Tips for Starting Fall Sports

As fall sports teams start practicing, it is always good to follow a few simple tips to keep athletes healthy, playing to their fullest potential, and reduce the risk of injury.

  1. Hydrate a day or two before practices start to give the body time to absorb and utilize the fluids to get you ready for physical activity. In order to prepare your body for the increased amount of fluids you will need during practice, gradually increase your fluid intake beginning a week or two before practices start up.
  2. Hydrate before and during practice with water, as well as beverages with carbohydrates and electrolytes. Each component is important to keep your muscles and your brain functioning properly during athletic activity. Avoid sugary sports drinks (ie. original Gatorade), and stick to sports drinks with a better balance of nutrients (ie. Gatorade G2 Series). General practice recommendations are 8-12oz per 30 minutes of exercise.
  3. Rehydrate after practice to replace the fluid you lost during practice and to prepare for the following day’s activities. General guidelines say 16-24oz per pound of sweat you lose, over the course of 2 hours after practice.
  4. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, and avoid fried or fatty foods. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and should consist of some protein, carbohydrates, some fats, and juice.
  5. Keep a banana/granola bar/etc. in your sports bag for a mid-practice snack.
  6. Get a full night’s sleep. Sleep is when your body repairs itself and gets stronger, converts short term memory into long term memory (including skills, plays, etc.). Too little sleep impairs recovery and concentration.
  7. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exercising to allow the sunscreen to be absorbed into the skin.
  8. Wear appropriate and supportive shoes for your specific sport, getting over the counter or custom orthotics if necessary.
  9. A good warm up reduces the risk of injury. A dynamic warm up has been shown to have greater benefits before activity, with a cool-down and static stretch being more beneficial after activity.
  10. Foam rolling and stretching can significantly decrease the risk of injury and imbalances within the body. This should also be initiated about 2 weeks prior to the start of practices.

Back to Blog