Nov 15

Preparing For Competitive Play

Whether hockey, football, baseball, basketball, tennis, track and field or any number of other competitive sports or activities proper physical preparation is key to reducing the chance of sport injuries.

Here are some simple steps that will help you prepare:

  • Rest: A well rested body and mind will enable you to perform better. If possible, try to get an extra hour of sleep prior to game day.
  • Hydrate: Consuming at least 32 ounces of water a day keeps the body well hydrated. During play, drink plenty of water, or optionally sports drinks, to replace lost fluids during physical exertion. This is especially important in warm and humid environments were dehydration can be accelerated leading to cramps and other muscular issues. For any athlete, minimizing your fluid loss to not more than 2% of your body weight is a good rule. At that 2% body loss, you’ll start to see increased fatigue, reduced endurance, the beginnings of heat illness and declining motivation. The good news is that rehydrating will reverse all these problems.
  • Diet: A healthy diet keeps the body and mind in top physical readiness. Stay away from junk foods. On game day eat plenty of carbohydrates to provide energy. Avoid high fiber foods. Eat a snack of fresh fruit prior to the game or activity.
  • Exercise: Run or practice your sport for a minimum of 1 hour a day. A good exercise route will assist in providing you with higher endurance and reduces risk of injury.
  • Stretch: Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps. Warm up by stretching prior to the game or activity to reduce the chance of injury.