If you want your kids to get out there and play their best, they need the proper fuel. Watch this video and get the lowdown on exactly what they need with Andrea Benton, a mom of two boys from Raisingboys.TV, and Nadia Vidas, a registered dietitian.
If you need snack ideas, this is the video for you. We all know that kids can be picky about their foods, especially when it comes to the essential ones. Hey, if we had to choose between lettuce and ice cream, we would choose ice cream, too!
But not all healthy snacks for kids need to taste bland. Make sure to mix things up. Try combining some of the less exciting options (stuff like carrots, crackers or nuts), with some options kids might get a little more excited about (pasta, cheese or fruits). And of course, a glass of milk with any of those snacks is the bee’s knees.
Another great thing about these foods is how easy they are to put together. We know that when it’s early in the morning before a game, you don’t have time to come up with an extravagant dish. No sweat! A balanced, healthy pre-game snack doesn’t need to be huge, and it doesn’t need to take hours to prepare. The snack recipes in this video are easy to prepare and easy on the wallet, while still being nutritious. It’s a win-win-win.
One important detail to keep in mind is how much time you’re giving your young athlete to digest before a game. For the best results, eating 1-2 hours prior to game time is the way to go. Some kids might even need a little more time or a little less––it varies from athlete to athlete. A good way to determine how much time your young athlete needs is to test it out at practice. Vary pregame snack times, then ask your young athlete when they felt better.
And now for some snack foods to avoid: fatty, sugary and caffeine-packed products. They’re definitely not good after-school snacks or really for any time of day. Steer clear! These foods tend to cause temporary spikes in blood sugar. Of course, what goes up must come down, and blood sugar is no exception; your young athlete’s levels will plummet once the game begins. So your young athlete might start off feeling great, but once you get to half time, they’re out of energy. Don’t let it happen!
The advantages of competing in college sports are both immediate and lifelong. Participating in college sports provides opportunities to learn, compete and succeed. Student-athletes receive top-notch academic support, quality medical care and regular access to outstanding coaching, facilities and equipment. Student-athletes as a group graduate at higher rates than their peers in the general student body and feel better prepared for life after college.
College-bound student-athletes preparing to enroll in a Division I or Division II school need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center to ensure they have met amateurism standards and are academically prepared for college coursework.
Are you ready to play college sports? Download this brochure to find out.
The most frequently requested and downloaded form is the Student-Athlete Physical Exam / Medical History Form.
There is a new physical form available this year. Please make every effort to fill these out before the season begins. You can download your form below by clicking on the link.
Coaching is all about improvement. If you want to help your players get better, it’s important to always improve your coaching skills, too. That’s why we’re thrilled to bring you these communication tips from the Hardwood Hustle podcast. Check out some of our favorites:
Tip No. 1: “It’s so easy to stay on the surface level with people, but try to make an effort to go deeper with your communication. Get to someone’s background, their goals and passions, because being able to connect on a deep level with someone allows for some of the best communication possible.”
Tip No. 2: “Make sure you are always communicating in your audience’s language. You may need to get right to the point or even slow down, or dive deeply into the ‘why’ behind what you are communicating. Take time to understand their language, and you will be better able to communicate your message.”
Tip No. 3: “Knowledge and communication go hand in hand. Great leaders are always learning, and the more you know about something the better you are able to communicate effectively in that area.”
Tip No. 4: “Take the approach of less is more. Coaches can be guilty of over-communicating in practice, giving our players so many things to work on at once that they have a hard accomplishing any of it. Simplify your communication in practice and try to keep main points to three or less, and see if your players are better able to focus and achieve the main goals for that day’s practice.”
Tip No. 5: “As you prepare to have any difficult conversations with your team, you must approach the situation with a perfect balance of grace and truth. All ‘truth’ may create some tension and a defensive player. All ‘grace’ may lead to a player feeling better but without the actual issue being addressed. Before you address the player, think about how you can blend and balance grace and truth to have the most productive conversation possible.”
Baseball is a relatively low-impact sport that can still cause a broad range of injuries if players aren’t carefully prepared. From pulled muscles in the arms to head injuries, players are at risk every time they take to the field. However, it is possible to protect yourself from the dangers of the game by taking a few necessary precautions.
The following five tips are the best ways to stay safe at a baseball game. Many of them may seem like they are little more than common sense, but they are so common for a reason: they work. Make sure to follow this advice when you take to the field to stay happy, healthy, and able to play baseball another day.
When it comes time to play a pickup game, it’s easy just to ignore your safety gear and jump out on the field. This move is a grave mistake. Safety equipment is designed to protect you against the serious concerns that can occur on the baseball field. Without it, you open yourself to any number of minor or severe issues.
For example, if you don’t wear a helmet when you bat, you run the risk of a huge hit on the head that could knock you unconscious. Even worse, it could cause brain damage or possibly death. Other pieces of safety equipment, like knee pads, are an important way of protecting your legs from serious injury.
2. Take a Break When You’re Tired
Everybody wants to be the hero when they’re out on the field. Pushing yourself a little harder than necessary is part of the fun of playing sports. However, there is a chance you could push yourself just a little too far for your good. For example, pitching an excessive number of innings could put a severe strain on your arm.
