Preparing your mind and body for the challenges of your sport involves adopting a positive attitude, developing proper nutrition habits, taking effective vitamins and supplements, consistently sport-specific training and allowing your body to recover by getting enough sleep.
Anyone who has been involved in competition understands how its many ups and downs can be overwhelming. The best thing to do is take a step back and gather your senses. Unfortunately, competition schedules rarely allow for time away or even a time out; therefore, try these simple (yet effective) exercises and routines to get your mind and body back into the swing of things.
Mind building exercises
Many professional athletes will tell you that the game is mostly in your head. It’s ironic that after years of technical and tactical training, your success and performance is directly related to your confidence and mental toughness.
Here are some quick tips to help you stay in the zone:
• Practice visualization techniques a couple minutes before every game or event. Either in the car on the way to the game, in the dressing room or during the pre-game warm-up, visualize yourself scoring a goal, making a great pass or save or beating everyone to the finish line. Play these images in your mind and your body will do the rest.
• Practice positive self-talk. Be positive about yourself and your teammates before, during and after every competition. You will see how contagious and effective this practice is.
Body building exercises
Training the body does not only include lifting weights and aerobic activities. Nutrition, vitamins and supplements represent the fuel your body needs to function. Treat your body like a high performance car that runs best on high-octane gasoline by consuming healthy foods and supplements.
Don’t listen to the latest diet fads that decrease the number of carbohydrates you consume. As an athlete, your primary source of energy should come from carbohydrates. The proper combination of macronutrients includes 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% fats. Try the Truestar Athletic Plan for an easy-to-follow and healthy meal plan for athletes.
Here are some quick nutrition tips:
• Consume between 1.5 to 2.0 grams of quality protein for every kilogram of bodyweight.
• Consume quality complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread and kamut pasta along with ample vegetables at least one or two hours before every game.
• Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after every game.
Vitamins and supplements
Eating right definitely helps combat the physical and mental stresses associated with competition. However, busy schedules make it difficult to always consume adequate amounts of quality foods. Vitamins and supplements can be a great help.
Here are some quick vitamin and supplement tips:
• Take a quality multivitamin to ensure your body meets its daily requirements.
• Try a Siberian ginseng supplement to naturally increase your energy level and help improve your performance
• Take antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, to help your body physically and mentally recover.
Performing high intensity exercises for short periods of time is the best way to fine tune your mind and muscle connection. Try a condensed 20-minute sports training program to boost your adrenaline and get you pumped up!
Here are some quick exercise tips:
• Perform full-body exercises one to two times per week during busy weeks of your schedule to keep your muscles and joints loose and limber.
• Exercises should be performed with high intensity, but low volume. This means you should increase the weight or speed of the movements, but decrease the reps or duration of every exercise by at least 50%.
• Perform a stretching routine before and after every competition to reduce your risk of injury and muscle soreness.
• Try to avoid overtraining by listening to your body. Sometimes the best workout is rest.