activating or “waking” the muscles, dynamically stretching them, and then exciting them so it is easier to call on these muscles when needed. As opposed to a traditional warmup, Movement Prep actually makes you stronger and produces long-term flexibility gains. You actively elongate your muscles in a series of movements, which can improve balance, mobility, and stability. Think of it as warming up with a purpose.

Movement Prep increases heart rate, core temperature, and blood flow to working muscles. By strengthening muscles in this new range of motion, you stabilize all the tiny muscles that hold the joints together. That will improve posture and performance and decrease potential for injury. Just doing Movement Prep alone can make your body stronger and more stable, and can also help increase speed and power output. Performing Movement Prep will allow you to keep pushing your body to the level needed while reducing the risk of injury. 

Check out TrueAP’s “Quick Guide to Movement Prep” and start using our sample routines today!