Why Sports Nutrition Is So important!

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

Whether you are exercising to improve your health, a professional athlete or a bodybuilder, the sports nutrition plays a vital role in optimizing beneficial effects of physical activity. Choosing a right nutrition can result in injury prevention, improved performance, and recovery.

According to Thomas Edison, “The doctor of future will no longer treat human frame with drugs, rather will prevent and cure disease with nutrition”.

In order to support your goals and health, different nutrition professionals offer a number of services. Moreover, these nutrition can range from a daily food diary, to comprehensive nutrition and food plan for competitions and training.

Here we will explore the importance of sports nutrition, and how a sports nutritionist can support our training regime. Also, they covered supplements and nutrients that are frequently included in the dietary program of athletes. We will discuss these things in details.

The importance of sports nutrition

Consuming balanced food and drink is very important for us all. However, people that are actively participating in sport on a routine basis should know that it can also affect their performance. For instance, athletes, may require more calories compared to average people.

Those who are athletes, or even people that make up their mind to start exercising on a daily basis, should not let a good nutrition plan fall down on their list of priorities.

Sports performance and the energy

Protein, carbohydrates, and fats all provide our body with fuel to maintain the energy. Furthermore, carbohydrates are a primary fuel used by our working muscles. The adequate intake is necessary for preventing muscle fatigue. You are advised to monitor the fat intake, but do not completely remove it from the diet.

Fats provide fatty acids in our body that can be used an energy source – especially if your exercise sessions last more than an hour. These fats also provide the building blocks for hormones as well as formation of cell walls.

Proteins can be used as an energy source and they are critical for building new muscle tissues. People that are taking part in resistance training, their body will require additional protein.

Weight management

Eating well is very important to maintain a healthy weight. So, if you are trying to lose weight, strictly reducing fat, calorie intake or protein can have a negative impact on your performance. Meanwhile, it can also rigorously harm your body.

Some specific and useful foods that you should be a part of the diet for the optimum sports nutrition include:

· Whole grains

· Vegetables

· Fruit

· Healthy fats.

· Hydration, and

· Sources of lean protein as well as low-fat dairy products

Staying hydrated is of utmost importance, especially when you are taking part in any sport. The inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration. It also affects the performance, and could be dangerous for health as well.

Although dehydration can occur in any activity, it is very prevalent when exercising in humid and hot conditions. The perfect thing for re-hydration is water, but it is advised to use sports drinks with electrolytes, for those who are engaged in the physical activity for longer than an hour.

After the event

You are highly advised to avoid neglecting your nutritional needs, if you have had to walk the last half-mile of your run due to fatigue or even the things have not gone according to your plan in your game. No matter what the result is, it should be your priority.

Footballers, casual runners, athletes, and others typically do not consume enough fluids when they take part in different events, or trainings. So, it is very important to restore the balance after every event. The water is perfect for rehydration.

How sports nutrition professionals can help?

The major aim of a dietitian or sports nutritionist is to create a nutrition plan for the training needs of different clients. The plans will incorporate hydration and food. It does not matter whether you are training for professional events or exercising casually, sports nutrition is very integral to performance.

Such a strategy can also help to:

· Enhance recovery.

· Promote good health

· Increase energy levels

· Help manage weight

· Develop growth and body composition

· Improve concentration

In order to create an effective nutrition strategy, sports nutrition professionals should always assess not just your diet and training, but also day-to-day habits, lifestyle, supplements and whether you are taking any medication. Nutrition professionals should also support as well as be able to analyze you with your short-term and long-term goals.

Nutrients

Carbohydrates

The 2 key forms of carbohydrates are, 1. Starchy or complex, and 2. Simple sugars.

Complex carbohydrates, are also known as the starches, and they include grains such as pasta, rice and bread. Just like simple sugars, some complex carbohydrates are better than others. Processed refined grains like, white flour and white rice are less favorable because the fiber and nutrients are removed.

Rather, nutritionists recommend that where possible, people should opt for unrefined grains that are still packed full of minerals, fiber and vitamins.

Whereas, the simple sugars can be found in refined products and provide a sweet taste. These are naturally found in fruits, vegetables and milk products.

We can also add them to our foods using honey, white or brown sugar, maple syrup and molasses, etc. Although all types of sugars that we eat are used by our body in the same way, but it is highly suggested to get simple sugars from foods that are rich in sugars naturally because such foods also contain important nutrients and fiber.

Fats

It is an essential component of every diet because it is a great source of energy as well as helps our body to absorb nutrients.

