The off-season is right around the corner. Are you ready to get better, stronger, faster, more confident?
What are you willing to do to reach the next level?
What is YOUR next level?
- Are you a bench player that wants to play more next year?
- Did you come off the bench this year and want to be a starter next year?
- Are you a freshman that wants to play varsity next year?
At Premier Hoops, we understand the importance of setting and meeting goals. Our Strength and Conditioning Director and co-founder of MG Lifestyle Solutions, Ilya Gluskin (click here for his bio), has provided basic tips for our players on off-season nutrition and conditioning. We believe that endurance and proper diet are significant factors in reaching the next level!
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5 Basic Nutrition Tips
- 1. Hydration! Proper hydration is the back bone to adequate nutrition and performance. Being in a state of dehydration impedes performance by decreasing nutrient delivery, heat regulation, joint integrity and much more. Effective hydration starts 24 hours prior to performance.
- 2. Replenish energy stores (eat) after training. This means that you should consume a balanced meal after your training session to help with muscular recover and growth. Ideally you have about a 2 hour window to replenish in order to optimize your training session.
- 3. Avoid foods loaded with sugar. As much as we all love our sweets, they supply us little nutritional value. They typically spike our blood glucose levels and give us a quick boost of energy that proportionally fades away leaving us in a deprived state. Try eating more fruits that have natural sugars as well as a diverse mixture of vitamins.
- 4. Don’t skip breakfast. I’m sure you have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In some ways it is, but really all that matters is that you have a meal in the morning when you wake up. This not only gives your energy to tackle your morning activities, but it also gets your metabolism fired up and working. The sooner you make this happen by introducing food into your body the more efficient you will be in digesting and utilizing the food for energy.
- 5. Avoid training right after a meal. Give your body anywhere from 30-45 minutes to digest a meal before training. This allows for proper digestion to take place providing your muscles the energy needed to perform at your maximal capacity. Not allowing this process to take place will leave your stomach full of undigested food during your training depriving your muscles of their much needed fuel source. This happens due to a central nervous system reaction that shunts blood away from your major organs toward your muscles to aide in muscle activity.
5 Basic Training Tips
- 1. Goals! After your season is over it is time to sit down and reevaluate your season and decide what you plan to improve for the following season. Make a list of goals with a timeline and plan of action. Once this is accomplished attain the resources necessary to make these goals a reality.
- 2. Improve your endurance. The off season is a great time to improve your cardiovascular endurance. Once the next season starts it is too late to get “in shape” for the season. When training endurance don’t automatically think run 10 miles. Instead think more specific to your sport. Think about the type of movements required during a basketball game. Typically there are frequent changes of direction accompanied with a high intensity sprint down the court. So ask yourself is a 10 mile run really that applicable for my sport? Instead try running 100 yard sprint, change of direction drills, and plyometric drills such as box jumps. This being said long duration cardiovascular exercise is still a great training method to build general cardiac fitness.
- 3. Strengthening. The off season is the best time to really get stronger. The regular season makes it very difficult to apply an adequate strength training program. The season is more appropriate for maintenance and not improvement. Becoming stronger can be accomplished in many using a variety of techniques. There are many different suggestions and guide lines for strengthening different age groups. However, the most important aspect to any training program is safety. Make sure that you have had the proper education and training prior to starting a strength training program. A few basic exercises that are safe for all ages are: Air squats, push-up, and pull-ups. Since you are only using your own body weight there is a reduced risk for injury as long as you maintain proper form. Mix these three exercises within your 100 yard sprints to increase the intensity and put your body to the test. Remember that in order for performance adaptation to take place your body must experience a high enough stressor.
- 4. Practice skills after cardio or muscular training. This strategy really puts your skills and endurance to the test. Practicing your skill such as shooting and dribbling at the end of your training session requires you to focus and concentrate on a different level similar to a 4th quarter situation when your body is fatigued.
- 5. Stretching. Mobility is a key factor in performance and injury prevention. It is important to warm-up your body and muscles prior to training. Also include static stretching after your training to prevent muscle soreness and improve your tissue extensibility. Overall it is important to maintain a proper balance in muscle length, stability and mobility. To achieve permanent muscle length change it is recommended that each stretch should be held for at least 30 seconds for 2-3 sets. This should be done after each training session or game.