Tag Archives: athletes

Challenges Athletes Face When They Retire

Facing retirement from your sporting career can be tough, but knowing what to expect can make the transition easier. Here, we highlight the challenges that athletes may face when they finish competing.

All athletes have to face the reality that one day their sporting careers will end and they will have to begin a new chapter in their lives. Some may reach retirement sooner than others – New Zealand’s Julie Brougham was still competing in dressage at last year’s Olympic Games Rio 2016 at the age of 62 – but eventually every athlete will have to call it a day. The transition into a post-sport life isn’t always easy, but you can make sure you’re prepared for the transition by reading about the challenges that you may be facing…

1. Loss of structure
As an athlete, you are used to following a rigid training schedule. While at first it may seem liberating not having to get up and train every day, the lack of a strict routine can often leave you feeling lost. If you’re used to having things done for you by coaches or members of your entourage, then planning your own life and even carrying out simple tasks can often be difficult. To overcome this, try building some structure into your regular day by creating a schedule – even if it includes nothing more than eating breakfast and doing some laundry, it will help give you some goals for the day.

Read the full post here.

5 Nutrition Tips for Athletes

“When you exercise hard for 90 minutes or more, especially if you’re doing something at high intensity that takes a lot of endurance, you need a diet that can help you perform at your peak and recover quickly afterward.

These five guidelines will help.

1. Load Up on Carbohydrates

Carbs are an athlete’s main fuel. Your body changes them to glucose, a form of sugar, and stores it in your muscles as glycogen.

When you exercise, your body changes glycogen into energy. If you exercise for under 90 minutes, you have enough glycogen in your muscles, even for high-intensity activities. But if your workout is longer than that, use these strategies:

“Carbohydrate loading for 3 or 4 days before an event can help top up your glycogen stores,” says sports dietitian Joy Dubost, PhD.

Eat a diet that gets about 70% of its calories from carbohydrates, including breads, cereals, pasta, fruit, and vegetables, to achieve maximum carbohydrate storage.

On the day of a big event, eat your last meal 3 to 4 hours before exercising, to give your stomach time to empty.
Avoid eating sugary or starchy foods within 30 minutes of starting an activity; they can speed up dehydration.
Replenish carbs, minerals, and water during long exercise sessions. Eat a snack and drink fluid every 15 to 20 minutes. Refined carbohydrates (with sugar or flour) pass quickly into the bloodstream, where they fuel working muscles. Many athletes prefer sports bars, sports drinks, or gels, since they’re so convenient. But fruit and fruit juice are also excellent choices.”

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The Simple Diet for Athletes

Here’s what you need to know:

* This four-stage plan takes care of the big dietary issues first, then narrows things down according to the athlete’s needs and goals.

* The first step is removing the obvious junk getting in your way.

* “Pretend health foods” make fat loss harder in spite of their health claims.

* Although controversial, the vast majority of people lose body fat when they remove wheat, milk and fruit juice from their diets and replace them with better choices.

* Choose foundational supplements that improve your workout performance and help you recover faster. Everything else is based on filling individual gaps and needs.

* Losing fat and fueling hardcore workouts doesn’t have to involve counting calories. Keep it simple and fine-tune as needed.”

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5 Trends That Are Driving the Business of Sports

““What’s the difference between a customer and a fan?” asked Vivek Ranadivé, leader of the ownership group of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, during the keynote kickoff to Stanford GSB’s inaugural Sports Innovation Conference, held in early April. “Fans will paint their face purple, fans will evangelize. … Every other CEO in every business is dying to be in our position — they’re dying to have fans.”

While fan passion is as old as sport itself, leagues and franchises are now using cutting-edge technology not just to build winning teams but also to capitalize on the ardor of their customer base to grow another revenue source — corporate sponsorships. Here are a few of the business trends that emerged from the April conference.

Big data is changing basketball management — and the game itself
More than a decade ago, the Oakland A’s Major League Baseball team (and the book and movie Moneyball) popularized the notion of using statistics with predictive modeling to build a winning team. Teams in the NBA, such as the San Antonio Spurs, have similarly used big data sets to help owners and coaches recruit players and execute game plans. But the 2013-2014 NBA season is the first for all teams to have SportVU tracking, a system of six cameras in each arena that measures the movements of the ball and every player on the court, generating an entire database of performance information. “This is the first year we have more data than we can analyze,” said Ranadivé, noting that more data had been generated this season than in the league’s previous 67-year history.