Although fats are very important, but we should still monitor the quantity of intake. Using a lot of fats could result in excess weight gain and in increased risks of severe health concerns.

The saturated fats can easily be found in different animal products as well as processed foods like, chips, meat and dairy products. Such fat type is not considered to be healthy for the human heart and is thought to raise bad (LDL) cholesterol levels.

Avocados, nuts, oily fish and olives are rich in unsaturated fats. Such fats are considered to be healthy for our heart and can work to raise good (HDL) cholesterol levels as well as lower the LDL cholesterol levels.

Protein

Every cell of our body contains it and due to this reason protein is important for helping to repair and build tissues. Proteins are also used to make hormones, enzymes and a number of additional body chemicals. Furthermore, proteins are very crucial for forming the building blocks of bones, blood, cartilage, skin and muscles.

Some of the most common protein foods include fish, meat, eggs, nuts, soya products, seeds and pulses.

Supplements

Different bodybuilders, sportsmen and athletes use supplements to boost their performance, recovery and strength. Supplements are available in a number of forms ranging from minerals and multivitamins through to creatine, protein and many other ‘ergogenic’ aids.

You are advised to ensure that your diet is balanced, healthy and suits your sport, before opting to take any form of supplement. It is also advised to consult a registered nutritionist or an accredited sports dietician before if you have decided to take additional nutrients in supplemental form. These experts can assess your suitability for a particular supplement.

Some common sports supplements include the following:

Creatine

It is a high-energy compound which helps to provide and store energy. It is produced within our body, and is naturally available in meat and fish. It can also be taken in the form of supplements.

In order to increase muscle strength, creatine is used by sportsmen and athletes as a dietary supplement. It is intended to boost performance during frequent, high-intensity exercise and also help you train for longer.

Whey protein

A natural protein which is naturally present in milk, and contains very little carbohydrate, lactose or fat. It is considered a naturally complete protein, which means whey is made up of all essential amino acids that are required in our average daily diet.

Also housing the perfect combination of amino acids, this protein also contains branch chain of amino acids (BCAAs) that are the 1st ones to be used while intense training. Whey provides our body with these amino acids and in turn they assist with rebuilding and repairing lean muscle tissue.

Whey protein is extremely easy to digest so it can provide instant nourishment to our muscles and can absorb quickly.

Energy drinks

It is extremely important to stay well hydrated during training and exercise. Even a little amount of dehydration could be detrimental to your performance levels. Although, drinking water is considered a good way to keep ourselves hydrated during exercise. Still, some bodybuilders and athletes opt for energy drinks, especially people that undertake endurance events like long distance running.

A number of energy drinks consist of sodium and other electrolytes that encourage drinking and help us to stimulate thirst. They also enhance our body’s ability to hold the water. Furthermore, carbohydrates contained in many energy drinks and can provide us with extra energy which may be needed in the latter stages of training.

How to Overcome Two Very Common Baseball Hitting Problems!

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

I’ve heard this expression dozens of times and could not agree more. No, let’s make that hundreds of times. If you have tension in your swing, it is next to impossible to hit the ball effectively. On the other hand, relaxing is a great asset to have.

An outstanding baseball coach I know has his hitters take a deep breath before every pitch and go into relax mode. Please note that I said outstanding coach and not good or very good. It is often referred to as “the calm before the storm.” Hitting a baseball well on a consistent basis is NOT an easy chore. If you have tension before and during the swing, it makes it an almost impossible chore. A smooth and gracious swing is what you want to strive for and tension will make it very difficult.

Like I’ve mentioned before, sometimes a slight waggle at the plate will help you to relax. Or you can wiggle your fingers on the bat while waiting for the pitch. It’s very difficult to have your body tense up if your body is moving. Learning how to relax at the plate should be very helpful to you!

You Must Be Short To The Ball!

1. You must go from point “A” where you are loaded up, to point “B” where you are making contact, in a straight line. The very beginning of the swing is NOT level at all. It is a DOWNWARD movement when going from A to B and NOT a horizontal movement. Way too many players level out their swing at the start. The reason it is such a common problem is because they have heard the words “level swing” hollered out to them since they were eight years old. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve heard a coach, parent or teammate holler those two words out. Only at the point of contact should the swing level out and NOT before that. You can not lose a valuable fraction of a second if it takes a fast ball a fraction of a second to get to the catcher’s mitt. Look at it as simple math.

2. Another possibility for your swing to be “long and looping” may be that you are dropping your hands at the beginning of the swing. This can cause you to be “long” to the ball and cause your bat to have a slight drag.

