Football season is just around the corner! Athletes have been training to prepare themselves for these upcoming months. As a football player myself, I have put together 3 tips and tricks to help give you the edge for this season. These are what I call "Mike's 3 Maneuvers".
Mike's 3 Key Maneuvers to Prepare for Football Season:
As you probably already know, nutrition and what you put into your body is crucial for high-level performance. Football is a very high ATP-PC energy based sport and requires the right amount of fuel in order to succeed. (ATP-PC is an energy system in our body responsible for immediate and quick-burst movement.) Proper food and supplementation must be taken into account. For example, creatine is a supplement that was a game changer for me. Why? Creatine, when ingested, spikes the ATP-PC energy system to create a greater burst in your performance. Our body already produces it, and it also can be found in red meats. Although that is true, it sometimes isn't enough for an athlete who is a considered an "explosive athlete."
2. Mobility and Flexibility
We have always been told to stretch before and after any kind of physical activity to prevent injuries. In all cases that is true. As a young football player myself, countless amounts of tweaking, straining, and pinching of my muscles happened more than I would have liked––even though I was constantly stretching. After finally working with a Personal Trainer during my off season, I was introduced to Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling). The power of the foam roller impacted me in ways I couldn't have imagined. As you know, the training regimen that football players are put through, can be grueling, exhausting, and taxing to the body. With that kind of physical output, there must be recovery and rehab to match it. The foam roller releases those tight, stiff muscles that you may not even know you have, and it will have you moving better and quicker, easier than expected.
Football players are really good at lifting heavy and pushing heavy. We're quick, we're powerful––but there are always ways to improve. As much as I was getting better at lifting heavy things, I didn't notice a huge change, other than my strength on the field. Running faster and jumping higher were aspects in my game that weren't improving. After lots of research, training, and learning from the right people, I realized I was missing a vital part in my regimen. Although my lifting numbers were going up, I wasn't really mimicking movements or applying any of that to game situations. Once I shifted my exercises towards what I was really doing on the field, such as jumping, sprinting and lateral movement, I finally noticed the progress I was looking for. Adding resistance to those certain movements created a spike in my results. For example: attaching a band to yourself and sprinting out against the pull of the band, or vertical jumps with a band pulling you down. We often lose the vision to why we're training; always looking to get stronger but forgetting why we're moving the way we are. Always remember to ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing when training.
Those are the "Big 3" maneuvers I found that changed my game and allowed me to play high-level football and still continue to play the way I do today. Good luck to all you football players this season! Train hard, work smart, and bring that championship home for your team!
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