Football practice can be physically and mentally draining. It is a time to ready for the next opponent, tighten up your fundamentals and work on conditioning. Often, practice is harder than the game itself, so as to ensure optimum performance when it counts. Attention to several key things will prepare you to get the most out of practice.
Get mentally ready by going over what you need to improve on. For example, if you are a running back, do you have issues with patience and not waiting for your blocks to set up? Also, clear your mind of any extraneous clutter that could prove distracting. Don't worry about a chemistry problem or the girl you want to ask out on the big date. Use the two or three hours to focus solely on the task at hand.
Drink plenty of water. This is always important when preparing for strenuous physical activity, but during the hotter months, it is even more vital for football players. Over the years, there have been several heat-related deaths, even in the NFL. For every calorie you burn, you need one milliliter of water to replace it. Make it a habit to carry around a bottle of water all day, and stopping by every water fountain you pass, even if you are not thirsty.
A good diet for a football player is rich in protein and complex carbohydrates for muscle development. The more fatigued your muscles are, the more prone you will be to injury. Make sure that you have a well-rounded diet that is free from fatty junk foods. In addition to injury protection, good foods will also improve your overall physical fitness, physique and stamina.
Always make sure that you have all the proper equipment needed to take to the practice field. It may be tempting to wing it since it's practice and not an actual game, but the right equipment, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can protect you from injury. Also, it's important to tell the trainers and coaches if anything doesn't fit or feel right.
Be on time. If you are tardy, not only will you draw the ire of your coach and get punished, but you will also fail to get the most out of practice. This can affect team chemistry down the road, especially if you are deemed a leader or captain. In some circumstances, being late could also cut into your playing time during the games. Show up early and set a good example.
- Photo Credit Football image by Richard McGuirk from Fotolia.com
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