How to be prepared

Posted by Paul Kelshaw on June 25, 2015 at 2:35 PM


We tend to share different ideas, but i would like to share the following. Please share this with your soccer players and parents. Being prepared takes time, effort, preparation.

1.Drink more water: By now, this one should go without saying. Water is the number one thing your body needs for survival (not soda, or Red Bull!), so how can you possibly expect to perform at a high level if you're not drinking enough? How much is enough?

2.Form is everything!: We talk about proper form and technique to realize athletic goals. That said, we want everyone to take the time to learn the proper form for dribbling, passing, receiving, shooting, heading, attacking and defensive positioning. Once you have the basic mechanics down, then you can gradually start increasing the level of sophistication and complexity in your game.

3.Posture is more important than you realize: Besides looking unattractive, poor posture can adversely affect your breathing, your digestion and increase your injury risk by promoting widespread muscular imbalance. By simply trying to stand and sit up a little bit straighter several times throughout the day, you can help undue some of effects of all that constant texting and gaming.

4.Eat more fruits and vegetables: Here's another area where the average kid's diet falls woefully short. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber that are lacking in many of the other foods you guys tend to favor. They're also a great way to improve immune system function, lowering your risk for developing all sorts of diseases.

5.Want to get faster? Get stronger!: Doing endless speed and agility drills is not always the best way to get faster. If you're not also working to increase strength through the lower body and core, as well develop good ankle and hip mobility, they'll be of limited value. Concentrate on imparting force into the ground through a full range of motion and you'll get fast in a hurry.

6.Don't rely on supplements: Supplements are something you add to an already sound nutritional program; they're not some magic elixir. If you think that something with a nice, shiny label, full of ridiculous claims is going to make up for a steady diet of McDonald's and easy mac and cheese, you're kidding yourself. (this includes energy drinks)

7.Change your internal dialogue: A bit of a change up from my usual advice, but lately I've noticed more and more athletes engaging in negative self-talk. When you constantly say things like "I stink", or "I'm never going to..(insert athletic goal here), how do you ever expect to succeed? Instead of saying "I'm a lousy dribbler", try "I'm getting better and better at using both my right and left foot to change direction". Or, switch out "I'm not fast enough" for, "My speed is improving every day". Even if it isn't true right away, it will start getting you in the proper frame of mind to make those changes a reality. This probably the biggest training point of all "Got to believe in positive thoughts to create positive actions!"

8.If you can't see it in the mirror, train it!: Stop focusing on all of your "mirror muscles" with lots of bench presses, crunches and biceps curls. The real key to athletic success (and longevity) lies in training everything on the back side of your body. Strengthening your upper and lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves will give your body much more balance and stability. Push-ups, Dips, Pull-ups, squats, lunges, wall sits, plyometric jumps will provide balance. (this is only relevent for high school and above)

9.Sweat the small stuff: If you're not making time to warm-up thoroughly, stretch and foam roll on a regular basis, you're making a huge mistake. Now that the boys are getting older warm-ups represent some of the best ways for athletes to improve performance and reduce injury risk. I for one consider them every bit as important (if not more) than strength training, plyomterics, and speed and agility work. We will have a formal warm-up that the team will be responsible for doing. That is why we need the players to be on time for games as much as possible.

10.Choose whole grains whenever possible: Minimize your intake of foods made with white flour such as white breads, bagels, white pasta and even white rice and potatoes. They bring about rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to subsequent energy crashes. Instead, try and opt for whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and sweet potatoes.

11.Be prepared!: Whether it's forgetting to bring enough water along to practice, or not having any healthy snacks on hand, your lack of preparation is no one's fault but your own. Take some time each evening to set up some nutritious meals and snacks for the next day. Set out your own equipment. Be responsible and accoutable.

12.There are no short cuts: That's exactly why all of this is presented to you in list fashion- so that you can chunk things down and make gradual, consistent efforts towards achieving your goals. We know all about the impatience of youth. Like it or not, though, if you really want these changes to stick, it's going to take you some time.

Enjoy your summer and make sure your prepared for pre season!


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