That stress could cause serious problems, such as pulled muscles, that could become even more severe later on down the road. Taking a rest when you feel tired is not a shameful thing to do. In fact, it can be an important way of avoiding overworking your body, your muscles, and causing bad issues that would never have occurred otherwise.
3. Always Warm Up Before You Play
Warming up your muscles and lungs before you play baseball is one of the most significant ways of avoiding injury. Sure, it can feel redundant to throw the ball around on the field for 15 minutes before playing. However, it can get your muscles working in a relaxed manner and prepare them for the more challenging experiences that lay ahead.
Warm ups to consider include light jogs, throwing drills, batting practice, stretches, and even sprints. Working your lungs and your body will not only protect you from injury but get your blood flowing. This increased blood flow will boost your level of energy naturally and give you more strength. It will also make more blood available if you do get injured, helping your wounds heal more quickly.
4. Avoid Excessive Contact
While baseball is not a contact sport, there are instances when it may be unavoidable. For example, you may hit slightly into basemen when running or even collide with a teammate when trying to field a ball. These instances may seem comical to those who are watching the game, but they can lead to injuries as severe as concussions when they do occur.
You should also just accept the tag out at home base if the catcher has the ball. Running into the catcher, or even through them, could injure both you and that player. It is also typically frowned upon or even illegal in most leagues. Try to slide around them when at all possible, but if you’re out dead to rights, just accept the tag and avoid the injury.
Another way to prevent contact injuries is to stop sliding when it isn’t necessary. Yes, sliding is a lot of fun and even dramatic, but there’s no need to slide into the home base if you’re in no danger of being thrown out. Sliding can cause a lot of impact on the body when done too often. It can cause scrapes, strains, and even sprains. So keep on your feet unless you can’t avoid it.
5. Stretch Before Playing
Baseball players should perform a series of simple exercises to protect their body from injury while on the field. Just a few of these stretches include:
- Sleeper Stretch – This stretch consists of moving the shoulders and arms in gentle ways to decrease the potential strain on the arms and keep the player from getting injured.
- Serratus Slide – Performing this stretch consists of rotating the shoulder blades up and down, in simple circles, as a way of decreasing tension.
- Rotation Hip Stretch – Bend your knees forward at 90 degrees, spread your feet as far apart as is comfortable, and touch your toes to complete this stretch.
- Pec corner Stretch – Press your throwing shoulder against the corner of a wall and turn your body and head away from the wall as far as you can.
By performing these simple warm-up exercises, the baseball player can prevent serious injuries and keep themselves in great shape. They are also a good way to directly work the body and prepare for the hard experience that lay ahead.
Be safe out there!
Ever heard of a slump? It’s a blanket term to describe an unexplained (and hopefully temporary) decline in athletic performance.
The question is, why do slumps happen? And, better yet, how do we help our young athletes overcome them?
Spotting a Slump
The first step in spotting a slump is determining a young athlete’s average performance level. For statistically-oriented sports like baseball and basketball, this can be measured by tracking stats over time. If there’s a noticeable dip in important stats, you might have a slump.
But just checking the numbers isn’t enough. Why? Because no one is perfect all the time. No matter how good an athlete is, they’re going to have a bad game now and then. Therefore, a superficial look at the causes of the decline should be done. If there is no obvious cause for the drop in performance, it might be a slump.
What Causes a Slump?
There are three major causes of slumps for many young athletes. They are:
- Physical issues – These difficulties include fatigue, minor injuries and lingering illness.
- Changes in an equipment – This could include things like losing string tension on a tennis racket or basketball shoes wearing out. Even a slight change in equipment may alter technique, thereby hurting performance.
- Psychological factors – For example, a particularly poor performance may reduce confidence and increase anxiety, which could lead to a prolonged drop in performance.
How Can We Prevent Slumps?
The best way to reduce the likelihood of a slump is for athletes to listen to their bodies. They need to acknowledge when they’re too tired or don’t feel well enough to play. When they do so, it’s up to us to act immediately. Simply put, young athletes need to work hard and rest hard.
The best way to prevent technologically-related performance slumps is to maintain equipment at its high performance level. For example, tennis rackets should be restrung before their tension changes. Or, if a young basketball player needs new shoes, they should be replaced immediately.
This best way to cure a psychological slump is to set a series of specified goals. As with all goals, these should be specific, realistic and measurable. After all, if your young athlete decides he or she wants to score 100 points in a game this season, it’s likely that they’ll never reach that goal. And if they don’t reach their goal, they might feel even worse about themselves.
By following these recommendations, it will be possible for athletes to minimize the number of slumps they fall into during the competitive season. In addition, for those slumps that do arise, coaches and athletes will have the knowledge and skills to fix them in the shortest, most effective way.