The data are changing the way the game is played, shifting emphasis from how many total points a player scores to measures of player efficiency, productivity per touch, and defensive effectiveness. “It has been hard, historically, to quantify defense,” said Brian Kopp, senior vice president of STATS, the company that developed SportVU player tracking. “Now we have four camera views helping you do that.” In addition, the data have influenced the types of shots players take on the court.”

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10 Ways Television Has Changed Sports

“In the stands, a baseball game is about hot dogs, foam hands and soft ice cream that you eat out of a plastic baseball cap. Oh, and there are some guys trying to hit a twine-wrapped cork with a stick way down there on a field. When they do, you cheer or boo.

But on television, it’s another story — you watch from the batter’s eyes as the pitcher shakes off one sign, then another, then nods. He spits once, delivers, and you can see the curveball’s arc. The batter swings and misses. And then it’s time for commercials.

Television hasn’t done much to baseball, other than making it more up close and personal — a story instead of a backdrop for a sunny summer’s eve. Other sports have followed similar televised trajectories. Football is full of color, cheerleaders and end-zone dances — all of which you might miss without television.

But what about those pesky TV timeouts? And instant replay? And changing golf’s match play to stroke play?

For better or worse, all of these are due to television. So how else has TV changed the sports we love? And how has TV helped to create these very sports? Keep reading to find out.

Top Five Sports Myths

You might say that in the age of internet, how can it be possible for myths to still exist. Despite the widespread access to information through tech gadgets such as smartphones and computers, you would think that myths won’t have a standing chance. But they do! If you’re a sports fan or a sports person yourself, you will be surprised at the following five sports myths that a lot of people still believe.

1. Athletes are overpaid.

Sure, there are some athletes like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer that charge exorbitant yearly fees in the range of tens of millions but they’re outliers. The majority of people that have dedicated their professional lives to sports don’t earn a lot. As a matter of fact, a lot of athletes work a second job to be able to pay to be in sports.

2. College athletes are provided full scholarships.
This maybe true if you belong to the ninety-ninth percentile, you’re not guaranteed a full scholarship covering all four years of your tuition. Even those that get the so-called full scholarship, have to pay for their books, living and food costs as well as sports gear. Again, college athletes are forced to work besides putting long hours into training to be able to pay for these expenses.

3. Sports figures are either heroes or villains.
When sports figures are written about in the news media, they’re pigeonholed into extreme types, a hero or a villain. Oftentimes, what’s written about them lacks depth, chase sensationalism, and don’t provide the full picture. Moreover, sports figures have no privacy so that if an ordinary person makes a mistake in his life his life doesn’t get put on display but when a popular sports personality does the same thing suddenly he is disgraced. In other words, sports figures live their lives under a lot of scrutiny and celebrity gossip magazines love rumours of their notoriety.

4. Gatorade-like drinks are essential to hydration during sports.
Firstly, whatever happened to drinking good old water? No, your hydrations don’t have be colorful and they don’t need to have fancy nutrients in them. Just drink plenty of water and you’ll be good to go. Sports drinks that contain electrolytes may serve well for those training for longer than sixty minutes at a stretch and are worried about the essential mineral levels in their bodies. This doesn’t mean that you should completely give up water and switch to Gatorade-like drinks.

5. College sports are covered when they suffer injuries.
Contrary to popular belief, college athletes are not provided with health insurance or extended healthcare. If a college athlete sustains career-ending injury, he will have to rely on his personal medical insurance to cover costs. They would also have to find an alternative career path now that they’re physically unable to continue playing sports.

8 Signs Of Being A Good Sports Parent

Mother with children (6-10) dressed in soccer uniforms

“As parents, you probably get a lot of feedback from your child after practices and games. How hot it was, how hard the drills were, how he doesn’t understand the new offense yet, or how she doesn’t like her coach.

I’ve had 21 years worth of youth sports commentary and I know that complaining and venting, as well as, “Hey Mom and Dad, guess what I did in practice today?” are to be expected from kids in sports.

