Have something right after exercise – A sports drink is good. A sports drink with a little protein is a little better. This is the highest impact single thing they can do. Fortunately sports drinks are easier to find than water in some places so no one should have trouble doing this. Getting in liquid nutrition right away will have a great restorative benefit.
Eat Breakfast that contains protein – Many young athletes skip breakfast and then when they do have breakfast, they’ll opt for a bagel or cereals – both less than ideal. Have your athletes 1. Eat breakfast and 2. Make sure it has some protein. This will improve the quality of what they are eating (eggs, greek yogurt, etc).
Eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal - If you look at the top 5 sources of calories in the American diet, vegetables are non-existent. Have your athletes commit to eating a fruit or vegetable at every meal. It is a very simple thing for them to do and it will make a big difference in the quality of their diets.
Have your athletes do all three or just get them to do one for a week and then add one more. Simple actionable changes that they can stick to will make a difference and improve their performance.
Mike Roussell, PhD
Science Advisory Board: LiveStrong.com
Columnist: Bodybuilding.com, Shape.com
Conditioning is what athletes must do all year around-
2 tips to keep in mind for now: (these ideas from Fitness Techniques on the web)
1. Running-Just like any other team sports, running is a basic requirement in improving skills. Most of the hockey game is spent on running, or be in motion. Running will help you develop your balance and speed which is very important in field hockey. Endurance is also required in running. Running at varying speed will also help you develop your running skills since at the field hockey, running speed varies.
2. Be flexible and agile-Flexibility and agility are also required in field hockey. Field hockey players need to have the skill of being able to change directions quickly. So it is best to do drills that require these two such as ladder drills, or running zigzag on each traffic cone. In a field hockey game, you should be able to change directions quickly just in case, you already had the ball but then the opponent has stolen it going to their goal net.
Wilton Youth Field Hockey is in support of appropriate nutrition and conditioning for all athletes.
Other links Wilton Youth Field Hockey recommends: