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Tag Archive for lacrosse

Build A Better Athlete: Maximize your gains after you train

From: ESPNHS

As part of ESPN’s Build A Better Athlete series, Sarah Snyder, coordinator of sports nutrition at University of Florida, has nutritious post-workout shake recipes that will help athletes maximize their muscle repair and growth.

“Right after a workout, the muscle-building and repair process begins. The longer you wait to take in nutrients, the longer it will take your body to absorb them and your window for recovery closes.

Each recovery smoothie recipe below includes some sort of protein, whether it’s yogurt, milk or whey protein. Protein repairs muscle tissue damage and stimulates growth after a workout. Whey protein absorbs in your system quickly, while casein protein continues the process.

The other key ingredients you need in your post-workout shake are carbohydrates. The sugar you get from chocolate milk or cherry juice are two good examples of carbohydrates.

Anything with a high fat content in the shake isn’t ideal because it takes longer to break down. So try not to go overboard on the peanut butter or use ice cream.

 POST-WORKOUT SHAKE RECIPES

Strawberry Banana Orange Smoothie
1 cup Greek yogurt for protein and probiotics
8 oz. of orange juice for Vitamin C
1/2 banana for potassium
1/2 cup of strawberries for Vitamin C and fiber

Very Berry Smoothie
1 cup Greek yogurt
8 oz. skim milk
1/4 cup frozen blackberries for antioxidants
1/4 cup frozen blueberries for antioxidants
1/2 frozen strawberries for Vitamin C and some fiber

Chocolate Banana Shake
8 oz. low-fat chocolate milk
1/2 frozen banana
1 scoop of 100 percent chocolate whey protein
Ice

Strawberry Banana Shake
1 scoop of 100 percent vanilla whey protein
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 frozen banana
1-2 tsp. of honey
8 oz. of orange juice or skim milk

A shake is ideal for athletes after their workouts because it will digest quickly and will get nutrients in their systems right away.”

Share your recipes here.

 

 

 

Hydration is Essential to Athletic Performance

From http://sportscoachhub.com/

“If you have teenagers, you know that they’re probably the most hydrated age group on the planet. For some, drinking water becomes almost a fetish and certainly is a common teen affectation.

“Younger kids, however, will drink when they’re thirsty – sometimes not until they’re REALLY thirsty. They dutifully bring their water or sports drink bottle to practice and to games but rarely bother to use it. As soon it gets just a little bit tepid, they’ll have nothing to do with it.

 

“Not that you need one more thing to think about, but try to monitor how much they’re drinking during practice and games. With the heat of summer on the way, they’re going to lose more water through sweat and physical activity and need to replenish themselves.

“Dehydration is very common among kids playing youth sports, and they need to be aware of the importance of consuming fluids to keep themselves alert. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, common symptoms of moderate dehydration include headache and lightheadedness as well as sleepiness and fatigue, all of which puts the player at risk of suffering a painful injury through not being sharp. They won’t see that baseball headed toward them, for example, or will twist an ankle from running awkwardly because they’re sluggish.

“Symptoms of severe dehydration can include rapid heartbeat and breathing, drop in blood pressure, among other severe concerns, all of which are very preventable with a bit of parental nudging to drink while on the bench.

“Coaches and parents should know – and watch for – symptoms of dehydration. We also need to know the basics of how to treat other common youth sports injuries. Which is why I was happy to find a new website from Safe Kids USA that offers some basic tutorials and instruction to help us prepare for safety concerns ranging from dehydration and heat illness to concussions. Check it out.”

What boys can learn from girls’ lacrosse.

A men’s lacrosse game may attract larger crowds but listen up, boys – there is a lot that can be learned from girls’ lacrosse and by no means should the female version of the game be ignored or downplayed.  There are some key differences between boys and girls lacrosse – from the physicality allowed to the sticks used to the rules enforced – that have changed the way girls are playing the game…and in a good way.

To begin with, girls’ lacrosse is a purer form of the game, with a lineage closer to the sport’s early history.  In the female version of the game, players abide by rules that are closer to the original regulations, with being “out of bounds” only recently resulting in a stoppage of play.

The sticks used in girls’ lacrosse have a shallower pocket than the sticks boys use in their games.  This lack of pocket depth forces girls to be more aware of where the ball is, since the ball is more likely to fall out of a shallow pocket.  For this same reason, girls also must be aware of their body positioning, grip placement, and stick location at all times since any false movement could mean loss of the ball.  From this, boys can see how increased awareness makes girls more attentive to the physical aspect of the competition and can learn to increase focus on the mechanics of the game.

Girls are also experts at defensive positioning.  Much like in basketball, girls’ lacrosse players are not permitted to openly check each other so girls don’t have the option of knocking another player out of position.  Instead, girls are always aware of their location and must be precise about their positioning.  If boys can add this additional consciousness to their game, they would be able to improve their method of body-checking while remaining in proper position to defend their goal as necessary.