3. You may be pushing your hands out too far away from your body and that will create a longer swing. Remember the expression, “hands back and bat forward.”

4. You must keep your front shoulder closed. If you open the front shoulder too early, it will cause your bat to drag through the hitting zone. This is often referred to as “casting” the bat and not swinging the bat. “Casting” is what you do when you go fishing and not when you swing at a baseball.

Let’s face it. There are hundreds of baseball tips on hitting. Having a tension free swing, being “short to the ball” and keeping the front shoulder closed should be right near the top of your list! They are three things that are absolutely critical for successful baseball hitting.

Soccer Training Tips

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

There is a lot of valuable information that can be gained through tips and tricks that are given to us by others. Soccer is no different, no matter how old you are or how long you have been playing, there is always something new to learn. These four soccer training tips can help you improve your performance on the soccer field while improving your confidence.

Endurance Training Can Slow You Down

Many soccer players think that by performing regular endurance training tasks, they can last longer in a game and perform better. This is actually not true though. It has been shown that building up endurance can actually create slower athletes. This is because your body had learned how to conserve a certain amount of energy for future use in order to go a long distance.

This is one of the best soccer training tips for improving your overall performance and speed. If you have been one of those players who prepares for the soccer season by running long distances, then you need to stop. Running sprinting drills will be able to build up your endurance while improving our sprinting and running speed as well.

Exercise Each Leg Separately

Most people think of soccer as a two leg sport, meaning that you use two legs at all times. This is not true though. As you are cutting and dribbling down the field, you will cross over and use one leg at a time. Since this is the way that your legs work throughout an entire game, one of the most important soccer training tips involves exercising each of your legs separately.

To do this, try attempting single legged squats and other activities that separate one leg from the other. By isolating one leg at a time, you are able to build the strength up in each one by teaching them how to work independently, which will lead to better performance during a game.

Strength Train Correctly

Strength training can be done in one of two ways. It can be done for volume or for intensity. When you lift lighter weights for more repetitions, you are training for volume which will build bigger muscles. As a soccer player, you need to learn how to train for intensity which will make you stronger and more powerful.

When it comes to helpful training tips this is one of the best. Many players waste time training in the wrong way and end up with bulkier muscles that make it hard to perform. If you train correctly however, your power will be more intense and targeted.

Keep Technique in Mind

When training for soccer, it is important to keep technique in mind. Just because you can lift 200 pounds does not necessarily mean you should do it if you can’t do it precisely. For the best results, go for a lower weight that allows you to do the exercise correctly in a precise and technical way.

Soccer training tips can help you improve your training experience for the upcoming season. No matter how old you are or what level of soccer you are playing, you can benefits from the information included in the above tips. When you take your time and train in the correct way, your game play becomes a lot more effective.

Seasonal Sports Training Tips

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

There is a season for everything in life, and that holds especially true for sports. Currently it is football season. Basketball is starting and we see Baseball all but over. So, how should you look at your physical conditioning coming into, during and coming out of your favorite sports season?

Every sport is different so I won’t get into specifics. The goal is to give you a few tips to use during your exercise programs. The following information should help you develop a proper mindset for any sport you like as you move in and out of its season.

Pre season prep time

Leading into a sports season should be seen as a preparation or warm up time. Just as you do before every game you need to prepare your body for the activity. This is a time when you need to consider your sport and give thought to the areas of your body used during the sport.

Think about how your body moves through the activities of the sport. Whether it is football, soccer, basket ball or Olympic badminton competition (if you didn’t know, yes badminton is an Olympic sport), each sport has specific ways it uses your body that makes it unique. This uniqueness is where you should maintain focus in your pre season workouts. Find ways to exercise your muscle groups that will strengthen and build endurance in them through these specific athletic movements.

Why do we focus on these areas? Simply to help eliminate injuries during season. If you condition your body to handle the specific movements involved in your sport, then during season – when you put all your effort into your sport – you will be less likely to get hurt. In fact, doing this will even minimize the amount of sourness you experience during the season startup.

In season peak development

So, now you’re all warmed up and ready to play – uh, well, you think so. Just because you took the time to do some pre season warm up (by the way, good job) doesn’t mean you are at the top of your game. If you want to make sure you are at your peak for the season you need to really push yourself to the top.

Professional athletes, and those who strive to be the best, don’t just leave there game to preseason warm up and practice; they know that intense exercise regimens year-round will bring their physical conditioning to its peak level. It is this conditioning that makes their game that much better than the rest.

