Nutrition is an aspect of training that is overlooked by so many athletes. They think if they train hard results will speak for themselves. The results speak for themselves when you train hard and eat smart! Below you will find great sources of nutrients, meal and snack ideas and what to eat before and after games or events. This is by no means a one size fits all, but it is a great starting point.
Sources of Nutrients
Grass fed beef, organic chicken breast, omega three enriched cage free eggs, organic pork tenderloin, wild caught pacific salmon, organic turkey breast, wild caught tuna, plain Greek yogurt, dairy milk, organic lean ground turkey, organic buffalo, jerky, whey protein powder
Omega three enriched cage free eggs, wild caught salmon, avocadoes, wild caught tuna,
olive oil, nuts & seeds, olives, coconuts, almond butter, coconut oil
Fruits & Vegetables
Blueberries, bananas, strawberries, oranges, apples, pineapples, raspberries, blackberries, peaches, mango, kiwi, honeydew, pears, cantaloupe, grapes, plums, broccoli, asparagus, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, yams, eggplant, spinach, carrots, pumpkins, butternut squash, zucchini, white potatoes, cauliflower, celery
Oats & Grains
Oatmeal, brown rice
Source of Fluids
Water, green tea, black coffee
Daily Example of Good Nutrition
Breakfast: 2 organic omega three enriched cage free eggs
1 cup of spinach, ¼ cup of mushrooms and ½ red pepper
½ cup of steel cut oatmeal w 2 tsp of organic honey
½ cup of blueberries and ½ cup of strawberries
1 cup of green tea
Snack: 2 scoops of whey protein powder
1 tbsp of almond butter
1 cup of water
1 cup of ice
Lunch: 6 oz organic chicken breast
½ cup of broccoli
1 cup of sweet potatoes cooked w/ 1 tbsp of olive oil & cinnamon
Snack: 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup of walnuts
½ cup of blackberries
Dinner: 6 oz wild caught pacific salmon grilled with lemon & dill
mixed greens with carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and avocadoes
1tbsp of olive oil & 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
** Drink water throughout the day**
Event Meal/Snack Planning
Protein- hard boiled eggs, jerky, whey protein shake, Greek yogurt
Fat- hard boiled eggs, almonds, walnuts, cashews, almond butter, coconut water, pumpkin seeds
Carbohydrates- bananas, peaches, celery, apples, strawberries, oranges
** Every athlete is different as it relates to pre/post event meals & snacks**
Here at SportPerformanceU we believe that each athlete is an individual and should be treated as such. Every athlete has different strengths and weaknesses, training experience, time commitments, training goals, etc. Therefore when an athlete comes to SportPerformanceU they have an individualized training program that is specific to their goals and needs.
Let’s say I have two new athletes come to me next week that are both sixteen years old. Athlete #1 plays football, has an average score on his biomechanical movement analysis, has an above average score on his physical output analysis (measurement of strength, power and speed) and has three years of training experience. Athlete #2 plays baseball, has a below average score on his biomechanical movement analysis, has an average score on his physical output analysis and has no training experience. Will these two athletes get the most out of a general workout class? I think you probably already figured it out, putting these two athletes in one generalized workout class would prevent them from improving upon their own abilities in both instances. Athlete #1 is likely too advanced for the workout and athlete #2 is not ready to be in the workout. Not only that, but are they going to be focusing on the sport specific attributes that are needed for each sport. Don’t get me wrong the term sport specific gets thrown around way too much, but it does get more appropriate when you begin to gain more training experience and three years is definitely enough time to be integrating sport specific training parameters.
Training must be specific to each and every athlete; there should not be acceptations to this rule if being your best is priority #1! Although the athletes that were used in the example will not be on the same training program that does not mean they cannot train together. We believe that camaraderie amongst athletes leads to a greater amount of encouragement and better results. There should be teammates and friends on the training floor together. It creates an atmosphere that is contagious to hard work and success!
So often athletes want to skip over the fundamentals and get right to the “good” stuff. They want to train like their favorite college or professional athlete does. The problem is this is like skipping kindergarten and going straight to the 12th grade. They only get to see them train as college or professional athletes, never really knowing how much time and effort was put into learning the fundamentals. We like to say in the sport performance training field that you have to earn your weight and the exercises you are permitted to do. You have to go through the process of learning how to move properly and then execute the exercises properly. Notice how I separated the two, movement and exercise. If you cannot perform the movement properly you should not be allowed to perform the exercise. So many times athletes want to attempt exercises that they do not yet possess the proper movement for. If an athlete wants to perform a loaded front squat, but cannot go through the movement unloaded first they will have to practice the movement and perform developmental exercises to assist them in grooving the pattern before they are allowed to do the exercise. We see this in many aspects of life nowadays, skipping over the process and going right to the product. We will not allow this to happen, training programs must be earned through dedication and consistently. We will not make exceptions to this rule. Fundamental comes first!
There will be hard work to accomplish these tasks, do not think for a minute that it will be easy. Although we now look at first grade as learning the basics, it was not basic to the new minds learning these steps for the first time, neither is sport performance training. If we adhere to following the process the product will speak for itself.
So what are the basics of sport performance training? The basics involve learning how to perform bodyweight movements properly such as squats, split squats, hip hinges, jumps, skips, rows, chin ups, planks and push ups. Master the basics before you make progressions to more advanced movements. I do not remember seeing any first grades taking trigonometry for their math class; apply the same principles to sport performance training.
There are three components to a well rounded warm up that every athlete should be doing. They include self myofasical release, prehab & activation work and movement prep. These components prepare the athlete to have a more efficient and productive training session.
Self myofasical release takes place in the first five minutes of the training session where the athlete uses a foam roller to work on improving their tissue quality. A number of rolls can be performed over each area of the body; usually eight to ten will suffice. This is the time to break up adhesions or knots in the tissue and transport nutrients to the area for repair and growth. This also prepares the muscles for the next step in the warm up.
Prehab & activation work is what we like to call our developmental part of the warm up. It is when the athlete is developing their mobility and stability. Each athlete has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses; this is the time to work on those weaknesses. The limitations that are holding an athlete back need to be addressed and turned into their strengths. Hip mobility and core stability are two areas of our developmental process that are usually addressed most frequently. These are areas that athletes tend to have the most difficulty mastering, but are extremely important to their success. Proper hip mobility enables the athlete to be in a stance that is most suitable to playing sport and having stability throughout the core gives the athlete the ability to transfer force through their lower body to their upper extremities.
The final part of the warm up is the movement prep section which focuses on preparing the athlete to perform the exercises that are part of their training program for that training session. This involves going through body weight movements that are performed dynamically. This includes squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, skipping and bounding. The athlete is now primed to execute the training session to the best of their ability.
A proper warm up takes about 20-25 minutes to complete and is a key to reducing injuries, moving efficiently and having a great training session. Takes the time to prepare your athletes for the training session ahead with a proper warm up and you will see your athletes moving and feeling better, and yeah, they will be stronger and faster too!
SPU's Alex Drayson and Matt Migiano write the SPU Athletic Performance Blog.
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