Vince Lombardi once said, “fatigue makes a coward out of us all”. Whether you coach, are an athlete, or just a go getter in the business world, you know this quote holds true! This past weekend we had a tournament in Vacaville, we played 4 games in 5 hours with only 9 players. Knowing this was going to be a lot of work for each kid, I immediately began to ask them questions; what time did you go to bed, what did you eat for breakfast, what did you bring to snack on and rehydrate yourself, and finally hows life going? Going into my 7th year coaching the answers don’t surprise me, they still frustrate me but, don’t surprise me; “midnight coach I was playing NBA 2k, I had toast for breakfast, bought a hotdog to eat as a snack, drinking a slurpee to stay hydrated, and life is going good coach, I’m just tired, sore, hungry, and dehydrated!!!!
Rest Is The Best: Too many of us burn the candle at both ends and wonder why we aren’t getting stronger, can’t focus in practices, are constantly getting injured, and always feel sore. The average High School athlete needs at least 9 hours of sleep a night, during this time of adolesence the body is going through tons of changes, as we get older it’s best to shoot for 8 hours a night. I don’t always get 8 hours of sleep, and am a big fan of P.N.’s Power Naps which are great for boosting your energy mid day, keep them around 30-40 minutes. Growing up my “Abuelo” R.I.P. was notorious for taking mid day siestas, if you woke him up during that 40 minute power nap there was going to be trouble. You might be one of those type “A” personalities and can run on 6 hours sleep a night and feel great but, eventually it will catch up with you.
Balance out your high intensity training days with some lighter days, when I say lighter you are still breaking a sweat, you’re just not going as heavy. Joint work, agility, balance, core work, and cardio cross training (running hills) are all great for some of your lighter intensity days. We are born movers, hunters and gatherers, made to run and jump so, balance out your weight workouts with other types of training to get the most out of your body/machine!!!
Fuel The Machine: I can’t expect my 64 T-Bird to drive to Oakland on 5 dollars worth of gas so, how can I expect my body to power me through an intense leg workout if all I had for breakfast was a protein shake? Bottom line it’s not going to happen. Yet many of us miss breakfast, go hours without eating until we are absolutely starving and eat two double western cheeseburgers in one sitting, or we get so busy we forget about eating all together and rely on caffeinated drinks to power us through the day. These habits will definately lead to fatigue and body breakdown.
Breakfast is extremely important, I’m a big fan of eggs “the perfect protein”, I also like slow burning carbohydrates like oatmeal (microwaving your food, lessens the nutrient density of your food drastically!!), add some fruit and berries to your oatmeal and you have a powerful breakfast. After 3 to 4 hours you should have a pre-workout snack, peanut butter and jelly or a protein shake would be great (closer you get to workout time the more important it is for your pre-workout snack to be liquid to ensure quick breakdown and limit blood shunting to your stomach, which isn’t great to go through when your trying to get after it in the weight room). Pre-workout shakes should consist of 15-20 grams protein, 20-30 grams carbohydrates. Post workout shakes should consist of 30-40 grams protein (protein breaks down into amino acids which are the building blocks to repair your muscle fibers from your intense workout) and 15-20 grams carbohydrates (your muscles are glycogen depleted post workout, these carbohydrates will replenish those glycogen stores ensuring faster recovery time). Staying hydrated will also prevent fatigue, an easy calculation is take your body weight cut it in half and that is how many ounces you should be drinking a day. Another way to make sure your not dehydrated is the pee test, when you urinate if its clear then your good to go, if its dark yellow then you’re dehydrated. For lunch you want a balance of protein and carbohydrates, a turkey sandwich usually covers the bases, stay away from mayonnaise, large rolls like sourdough, and meats like bologne which aren’t as nutrient dense as chicken and rye or wheat bread. When adding things to your meals ie; sauces, cheese, etc. you are either increasing or decreasing the nutrient density of the meal. For example, if I have a turkey sandwich on rye with lettuce, onions, peppers, and then I start adding mayo, a ton of mustard, throw some chips in there I just lowered the nutrient density of that meal and went from eating great to eating like &$#@*. For your second snack go with low fat yogurt (I like yoplait, lemon burst), granola, and dried cranberries, sliced strawberries, and sliced green apple all mixed together I call this the, “power nibble”. Finish off the day with a well balanced dinner and try to avoid eating late remember, “rest is the best” you have to go to bed early if you want to dominate tommorrow!!!
You can get more tips on diet by visiting my brosky and workout partner TrainerJosh.com
Positivity Breeds, Positivity: Stress will break you down, whether it’s from your relationship, at work, or the playing field, if your stressed out and going down that negative highway, your body is going to break down. I am extremely passionate about coaching and many times it doesn’t seem like work but, not being able to fall asleep after a game ie; running it through my mind, play by play, to figure out what we need to work on in practice the next day, takes a toll on my body. I’m a big fan of keeping a notepad and pen next to my bed so, anytime an idea won’t let me fall asleep I just write it down and forget about it.
Keeping a positive attitude when things aren’t going your way can often lessen the impact of the perceived stressors. Some of my closest friends always joke with me because my usual response to negative happenings is, “it’ll all workout”. Surround yourself with positive people, if you have a solid support system life seems to just click into place. People are always going to doubt your abilities, have negative things to say, just choose not to be around them!!! Anytime I accomplish something I always think to myself, “it’s easy to succeed when you have the type of people that I have around me”. Live, Life, Laughing… Thanks for checking out my post, create a great day!!!! -Coach T