Here are some areas that you should focus on during your Sport season.

Rotational Exercise – Make sure you are exercising your whole body not just the areas your sport uses. Many sports have repetitive movements that only exercise your body in one direction, for instance swinging a bat. Make sure you are doing other exercises that allow you to condition your body through its full range of motions.

Your core – Make sure you are continually developing your core; this area helps stabilize you during much of your body’s movements. Your midsection – Rectus abdominis, Rectus abdominis, Transversus abdominis, Erector spinae – as you can see, has four distinct muscle groups that need your focus. Plan to exercise the midsection of your body in every workout.

Weights – continue to use weights in your exercise but maybe limit to 1 repetition of 15 to failure. During peak season, weights might need to be limited, but off season, they are very important for muscle development. This will ensure you are not over fatiguing yourself during your sport’s season; unless, of course, your sport requires more intense weight training.

Cardio conditioning – Outside of the cardiovascular exercise you get from your sport, you should also give three days a week to this area. Your heart and lungs provide the necessary oxygen and nutrition to the muscles of your body. If your cardiovascular system is operating at its peak you will have a better chance of performing at your peak in your sport season.

Off season cool down

Well, the games are over – No more competition to keep you motivated. So what do you do to cool down from your Sport season? The off season of any sport should be considered the phase where you are recovering, both physically and psychologically. Many athletes use this time to evaluate their season and make a determination on where they can focus for improvement in their next season.

One way to look at the off season is to see it as a transitional period; a 4 to 6 week period between your sports season and the preseason. It should include cardiovascular training (never give this one up) so that you maintain your aerobic fitness; keep it light and enjoyable. In additions include resistance training that focuses on stabilization and correcting any imbalances due to repetitive motion. Finally, add in flexibility exercise. Make sure you include plenty of stretching. This will remove a lot of the stiffness associated with an intense season.

Wrap it all up

As you can see there is no wrap up for exercise; it’s a part of every season. Now you may be wondering, “How do I maintain focus and keep my motivation going during every season”. Well, it’s easy! The best way to make sure you are motivated is to engage a personal trainer for all your sports seasons.

Football Strength Training 101

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

Most football strength training programs are a disaster. Sad, since it took a hell of a long time for the football world to catch on to weight training. Then, when it did, it fell into the Flex-inspired bodybuilding laden football training programs. After overcoming the “muscle-bound” theory, bodybuilding style programs made many players just that – big, bulky, and slow.

Thankfully, some of the top D-I schools started to buck the trend and base their training programs around exercises that would actually help football – The Powerlifts, the Olympic Lifts, and their accessory movements.

Most strength training programs for football are now have their base in big, compound movements, but some still over-rely on some, and ignore others.

For example, I’ve received about a billion emails from high school players and coaches about Box Squatting. Glad to hear they’re using such a great movement; but, when asked about Deadlifting I almost always get the same reply: “We don’t do them because we don’t want to hurt our backs.” And back to the dark ages we go…

How do you go about designing a proper Football Strength Training Program? Follow these rules and you can’t lose!

Start With the End in Mind

Too many trainers, coaches and lifters randomly start training with no idea where they are going. “I want big arms,” or “I want to get really strong,” are not goals. They are just wishes. You must begin with the end (goal) in mind.

I can’t tell you the number of times a football player has approached me to review his training program. First question I ask is; “what are your goals?” And, I usually hear something like “I want a huge bench.” Then I look at the program and it looks like something out of Flex magazine. Tons of reps. Tons of “chest” work. Nothing resembling a strength training program that would actually increase his bench press.

See, the goal and the plan of action do not match up.

Coach Charles Staley suggests that we view a training cycle as a Project, rather than a program. A project has a clear start and end date and the objective is clearly defined. Also, when you have an end date, you can then evaluate the results and then make modifications before moving on. It is insane the number of players and coaches who continue to do the same thing in the face of overwhelmingly terrible results.

Here is my 4-step Design Process:

1. Take inventory of your resources!

o What equipment do you have?
o Are there any time restraints?
o Injuries?
o Time of year (pre, post, in-season)

If you design a program, or worse, copy one out of a magazine, and you don’t have some of the equipment to actually do the program, how could it ever work? (This is a reason you should follow templates and not programs; templates allow for creative substitution)

What if you are, for whatever reason, forced to cut back on the days you can use your gym. Designing a plan around a 4-day training cycle and only being able to train twice per week is asking for trouble.

