It’s time for high school football players to get their minds and bodies back in the game. That means discipline and living the healthiest life possible for the next few months. Players need to feel 100 percent so they can perform on point during practice and throughout every game. Below are five tips to help keep your athlete at their healthiest, from nutrition advice to which athletic gear disinfectant to use.
Eating right is critical, both in season and offseason. Lean protein should be a major component of any athlete’s diet, as it helps build and maintain muscle mass. Strive to serve a balance of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. Steer clear of saturated and trans fat—opt instead for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some excellent sources include avocados, salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and nuts such as pistachios, walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews. For cooking, use extra virgin olive oil. Serve up fresh produce to provide a bevy of anti-inflammatory antioxidants to help reduce recovery time.
2. Pre-Season Training
Prior to the season, make sure your athlete is adequately training and preparing for the upcoming season. If they slack off all summer, their performance will suffer and they may injure themselves trying to overcompensate. By working on their game during pre-season, they demonstrate their commitment to their coach and other team members—and improve their chance of becoming first string. Ideally, athletes should do strength training and conditioning exercises as well as daily drills to increase speed and agility.
The struggle to stay hydrated is real! It’s important to maintain proper hydration during training, practice and games. Train your athletes to respond to thirst quickly, take advantage of all water breaks and sip water throughout the day. What athletes lose through sweat needs to be replenished to avoid dehydration and promote healthy digestion. Water is ideal, though many opt for Gatorade to replenish electrolytes lost during athletic performance. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency recommends athletes drink 10 to 16 ounces of cold fluids 15 to 30 minutes before an athletic workout or game. During a game, they should drink four to eight ounces at 15 to 20 minute intervals. It’s equally important to avoid over-hydrating. Athletes should hydrate gradually, never gulp and follow the recommended guidelines.
Contact sports like football make it easy to spread germs and bacteria that can lead to dangerous infections like staph. What’s worse is that one player could contract an infection and spread it to the rest of the team very quickly. It’s essential to take full showers after every practice and game. Players should use their own towel and products—and never share! One of the easiest ways to spread germs is through sharing personal items. Clean all equipment and gear by using a potent athletic gear disinfectant like Clear Gear. Spray down all items, from uniform padding, helmets and cleats to gloves, footballs and other practice equipment.
5. Injury Prevention
Football injuries are common due to the high level of contact. Athletes should stretch thoroughly before and after every practice and game. They should do injury prevention exercises during training and practices. Athletes should also wear properly fitted helmets, pads and mouthguards to minimize injuries.
Follow these five simple guidelines and your athlete will stay healthy and always play their best. Click here to learn more about Clear Gear, the premier athletic gear disinfectant.