Teamwork is also hyper-important in girls’ lacrosse.  In the girls’ game, each player needs to always be aware of their position on the field and communication plays a huge role in that.  When the whistle is blown to stop the game, girls are not permitted to move.  Therefore, they must think ahead when they see a ball going out-of-bounds.  It can be easier to beat someone one-on-one without the physicality allowed in boy’s lacrosse, so girls rely on their teammates to let them know when their competitors are in their area so they can make the moves necessary to retain ball possession.  Enhancing team communication for boys’ lacrosse can make a team stronger and more primed on both the offensive and defensive zones of the field.

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So What Do you Eat Before You Play?

Here are some youth sports nutrition tips from the JustMommies blog…

Offering high – carbohydrate foods (also called complex carbohydrates) versus high protein and fatty foods two to three hours before a game is very important to maintain the energy needed for them. Some examples of high-carbohydrate foods are foods such as pastas, breads and cereal which are digested quicker than high-protein and fatty foods. Unfortunately, most children, and adults, forget just how important nutrition is to good health and athletic performance.

Fruit is actually an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fluids and can be eaten one to two hours before a sporting event.  My children enjoy raw, dried and canned fruits or fruit juice before we head out to a game.

Fluids are extremely important, before, during and after a game and my children have discovered that staying hydrated makes for a better performance.  For elementary and middle-school aged children, eight ounces of water before, during and after the sporting event is extremely important, especially if the outdoor temperatures are high. During a game, athletes should be allowed to take fluid breaks when needed to maintain their best and safest performance, and of course, caffeinated and carbonated beverages are not recommended.

If your child tires easily in practice and appears irritable, and their performance suddenly declines, dehydration may be the cause. The following are more signs that your child is dehydrated:

  • Dry lips and tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Bright colored or dark urine or urine with a strong odor
  • Infrequent urination
  • Apathy or lack of energy
  • Thirst

So pack up those water bottles and sport drinks (and don’t forget the fruit) and head out after a healthy meal full of high-carbohydrates to enjoy your child’s sporting activity.

SO WHAT ARE YOU EATING BEFORE YOU PLAY? Share your tips here.

Read more: http://www.justmommies.com/articles/sports-nutrition-tips.shtml#ixzz1qQvhyCe4

What Makes a Great Lacrosse Player?

We’ve all seen them – the truly great players we look for on TV, buy tickets to watch perform, or wait on line to get autographs from. But how do great players actually become great players?

In lacrosse, as with other sports, some players are born with an upper hand. Genetics undoubtedly play a big part in the skill level of any athlete, with every kid being pre-disposed to a certain level of capability. For example, a child whose parents were both top-notch athletes probably has a better chance of inheriting prowess for the playing field.

But genes are far from the sole factor in determining who will grow to become a standout performer. There are also some key personality traits that most great lacrosse players share, including competitiveness, drive, and a focus on accomplishment.

Great players are dedicated to a training regimen. Not only do they make time to practice on their own, but they also utilize proper technique at all times, so it becomes a habit.

In addition, exposure to high-end training and as large a competition pool as possible can help a talented player become even better. Particularly when they’re young, children who get the opportunity to play a range of different sports against excellent opponents will progress much more rapidly. A healthy dose of advanced competition drives players who are already motivated to learn more, play harder, and practice longer.

Another significant factor that’s often overlooked is zeal for the game. No matter how much natural talent a child has, and now matter how exceptional the quality of their training, if they don’t love lacrosse, they ultimately won’t excel. Instead, they’ll be better off simply looking for another sport in which they’re more interested. Because if there’s a single trait literally every great lacrosse player possesses, it’s a true passion for the sport.

 

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Girls Lacrosse Sticks: The Vanishing Art of Stick Tuning

Buying a new stick is like getting a new baseball mitt – it needs to be properly broken in before it can be used effectively. Most players and parents don’t realize this, and we see many “tennis racquets” – new or restrung sticks that haven’t been adjusted – in our training sessions. The pocket of a girls stick must be adjusted to make it easier to catch, cradle, and throw while also conforming to the rules – primarily that the ball, when placed in the pocket of a stick held horizontally, must show slightly above the top of the stick’s sidewall.

The complexity of stick adjustment depends on how the stick was initially strung. Manufacturers string sticks differently, and not always to the player’s advantage. We always recommend purchasing an unstrung head, and then having a qualified lacrosse shop string it. The cost differential for this service is minimal, and the product is typically higher quality. You can usually even select customized colors for your strings.

The shooting strings, which run across the top of the head and are usually different in color than the rest of the pocket, need to be regularly tuned. These strings are made of nylon, so they stretch over time and must be monitored for maximum performance. Also of note, we’ve actually seen new sticks sold without shooting strings – or with these strings left untied at the ends. Clearly, some manufacturers don’t hire knowledgeable people to string their sticks.

A properly-tuned stick enables a player to catch more easily, dodge more effectively, and shoot more accurately. Sometimes, players aren’t aware their sticks are “out-of-tune,” and compensate by altering their throwing motion. Sadly, many recreational and middle school coaches are unfamiliar with proper stick adjustment, so girls who begin playing in third or fourth grade can easily develop poor throwing and shooting habits just as they’re beginning to learn the sport.

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