Dr. Jim Taylor is an internationally recognized authority on the psychology of performance in business, sport, and parenting. Dr. Taylor has been a consultant for the United States and Japanese Ski Teams, the United States Tennis Association, and USA Triathlon, and has worked with professional and world-class athletes in tennis, skiing, cycling, triathlon, track and field, swimming, football, golf, baseball, and many other sports. See more of his blogs at www.drjimtaylor.com. If you want to become mentally stronger in your sport, get Jim’s Prime Sport: Psychology of Champion Athletes e-book for free.
A special THANK YOU to the Knights of Columbus for the wonderful breakfast. Since partnering with them the AABC has reached many of the families in our Church and enlightened them to our mission.
I’d like to personally thank all the volunteers and coordinators of this wonderful event. The Santa Breakfast is a special event for us.
Thank You so much and Happy Holidays!
A huge THANK YOU to family and friends who participated in the BW3 AABC Fundraiser! We earned nearly $300 for our student athletes.
Before we headed into Christmas break I had a chance to talk to Principal Franconi about Christmas past, present, and future.
Here are the questions and answers from our last lunch together.
EE: when going to school, what was your favorite thing about recess during the winter months?
PF: let me begin by saying, like today, we were not allowed to throw snowballs at recess like the kids now cannot. I’ve seen our kids building snowmen, making snow angels, and sliding and swinging so that hasn’t changed much. But, my most favorite activity though was playing football still. I loved taking passes and diving in the snow.
EE: what do you like most about the winter months?
DF: The snowfall when it hits the trees and ground looks beautiful. I like spending time inside with the family too. I do a lot of house projects and work away at my honey-do list.
EE: I try and avoid honey do-lists if I can. I try to keep those to a minimum. Speaking of snow what do you do on snow-days?
DF: emails Eddie. I answer lots and lots of emails.
EE: interesting. I catch up on naps, book reading, and tv. Mostly naps though.
Since Christmas Break was just starting I thought the next two questions were poignant.
EE: what do you want for Christmas this year and what will you be doing during your break?
DF: Well Christmas came early for me this year. I was blessed with a daughter named Olivia. That is been the best gift I could get this year. I am extremely happy.
I will be hanging out with my family over break. Guests from out of town…the usual. Just spending time with mom’s and dad’s, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Best thing about the holidays.
EE: When not working on home projects or honey-do lists what do you like to sit and watch?
DF: I like to watch hockey and basketball. Football is usually wrapping up by New Year’s Day. Other than the football playoffs.
EE: speaking of football…what do you do for superbowl and who do you want to see in the game on that Sunday?
DF: I am lame. The Franconi household doesn’t do much. He and I laughed at the comment.
EE: what do you mean lame?
DF: I watch the game by myself and order pizza. It’s rather boring. I still have to go to school the next day, so nothing crazy. I would think the best matchup would be the patriots versus the cowboys.
EE: the cowboys? Are they even in contention? I thought they were losing without Romo playing.
DF: No no no. they are at the top of their division. I think they have the same record as the patriots.
As of 12/24 they are sharing a 13-2 season like Tom Brady and company.
EE: no kidding…it might happen then. You could get your wish. You should come and hang out in my nest for Super bowl Sunday. We make more than pizza. We get all kinds of snacks going. Not boring in the nest.
EE: back to the Christmas questions. What is your favorite Christmas carol and movie?
DF: hmm, Christmas carol? Is there a sleigh ride song?
We looked at each other and started laughing again. I said, “I know there is a song talking about a sleigh ride, but not sure if that is the title. Let’s ask Siri! Siri said that The Ronettes did a song called Sleigh Ride.
EE: my most favorite song is O Holy Night. I like the way Chloe Agnew sings it the best, but I also like Harry’s, Michael’s and Mariah’s version too.
DF: oh, yeah that is a good one too. Pentatonix just did it. I watched their video the other day.
EE: pentatonix? What’s that? I think I had to drink that after I got sick eating those bad worms last time we spoke. I was sick for a week.
DF: to change subjects on that note, my favorite movie has to be Elf. What movie do I dare ask is yours Eddie?
EE: let me ponder that for a few moments. I could choose the obvious ones like rudolph, frosty, bad santa…lol. Bad Santa might ruffle a few feathers heh heh. I guess my favorite one is Scrooged. Classic Bill Murray based on the Charles Dickens classic tale.
EE: How about a favorite Christmas beverage? Hot cocoa, egg nog, etc.? what warms you up?
DF: Coffee does it for me. What about you Eddie?
EE: I prefer peppermint mocha. Sprinkled with chocolate pieces on my whip cream. Extra shot of whatever. Or I like hot cocoa with a little shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
DF: Eddie, that is really specific. Do you get those at Starbucks on the way in of dropping the kids at school?
EE: mocha yes. Hot cocoa with baileys no. it is wrong to drink and fly.
Last question and I will let you go until my spring break round of questions. I am sure you have seen Christmas Vacation. When setting up your Christmas lights do you do simple and classic or Clark Griswold?
DF: laughing at the reference and saying a line from the movie, “I dedicate this house to the Griswold Family Christmas.” I am simple and classic Eddie. That is way too much work for the Griswold style.
After I wrote down my last answer we shared a Christmas cookie and clinked our glasses and said cheers to a new year. He and I would not be seeing each other until school resumed.