Consider your resources carefully. It’s not just about weights. Remember sleds, medicine balls, plyo boxes. And, don’t just confine it to implements. What about a track? Or, an ideal field to run on. Maybe the school’s wrestling room has ideal padding for jumping exercises. Take all this into account before you start to map out your plan of action. Remember, anything that can be lifted, thrown, pushed, pulled, or rolled can be used in your football strength training program!

2. Establish the Goals.

o The goal must be concrete and have a definite time frame.
o Write the goals out clearly. An unwritten goal is a wish, nothing more, nothing less.

Without a clear time frame, no urgency exists.

It’s the same reason why people will have 10 weeks to write a term paper yet wait until the night before…there was no urgency before! Even with two weeks left there’s the power of saying, “ah, I still have 14 days, I can do it, no problem.” Yet there they are, up at 4a.m. finishing up a rather crappy paper.

Follow Parkinson’s Law: A task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.

What does that mean to us? Well, it really makes the only 12 – 16 week model of planning seem obsolete. While long term planning is a good idea, it would be much better to instead have daily, weekly, and 4-week goals.

This is one of the major benefits of having Max Effort (ME) days every week. You are constantly striving to break old records…immediate goal setting/accomplishment!

You will strive to continually one-up your ME days…you will work to hit rep/weight/time records each week and you will aim to shatter last month’s records the week after a de-load. This keeps everyone on-task. There’s no time for “oh, I’ll get ’em next week.” Next week is now, and there’s no time to slack off!

Change “I want a huge bench” to ” I want to increase my bench by 25lbs in the next 12 weeks.” Specifically for football, set similar goals for improvements in speed or jumping ability.

3. Plan

o Now that you have your goals in mind, start to map out the best roads to take you there. If speed is the goal, then jogging isn’t part of the plan!

o Compile your Exercise Lists.

An Exercise List is like taking all of the tools out of your tool box, figuring out what you have to work with, then choosing the right tool for the job. If you plan on getting faster, break out the hamstring builders. If gaining weight and strength is key, then on with the Deads and Squats.

In Part II, we’ll discuss the best exercises for football, but remember, Powerlifting, Olympic Lifts, and Strongman exercises should be the base of your football strength training.

See, most people just go into a program with a few exercises listed and stick to them no matter what. But, when you have lists, it is easy to change things without completely changing your entire training philosophy! Yes, people do this all the time…their bench progress slows and they switch from a Powerlifting routine to something from Crossfit! This is not the way to go.

4. Adapt

o This may very well be the most important step. me points and if you are unable to make adjustments, you will fail. Also, there will be. Things will go wrong at so periods when everything is working 100{2ed1502db88ea180fcb3b3d341f40ec2ecfb1a7122d9e1c63daa06529830d826}. Strangely enough, you will need to analyze these results even harder than the failures. It may be one factor that is leading to great success or it could be 5. You must be mindful and figure this out.

o This is a reason why listing your exercises and other resources is so important. Let’s say your goal is to add 15lbs to your Deadlift because leg strength is holding your speed back. But, half way through your training cycle, your progress stalls.

Do you keep plugging away hoping for a miracle? No. If you are doing your ME sessions correctly, you will be able to identify weaknesses. So, if an athlete’s hips are coming up too fast, he has weak hamstrings. Go to your list, pull out a few hamstring specific exercises and see what works. If RDL’s aren’t giving your results, change do SLDL’s, or more RDL with a pause at the bottom.

Golf Tips To Use on the Golf Course

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

Golf is such a sport which is very mentally demanding. A lot of mental preparation is required to successfully play this game as one is on his own once on the course and there will be nobody to give assistance. A positive mind with belief in oneself devoid of any kind of absurd thoughts is essential while playing this sport. Sports psychologists state that mental health or fitness is very much needed to grab winning scores in this game. Here some of the best tips to keep you mentally strong on the ground are discussed, applying which can bring effective results.

• Stay Strong- The strength or toughness of the mind is what helps the top players to perform impressively well. You must be mentally strong even in the toughest situations and under immense pressure and to be comfortable in those situations.

• Live in the Moment- It is a common practice among many to think a long way when they are only starting off. They start to decide on different strategies which can only be implemented if the desired results come out immediately. If you don’t concentrate on the task of the moment you will never be able to achieve your desired goals or your planned next shot. And your scores will inevitably fall if you don’t concentrate on the present.