But mixed in with the frustrations, complaints, and pronouncements, I’m listening for the really important stuff. These are the things I really want to hear my kids say as they play sports:

1. “I am having fun!”
I don’t care how old your child is–8 or 18–if he or she does not enjoy playing, even through the hard work, then it may be time to ask the question, “Would you rather find another activity?””

Read the full post here.

How Can Coaches Prevent Sports Injuries?

Oftentimes athletes are under so much pressure to perform that they overlook risks for sports injuries that are staring them in the face. Athletes are also expected to be tough and not complain about the physical ordeal they go through in training and on the field. There are two important elements missing in today’s sports. The first is sports injury education and the second is a safe environment in which athletes can express their fears and share their pain with their coaches without the fear of judgement. This is easier said than done because the coach would have to undo the decades of macho culture that is a part and parcel of sports today.

Coaches can have a great impact on the likelihood of athletes suffering from sports injuries. Here are three ways coaches can prevent sports injuries:

1. Teaching athletes about sports injuries.
Having the right information about sports-related injuries will empower athletes and enable them to have more control over potential risks. Here are the basics every athlete should be taught: wearing the right sports equipment, warming up, cooling down and getting enough rest. But what’s even more important is to know the repercussions of sports injuries. Injuries on the field are not always minor ones like scratches and sprains. They can result in debilitating conditions and even fatalities. Coaches must provide period in-class training sessions on the risks involved in their particular sport, the short-term and long-term effects of the injuries, and ways to prevent them.

2. Create a safe space with no-judgement.
This will need more work than it seems at first glance. You must plan and strategize to accomplish creating an environment where athletes can talk about what they may see as weakness and defeat. You can start each day by allowing every athlete to talk about how their bodies feel and what kind of challenges they faced in the previous session relating to sports injuries. Create pairs within the team so that athletes can look after each other. This is great for team bonding and and will create an in-house rehabilitation team that will become more effective over time. Lastly, reward members that are able to pinpoint any risks of sports injuries like wearing improper gear, not enough warm up or cool down, etc.

3. Manage stress related to the sport.
There is a widespread misbelief that injuries can only be physical. We tend not to give any attention to the injuries of our psyche and this happens more on the field than off the field. Just as it is important for athletes to be fit physically so it is crucial for them to have optimum mental health. For this, coaches must listen to the athletes, discourage any form of bullying and encourage practices that are known to de-stress such as meditation, deep breathing, etc.

Bonus Tip:

Check out this link from Physical Therapy Aide for 105 resources for sports-injury recovery:

http://www.physicaltherapyaide.org/sports-injury-recovery/

Supporting Student Athletes in Academia

It all begins in ninth grade
High school student-athletes share many of the concerns of other college-bound students. They also have distinctive concerns that require additional counselor advice and support, whether they hope to win college admission and scholarships with their athletic ability or just want to play on a college team.

What’s special about counseling student-athletes?
The involvement and influence of coaches (high school and college) in the student’s college search and application process

Application timeline differences

Academic preparation requirements that include national athletic association requirements in addition to high school graduation requirements

The counselor’s role
Your number one role is to provide information to all students about the academic requirements for high school graduation, college admission and athletic participation. At the beginning of each academic year, provide the coaches of each sport with the most up-to-date information from the three largest athletic conferences — National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). Provide additional college application information as appropriate.”

Read the full post here.

Depression in Athletes

“Depression is a mental health disorder that interferes with the physical and psychological well-being of an individual. Athletes are at risk for depression–high pressure sporting events, personal and team expectations and individual disposition may increase bouts of depression in susceptible athletes. Identification and treatment of depression in athletes helps relieve symptoms and decrease the depression.
Depression and Athletes

One in ten Americans experience depression, according to the National Institute of Health. Genetics and external stresses are common causes of depression. Regardless of how physically fit an athlete is, genetics or chemical imbalances may influence the development of depression. Individual and personal sports create a high pressure environment that focuses on winning and achieving progress. Setbacks, whether because of a loss or an injury, may challenge an athlete’s esteem and feelings of self worth and contribute to the development of depression.”

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