It’s common to get nervous around the start of the new season, whether you have a team to join or you’re looking for one. Here’s our tips to get in shape.
The camaraderie and mutual support in a group can give you a positive boost to achieve your goals. And if you don’t like the group, you can always leave and try something else. Nothing to lose!
Group activities, especially team sports often have these 4 things in common…
- Rely on short bursts of activity, repeated over and over again
- Last between 1 and 2 hours, and need a certain amount of endurance
- Have a small power element – shooting, attacking or reacting
- Need awareness, agility, balance and good reactions
Good news (yay)! You can train for all of these aspects. Focusing on training that is more specific to your activity can help you become more competitive and to get the most out of every session.
Here are our 5 handy tips to prepare you for team activities…
Run Them Ragged with Interval Training
Whether you’re running for a ball, or dashing across deck, recovery rates and cardio fitness are going to help you compete.
Mimic a real game with short burst of intense activity by building repeat sprints into your workout. Let’s say you are doing 15 mins of jogging on the treadmill. Try switching to 2 mins of jogging followed by 30 seconds of sprinting, then go back to jogging again. Repeat this throughout your session. It’ll help to train the energy systems that you use for sport.
Here’s an article you may find useful: Interval training the Benefits.
Last The Distance via Endurance Training
Endurance training is all about staying power. At least once a week, take your normal cardio regime (running, rowing, swimming etc.) and try to add at least 25% to the duration, but drop your speed.
Bring out the Beast through Resistance Training
Resistance training is any form of exercise that resists the movement of your muscles (e.g. weightlifting) forcing them to grow stronger.
Resistance training will help you to improve strength and power for shooting, attacking or reacting in almost any sport. This could be body-weight exercises like press-ups or a using some of the weights machines at the gym. If you’re looking for some handy hints, try our article on Weightlifting here.
Keep your Body in Balance with Flexibility Training
You can improve both your agility and balance by working on your flexibility. Flexibility is defined by the range of motions that your body can go through, without damaging itself. Different team sports will require different levels and areas of flexibility. This will also help you to increase your performance in other areas such as Resistance Training, allowing you to keep better form and target your strength in a safer, more controlled manner.
Yoga offers a great all round angle on flexibility and also core strength, you can check out our recommendations for 10 types of yoga here and if you’re looking to improve your form, why not take a look at Mountain Pose and Downward Facing Dog, or the Sun Salutation.
Recover for next time by perfecting your Nutrition
Eat around 2 hours before and 1 hour after training or playing. This will help you keep your energy levels up. Lots of people forget to drink water during sports training sessions too. Keep a bottle by the side of the court/pitch and drink from it little and often, it will make sure you can maintain concentration.
Here’s our three top tips for budding athletes: