Are you or do you know a high school athlete looking to make a career out of their favorite sport? If so, this information is perfect for you. I’ve put together a list of some of the most important things that I’ve seen help professional athletes succeed in their lives and wanted to share those things with you. I may be a former high school and college football coach, but these tips aren’t just for football players. They can be beneficial for any sport. Softball, soccer, tennis, golf, wrestling, you name it. If you want to improve your skills and maybe even go to college playing the sport you love, then these five tips are critical to get you there! Here’s what you need to know:
1. Drink Enough Water
First things first, you have got to be drinking enough water. Water is essential to keeping your body and brain healthy and working right. You need both to be in tip-top shape if you want to succeed. Not only is staying hydrated essential to living a healthy lifestyle and keeping your body in good condition, but maintaining good grades is also really important, especially when you get into college (yes, you still have to go to classes and get good grades as a college athlete). Everyone’s necessary water levels are different, but on average you should be drinking at least 100 ounces a day. If you’re in the 165 lbs and over range, you should be drinking as much as 120 ounces daily, or if you’re an athlete that has to bulk up for defense positions like a lineman, don’t shy away from drinking 140 ounces of water every day.
2. Eat REAL Food
As an athlete, you’ll have a lot of energy and power-foods aimed at you all the time. Despite what they claim to do for you, eating REAL food is the best option! It doesn’t matter if it’s easier to eat protein bars and drink protein shakes throughout the day to get your nutrients since when has anything with being an athlete come easy? One of the best ways to make sure you’re getting enough food is to meal plan and meal prep: incorporate chicken, beef, rice, vegetables, and potatoes into a quick and easy meal plan you can take with you. That way you can have a full and healthy meal after workouts and practices so you can keep building strength. You should also be limiting unnecessary sugar intake, too. Try to avoid drinking sports drinks like Powerade or eating sugary snacks too often.
3. Prioritize Strength Over Weight
You need to focus on building your strength rather than bulking up. The stronger you make yourself, the easier it is for that weight to come. You should be prioritizing the weight on your squat rack more than the weight you see on the scale, but in order to gain either you need to be increasing your calorie intake.
If you want to make things easier and more efficient for yourself, you’ve got to become comfortable with doing the same things over and over. Setting up a good routine is crucial for sticking to your goals and getting real results. Some of the world’s most successful people have trademarked repetition in their daily lives from wearing the same style of clothes to save time from having to decide on what to wear to eating the same meals every day. Incorporating things like this into your life will save you time and energy to dedicate to bettering yourself as an athlete.
5. You MUST Eat
Being a high school athlete means that you probably don’t have a whole lot of free time. Since you’re often at school, at practice, or you might even have a part-time job, it can be hard to find time to eat. Or you might get up early in the mornings and skip breakfast so you aren’t late to first period. Skipping meals or not setting time aside to get enough food is a terrible mistake that many young athletes make. Your body is a machine that needs fuel to run. To prevent yourself from physically burning out, you need to be making PLENTY of time to get all the food you need. Making a meal plan and meal prepping is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re never hungry, especially when you need it most!
What makes me qualified to give this kind of advice, you might ask. Well, I’ve coached high school and college football for over 10 years, so I’ve learned a thing or two about what makes some of the best athletes so successful. I also cater and design meal plans and meal advice in 26 countries worldwide, and work with several professional athletes like Michael Pierce, Ryan Anderson, and Tyler Long, among others.
In my experience, these are some of the things I’ve found to be the most basic and fundamental aspects of a strong athlete able to take their career past the high school skill-level and into their future.
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