• Forget the Past- There are many golfers who live in the past and brood over the poor shots they have taken. But this habit should be abandoned because it is impossible to change the past and this will only affect your game. There is one strategy which is used by many leading golf players; when you encounter a bad shot, you can let out the frustration inside till you have arrived at a ten yards point from the point of striking the shot. When the imaginary line is passed, the shot gets out of mind and you can concentrate on your next move.

• Be Flexible- It is a must to make your mind flexible just like your body. You will be successful only when you can adjust to every condition and course. It is the trait of a successful player to discover creative ways and embrace all difficulties and situations.

• Be Positive- It has been said by iconic players that to master this sport one, whether an amateur or a professional, must develop a mental attitude which will help one to be patient, forget the bad days and keep the hope in one’s heart that success will surely come sooner or later.

5 Tips That Will Improve Your Tennis Serve

November 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

Are you vexing over your tennis serve? You can bet on the fact that your tennis match won’t be successful if you don’t know how to execute the serve in a consistent and effective manner.

I have noticed that many beginner tennis players are not able to strike the perfect serve because they don’t have a consistent manner of serving. Here are 5 great tennis serve tips to guide you in making your serve better and more challenging for your opponent:

1. Be relaxed when you are serving

Many tennis players have the skills but don’t know how to relax during the game. Relaxation is especially important when you are serving because you cannot afford tensed muscles during the serve.

Relax your wrist and arm by resting your racket on your tossing arm before you begin your motion. This will retain the elasticity in your muscles. Also don’t forget to breathe in and out through nose through out the game.

2. Use continental grip for your serve

If you are using the frying pan grip, please change. The continental grip is considered the best grip for serve. Ok, I admit that it is not the easiest grip to learn for serve. However if you want to further develop your game, you should learn it. It will give you more variety of serves, such as flat serve, slice serve and kick serve. Try it to see the amazing difference in your serve.

3. Don’t underestimate the height of ball toss

The ball toss has a very big impact on your serve, but is taken lightly by beginner tennis players. It is a very bad idea to toss the ball in different ways. Toss the ball too high then you will upset the timing of your serving motion, making it difficult to hit on aimed target of the racquet’s strings. However, if you toss the ball too low then it will be tough for you to make an accurate and powerful serve. Therefore, you need to find the perfect balance and stick to it!

Practice the ball toss and establish your own rhythm through repetition. Repetition will eliminate unpredictable ball tosses.

4. Always remember that different serves have different ball toss

This is another important factor about ball toss which beginner tennis players should practice. For example, during a flat serve keep the ball at your right side and in front of you. Avoid tossing the ball too far in front. On the other hand, during a slice serve, the ball should be tossed over your head and a little towards the right side for right-handed players. However suppose it was a top spin serve then you would toss the ball a bit behind and above your head. For right-handed people, it should be slightly towards your left. The top spin serve will add more spin to your ball.

5. Keep your foot in control

You don’t want to foul your serve by placing your foot in the wrong position. Also if you foot fault then all your efforts in the serve will go down the drain. To avoid doing that, during practice, place some sort of marker like a cone or a towel in front of your foot so that whenever you move your foot, you instantly catch on and stop! Keep doing this till you stop foot faulting.

What It Takes to Earn Football Scholarships In the USA

November 28, 2018 by  
Filed under Sports Training

Most high school players dream of receiving a scholarship to play college football. Unfortunately, most won’t.

But there are some things that you can do to improve your chances of getting one, and today I’ll be sharing some tips with you that can do just that.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Attend Football Camps. There’s no better way to show college coaches and scouts what you can do than in-person.

There are national and regional camps out there that can give you some great exposure. Some of the top notch camps have tons of coaches from big time programs watching (and sometimes coaching) the drills that high school players are put through.

These camps also give you a chance to speak to coaches, allowing them to get a feel for who you are and your personality.

The camps also give you, and maybe even your parents, a chance to establish and build relationships with the coaches from the college programs.

If you have a good idea of where you’d like to play, go to the camps held by those schools as well. You can meet even “more” of the coaches at your “dream school” by attending their school’s camp.

Relationships are important in all walks of life, and college football is no different.

Also try to get to camps that are supported by recruiting services like Scout.com and Rivals100.com. These camps put up rankings that college coaches pay close attention to.

Underarmour hosts combines that are highly respected by collegiate coaches as well.
Your chances of landing a scholarship go up tremendously if you can get a decent ranking on one of these recruiting services’ player rankings.

2. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. – Registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center will help you identify schools that you academically qualify to be a part of.

If you can, do this before the start of your Junior year in high school. This will help keep you from trying to go to schools that you might not even qualify for, which will help you spend your time more wisely throughout this process.

