We recently discussed some tips for coaches in the winter to make the season as successful as possible, but we know there are some things that athletes can do as well. Whether you’re a student athlete yourself or the parent or guardian of one, we know safety and success are very important to you.
Check out these tips for a successful winter season:
Stretch, stretch, stretch!
Your muscles will tense up a bit more when you’re cold, so it’s important to stretch before and especially after practices and games. Focus less on static stretches and more on dynamic stretches in order to really stretch out and protect your muscles.
Another way to protect your muscles is to keep moving. This will also keep your body temperature up and keep you from experiencing any negative effects of the cold. If you arrive at practice early and your coach doesn’t have a drill ready yet, get your dynamic stretches in then lightly jog around the field until you get started. If you’re pausing in between drills or plays, try to walk, lightly jog, or even stretch while you wait.
And because stretching and moving aren’t always enough, layer up to stay warm as well. Just make sure you know the protocol with your coach on what is allowed underneath or over your kit. Remember: it’s a lot easier to shed layers after you warm up than it is to add more layers when you get cold.
Many people don’t hydrate as much in the winter because they’re not sweating as much. But did you know you can still get dehydrated even when it’s cold? Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water on game days and practice days—just make sure it doesn’t freeze on those extra cold days!
We know, easier said than done. But use this as a reminder that the winter can bring on some doom and gloom for many people, even happy young student athletes. Find the things that give you joy and make sure you’re getting plenty of those throughout the cooler months. If your team, practice, and games aren’t contributing to this joy, talk to your coach about some ways to find more energy. It’ll help you become a better player as well.
At Pickle Juice, we care about your well-being as well as the well-being of your team. Check back for more tips on how to be the best athlete you can be.