Preparing Starts Before Spring Ball

“Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.”  John Wooden, UCLA head Basketball coach www.coachwooden.com

The Pacific Tigers opened the season in Tempe, Arizona at the Tempe Diablo spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels. Arizona is one of the most popular places for MLB Spring Training and why not, the east coast is battling storm after storm while Arizona is posting temperatures in the low 80’s.

Spring Training is all about PREPARING. Waiting for spring training to prepare is to late, preparation starts the day after the last game of last season.  It begins months before; just ask Barry Enright former Angel player and currently with the Phillies. Barry played winter ball in Mexico and is going into Spring Training in Florida in prime shape for the season.  A serious athlete knows the importance of preparing mentally and physically.

MLB veterans, rookies and hopefuls fill the ballparks.  I was able to catch up with a Pacific Tiger Alumni, Tyger Peterson who is experiencing his first spring training with the LA Dodgers. Tyger is living the dream and has been working out all fall and winter to show the Dodgers what he can do.

Spring BALLPARK

Fitness Tip for the Athlete on the Road:  Rollouts

Rollouts are important part of your pre game stretch. They can help loosen up toxic build up on your gluts.  Basically, you place a ball under your gluts, allowing your gluts to roll over the ball with some pressure. When you are on the road you can bring a lacrosse ball and do rollouts to help yourself stretch and get loose. Do this before practice and after practice or a game.

So Far…..

As I look back on the past five weeks of school, I can’t believe how much ground we have covered in class. Overall, I enjoy this class and I am excited about everything we are learning. So far, the blog has been something I have really gotten into and enjoy. It’s something I have always wanted to start and plan to continue the Elite Performance blog.

The learning environment is great, the smaller class size makes it easier to get help and understand the material. I was a little nervous about the podcast but it seems to be going well and feel it’s a victory. Hope everyone enjoys Elite Fitness !

I am looking forward to learning how to make a YouTube Instructional Video. I am planning on doing fitness exercises for elite athletes using SKLZ workout tools. I am excited as the semester unfolds and everything comes together.

PERFORMING WHEN IT COUNTS

PERFORMING WHEN IT COUNTS

So if you are a competitor, you are like me and probably love watching the Olympics. The 2014 Winter Olympic games bring athletes from around the world competing in 15 disciplines.  Among my favorites are hockey, ski jumping, alpine skiing, bobsled, short track and snowboarding.  It takes a talented athlete to reach the highest level and compete on team USA.

http://www.nbcolympics.com

Composer and pressure at this level is all mental and you have to just go out there and do what you trained for.

Some athletes live for the pressure, while some choke when the lights are on. Pressure can cause a trained athlete to fail in the most important competition of his or her life.  This last week we saw both amazing performances and disappointing ones. Pressure comes from within, parents, coaches and the team. How composed an athlete is plays a key part in the performance when it counts.

Some Pressurs are:

1. Expectation on yourself about winning                                                              2. Pressure to live up to the expectations                                                               3. Thoughts of fear of failure                                                                                             4. Pressure to lose your position on the team                                                     5. Pressure not to feel embarrassed

Performing on such a large world stage requires a certain mindset.

“The goal is to keep having fun. Not let that pressure get to me and still be Missy.”
–Missy Franklin, US gold medalist in swimming

Fitness Tip

Before your at bat or performance in any sport, have a routine stretch that you do to get your mind relax. Whether it’s swing a bat, stretching your thighs, anything really that seems normal and helps remember this is what you do and love.

Smoothie of the week:

Chobani Honey, Cherry and Banana Yogurt

1  sliced banana

3/4 cup Chobani honey nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup frozen cherries

4 teaspoons honey

2-3 ice cubes

Chobani Yogurt is all natural ingredients and won the Fitness 2013 Healthy Food awards for Greek Yogurts. It’s loaded with vitamins, protein, calcium and probiotics. It’s good bacteria that helps with digestion and faster recovery from workout. It can also help with high blood pressure.

FOCUS ON THE MOMENT

With baseball season about to begin, staying focus at the plate is important for every player. Mental Toughness is a key to success.   Focus on the moment and do not dwell on the last at bat or yesterday’s game. Sometimes it just takes a simple text or encouraging words from a parent or coach to get your mind prepared. My mental preparation includes getting back to mechanics and focusing on one element. I try not to accomplish to much at once. Remembering not to be anxious. Ted William, the best hitter of all time said it best.

RED SOX TED WILLIAMS

“I think without question the hardest single thing to do in sports is to hit a baseball” Ted Williams:  MLB hall of famer, hit 400 in one season in 1941. 

Facts are:

  • The ball is coming at you at 70-100 mph
  • The average MLB player hits less than 3 times for every 10 at bats.
  • The contact of the bat and ball comes down to a tenth of a second.
  • Less than 20% of the time the batter fails to put the ball in play
  • A 95-100 mph fastball reaches home plate in approx. 0.4 seconds.

 Seriously, that’s a 70 % failure rate. Each pitch is a chance to be a hero.  It’s critical to keep your head in the game.  

 Fitness Tip

Exercise your brain and use visualization prior to your at bat and have a game plan, positive visualization of success works!

 Try a pre game smoothie that is full of ingredients to feed your brain.

Focus Fuel Smoothie

1 large banana

1/8 cup blueberries

6-8 baby spinach leaves

1 tbsp. of almonds

1 tbsp. Pumpkin seeds

1 heaped tbsp. of wheat germ

1 tbsp. of flax seed oil

3 oz. of apple juice

FYI: Wheat germ is Vitamin B6 with Thiamine. Thiamine is known to help increase blood flow to brain and memory. Almonds are protein fiber and omega 3, along with Flax seed oil. Believe it or not pumpkin seed have the zinc mineral. Zinc is known to help enhance the brain and cognitive factor.

Stay Strong Endurance is Key

MOTIVATION TO KEEP THE COMPETITIVE EDGE

Motivation is the key, putting in the daily work is required to stay a top tier athlete. I was blessed to have my father coach me through my youth and teen years in a variety of sports; baseball, soccer, football and basketball. My dad inspired me and kept me motivated with famous quotes that he put on the walls of my bedroom. One of his favorite quotes is from Vince Lombardi, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

Here’s something to think about this week, stay strong and put in the work. If you are not prepared physically for the endurance of the entire game, you will get tired and not be at your best. Endurance is the key. When an athlete gets tired, mistakes happen.

FITNESS TIP

This week after your regular workout, try jump rope. For the athlete who wants to get better and build endurance wear a twenty pound wieghted vest and jump rope  for one minute. Repeat three times. This will build endurance!!!

Try this great smoothie to provide energy.  It’s orange, a hint to who I am cheering for superbowl week. Go Broncos!

SMOOTHIE of the WEEK:  Orange –Coconut-Carrot Smoothie   

coconut-flakes3

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 orange, seeds removed

1 pear, cut

1 tablespoon coconut flakes

2 ice cubes

1 banana

8 ounces almond milk

FYI: Coconut flakes are from the meat of the coconut. It is the most nutritious part of the coconut. Coconut oil is burned as energy and our body does not store it as fat.