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Advice

During the Tournament

Posted on: 11th October 2012 Posted by: Arvind Ashok, Co-Founder & Coach at The Quad

Let's put it all together then.

     1. Make sure you warmup well before the game.
     2. Stay hydrated before, during, and after.
     3. Stretch afterwards. If you have a game within a short span, continue moving and doing some of the mobility work and warmup, but at a easy pace until warmup time.
     4. If you get banged up a bit, ice the inflamed area regularly.
     5. Make sure you are getting enough food. The better the quality of food (real food as opposed to junk), the better your recovery will be. But regardless, you need a lot of calories - so eat well.
     6. And get enough sleep before the game

Staying Hydrated

Posted on: 11th October 2012 Posted by: Arvind Ashok, Co-Founder & Coach at The Quad

Madras is a hot city, and you guys are gonna be running hard. Avoiding dehydration is important for not just your performance, but health as well. So, make sure you get enough fluids. But here's the thing - dehydration is not just a lack of water intake, but electrolytes as well. That's why Gatorade feels pretty good - it has a bunch of salts and sugar in it to give you the electrolytes and quick energy you need. Electrol and/or coconut water get the job done as well, if not better. Remember - water AND electrolytes.

Warming up well

Posted on: 11th October 2012 Posted by: Arvind Ashok, Co-Founder & Coach at The Quad

A good warmup not only primes you for the game, but it also helps reduce the chance of injury. The days of performing static stretches before a game are over - static stretching reduces the force you produce during the game and should be used only in specific cases where it is warranted. A dynamic warmup is the way to go. The Quad will be out there on the field as well, to run you through this, and we will have a video post-tournament, which will help you in case you forgot the awesome new warmup routine we leave you with!

Stretching after a Workout or Game

Posted on: 3rd October 2012 Posted by: Arvind Ashok, Co-Founder & Coach at The Quad

This one is well-known, so I will be quick about it. You need to stretch after a game. It is important coz you just put your muscles and nervous system through a huge stress (the game you just played), and they need to relax and recover. Enter static stretching.

So, what muscles should you be stretching - hamstring (if you are flexible, get your feet closer), calf, quadriceps, glutes, hip flexors, shoulder - front and back (not for 30 seconds though - 50!). And then finish up by flossing your lower back (most of us tend to strain our back, which we shouldn't be doing. But that's another story. Just make sure you get it relaxed post-game). Yes, I know that's a lot - but hey, it makes the rest of the day a lot more fun.

What is key here is how long you should hold each stretch for. You need to hold each stretch for 50 seconds - not less, not more. Initially, when you start stretching, it feels tight, and your brain screams at you to stop, right? Well, that's exactly what is going on. Your brain thinks you are doing something stupid, and is trying to protect you. By breathing slowly, continuing to hold the stretch, and progressively increasing the stretch, you will turn off this stretch reflex, telling your brain that you know what you are doing. That's why it is imperative to hold the stretch for that long - it is not effective if you do 10 seconds, relax, repeat. Got it?

Mobility work

Posted on: 26th September 2012 Posted by: Arvind Ashok, Co-Founder & Coach at The Quad

We all know we need to warmup before a game, and stretch after. Whether we do it or not is another story. But there's another thing out there, which is very easy to do and has great benefits, but all of us universally neglect - mobility work. Mobility is about ensuring that all our joints are fully functional, and are not limited in their range of motion. When our joints don't function as they are supposed to, it causes some familiar pain issues. Knee pain and low back pain are two common occurences that happen due to poor ankle and hip mobility. So, here's some homework for you guys. Spend 15 minutes every morning doing the stuff on this video - upper body and lower body. Get your joints functioning well, and a lot of good things will happen.

Me and my colleagues from The Quad will be out there on the field during the tournament and will run you through a more precise mobility routine, but for now, the video will benefit you a lot. Do it!

Spend 15 minutes every morning doing the stuff on this video - upper body and lower body. Get your joints functioning well, and a lot of good things will happen. Click here to watch the video.

Leading up to the Tournament

Posted on: 19th September 2012 Posted by: Arvind Ashok, Co-Founder & Coach at The Quad

To make sure that you stay fresh for the tournament, it is important to ramp down the training intensity and volume when it is 2 weeks to go. By October 1, your hardest training session should be behind you. After that, it is time to start toning it down, and make sure you keep yourself fresh and primed.

It is important to keep training, with the goal to get ready to peak around October 15. So, what kinda training can you do? Well, whatever you are doing, keep at it. Now's not the time to start something new. But tone it down. Obviously, in certain cases, scaling down intensity might not be an option - say, team drills. You want to replicate the game situation, especially with the tournament this close. Here, you will keep the volume low i.e. not train for hours on end and run yourself ragged. When I say tone it down, it is a combination of bringing down intensity and volume. But tone both down you must.

And hey, remember to warmup properly before practice/training/game, and stretch after. More details on this coming soon. For more information, check out http://arvindashok.com