Once you’ve registered, update your information with them regularly. This will make sure the guidance you’re getting from them is stays accurate, otherwise you’re wasting your time.

3. Figure out your passion early, if you can. This may not help you land a scholarship, but it can help you make sure that the school you choose will set you up for a successful post-football transition.

I urge you to put in the effort to figure out your passion while you’re in high school. This will help you narrow down the schools you want to try to get in, because you can focus on the schools that have good programs related to your passion.

I understand that your love and focus is football, but even if you make it pro, you’re going to be done playing by your early 30’s, if you’re lucky enough to have a pro career that lasts that long.

There’s a lot of life left to live at that age. Think long term and make a smart move by focusing on schools that will help you with your post-football life.

If you’re not sure how to go about this, Googling “how to find your passion” is a good place to start. Go through the different exercises you’ll find online. Don’t expect the answer to come to you immediately. It may take weeks, months, or even years, so start on this as early as your freshman or sophomore year in high school (or even earlier), if you can.

4. Figure out the level of football you can play realistically. Unfortunately, everybody doesn’t have the talent to play Division 1A football.

If you have Division II talent and speed, and you’re going to USC and Notre Dame camps, you could be wasting your time; especially if you’re heading into your senior year in high school.

To get a better idea of where you are talent-wise, try to attend some FBS (D1A), FCS (D1-AA), DII, and DIII games at schools in your area. This will let you observe, firsthand, the level of competition at each level so you can make a more realistic assessment.

Then, make a list of the schools you’re interested in looking further-into.

5. Research the programs/schools you’re interested in. Try to start step before your junior year in high school, if you can. That way, you’ll be able to go through this process without feeling rushed.

On top of that, coaches love to see that you’re progressing, so if you can expose yourself to them early, you might be able to impress them when they see the progress you (hopefully) made in your senior year.

Improvements show hard work, dedication, and a bunch of other positive attributes coaches love to see in prospect.

But back on-topic. Which schools offer a program that you want to study? Which schools will have players graduating the soonest at your position? How far away from home do you want to go?

These are examples of things you want to know to increase the chances that you’ll earn a degree in a field you like, and that you’ll have a good shot at getting some playing time when you get there.

6. Narrow-down your list. Once you’ve figured out your passion, identified the level of college football you can realistically play at, and taken care of the rest of the steps listed above, narrow-down your list of schools you’re interested in.

Again, this will help ensure that the time you put into this process is focused and efficient. If you’re trying to promote yourself to 30 schools, you might miss out on the 5 schools that you had a realistic chance at getting a scholarship at, if you don’t narrow-down your list.

7. Research to find colleges that will need a player at the position you play. I’m personally not as sold on this one, but there are many that swear by it, so I thought I’d include it.

This step requires that you look into the colleges on your list and find out which ones will have a void in the position that you play.

The purpose of this is to find school’s where you’ll have a good shot at getting playing time, and also so that you can aim at teams that will have more of a need at your position.

I’m not a big fan of this step, because there’s always unexpected variables involved. For example, players get moved to new positions all the time, so without knowledge of where a team would want to have you play, you could rule out a school when they might’ve been interested in you.

On top of that, players quit and transfer all the time, so just because there appears to be a need right now, that need could be filled next season, or vice-versa.

So you’ll just have to do your best on this step; or “x” it out altogether, if you want.

8. Start promoting yourself. Once you’ve figured out the issues mentioned above, you want to start promoting yourself.

Most colleges have low recruiting budgets, so if you’re initializing the contact with the football programs yourself, you’re making it easy (and cost effective) for them to learn about you.

If you don’t take the initiative to contact “them”, you’re taking a chance that they may not learn about you at all.

Here are some ideas on how you can do it:

Make a YouTube highlight video of your performance on the field. Just 3-5 minutes long, tops. This film’s purpose is to generate interest, so you only want your top plays.

Keep in mind that coaches don’t have a bunch of time to watch your video, so make sure it’s short, and shows only your best plays.

You can do this easily with Windows Media Player and Windows Live Movie Maker that come with Windows, so you may not need to buy software.

The quality of game film can be real bad at some high schools, so make sure you do what you need to do to get an understanding of the quality of the video your high school provides.

If it’s bad, you may want to invest a couple hundred dollars into buying your own camera, and have your parents film your games from the stands.

Before each snap, make sure you’re highlighted so they can easily recognize who you are.

College coaches have to first be able to see you, before they can like what they see, so this is critical.

