Not only does training and recovery ensure top performance on game day, but Lacrosse athletes train all week to prepare for game day and to perform at the top level. The team is only as good as the individual players, and it is up to the athletes to ensure they are taking the proper steps and prepping their bodies throughout the week leading up to the big day. To help you along the way, True Lacrosse directors and coaches put together helpful before and after practice do’s and don’ts for lacrosse athletes.
DO: eat and hydrate
Your body needs fuel to perform, and that fuel comes from proper nutrition and hydration. Even if you aren’t hungry, it is important to eat a small snack. This way, you have calories to burn throughout your training session. When it comes to hydration, water is your best friend. If you plan to drink a bottle of water an hour before your practice, it’s too late. Be sure to begin hydration a couple of days before your practice or game.
DON’T: drink soda or sugary drinks
While hydration is a key factor in maintaining an optimal performance, you need to ensure that you’re hydrating with the proper fluids. Sugary drinks like Gatorade or sodas are going to have a negative effect on hydration and dehydrate you. Save the Gatorade for after practice when you need to replenish your electrolytes.
DO: static stretch and roll out
You may not feel like you need to stretch, but you’ll be thankful as your career progresses. Take time after practice to properly cool down your muscles. Take the time to static stretch and roll out with a foam roller. The slower and longer you roll out the knots in your muscles, the better. Remember, consistency is important, so be sure to incorporate these into your post-practice routine.
DON’T: Stay on your feet the rest of the day
It is up to you to give your body the best opportunity to rebuild itself after training, and recovery is crucial to improving your athletic performance. Recovery also includes proper nutrition, getting enough rest and sleep will help you perform the following day. In fact, your ability to perform an athletic skill significantly improves the day after getting a good night’s sleep lowers your risk of injury and increases your chance of a long, healthy career. So go stretch, drink some water, eat your veggies, and sleep well.