Make an academic and athletic resume that highlights your performance both in the classroom and on the field. These will give the coaching staff an idea of whether or not you qualify athletically and academically for their schools.

Make sure the athletic resume contains a link to your YouTube highlight video.

Fill-out a questionnaire with each school. These questionnaires are often available at the school’s football website. If you don’t see it there, call the football department and inquire about how you can go about filling one out.

These questionnaires give coaches the information they need, and are a great way of introducing them to you, if they haven’t already heard of you.

Email (preferred), or mail your athletic and academic resume to college coaches at the schools you’re interested in. You can find the names of the coaches and staff on the team’s website.

You can search for their email address and/or phone number on the school’s directory on the school’s website.

If you don’t hear back from anyone within a couple weeks, follow up with the coaches that you sent your information to. Usually, if they’re interested, they’ll get back with you, you won’t have to hound them.

If you get signs that they’re not interested, move on to another school, or reach out to them again in the future.

Use some of the online resources available. There’s a ton of websites and services out there that are designed to help increase exposure of high school athletes.

Many of them claim to help you gain more exposure to college coaches, but I’d be wary of services that charge huge fees. I’m just not personally sold on them to the point of where I’d spend a lot of money on paying for a service like that, but that’s just my opinion.

NCSA Athletic Recruiting Network is one of the more reputable ones however, and they have a free and a paid option.

My recommendation is that you research all of the available services and go with your gut on which ones you want to participate in.

9. Work on your academics. Do you want to increase the number of schools you can go to? Do you want to avoid having to accept scholarships from schools you don’t like, just because you couldn’t academically qualify for your top choice schools?

If so, you need to get serious about your grades as early on in high school as you can.

To put yourself in the best position possible, I’d try to maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. Otherwise, you’re putting yourself at-risk of being eliminated from consideration from some schools due to academic qualifications.

Same rule applies with your SAT and ACT. Your grades along with your test results in the SAT and/or ACT will determine what schools you can be considered a candidate for, and which you can’t.

Even if you don’t end up with a football scholarship, the better your grades and test scores, the better your chances are of landing some type of academic-based scholarship to help you get through college.

10. Use your grades to sweeten the deal for the prospective school. I recently read about a high school coach who’s been able to get as many as 19 players from just one of his senior classes, college scholarships.

He says that for some of the marginal players that aren’t top-notch recruits, he gets them other methods of financial aid, and uses that as part of the pitch to sell the players to collegiate programs.

This can be attractive to schools, as they may be more apt to take a marginal player, if they don’t have to pay for a full scholarship.

I don’t know details as to how he’s doing this, but I’d imagine that academic qualifications come into play for some of these “other” methods of financial aid that he leverages to help his kids land scholarships this way.

11. Play Other Sports. This may not play as big of a role as some of the other items in this article, but every little bit counts.

Playing other sports in high school shows your athleticism, and every coach in America wants players that are athletic, every position. Not only that, but even if football is the sport you like the most, you can use the other sports to help you become a better football player.

For example, recruiters love offensive linemen that used to play basketball in high school, because it shows that they’re at least fairly athletic, and can move their feet.

The footwork you develop from guarding players in basketball alone (even if you don’t have a good offensive game) can help you tremendously as a football player.

12. Show Leadership Abilities. I doubt if a team will offer you a scholarship based off of your leadership abilities alone, but it will definitely improve your overall profile if you can show that you’re a leader.

If you’re in any clubs at your high school, consider running for leadership positions.

Among many, one of the reasons colleges are so attracted to leaders, is because when you play sports for a university, you’re “representing” the university.

As a collegiate athlete, you’re going to be faced with a lot of temptations, and usually leaders have the abiltiy to go against the grain to do what they feel is morally right.

Most teams and schools put forth a lot of effort to avoid bringing in players that could cause trouble or damage the image of the school or program in the public eye.

13. Train Properly. Sometimes, players put too much focus on getting exposure, and not enough on training properly.

Don’t forget that your athletic ability and performance is what gets the collegiate coaches interested in the first place! Training is outside of the scope of this article, but make sure your offseason workout is helping develop the size, speed, agility, strength, power, and quickness necessary to be an attractive collegiate football candidate.

You also want to make sure you’re doing position-specific drills to make sure you’re getting better at your technique. Your technique could be the one thing that gives you the nod over another candidate, you just never know.

It sounds like cliche’, but the little things like eating right, getting enough rest at night, and working on your flexibility and core strength can make a big difference in your performance on the field.