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Nutrition

Top Health Benefits of Playing Softball

Softball is generally known as a sport played by only women, and currently, it is one of the most popular type of sports for youth girls. Apart from the little league competition, many leisure leagues provide the chance of co-ed softball teams to get to play. Also, this sport is a very popular and common summer time sport for many. Softball is a fun and simple game that you can learn and start playing immediately, but it still has its mean health and fitness benefits. If you are a common softball player, you are probably in good shape due to the various benefits offered by the game. We are going to look at the top health benefits that you will have once you start playing this awesome game.

Total Body Conditioning

When you compare softball and other types of sports, you will find that softball is way more involving and needs the players to have a variety of skills, thus ensuring that the body gets the perfect total body conditioning that they need. Fielding, throwing, running and swinging all need a coordinated effort by the body muscles, which means you entire body gets the necessary workout that it needs.

Anaerobic Benefits and Strength

If you have watched a softball game, you will quickly notice that every single action that is involved in the game is a vigorous action. Throwing, hitting, running, quick lateral movements and jumping, are some of the explosive actions that you will see in a softball game. Apart from these, the players will also need throwing and acceleration power. All these activities that take place during the game serve as an ideal foundation to build the muscle power of the body.

Upper Body Development

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The Health Benefits Of Playing Softball

Although you will rarely find this in major publications –softball has several great health benefits. This article will highlight some of the benefits associated with playing soft balls, so all fitness fanatics get ready for scoop. In essence, softball is a game predominantly played by women. As such it provides a great platform for youth girls to exercise in the little league. The game offers great summer fun time which also doubles as a perfect time for exercising. The following are some of the health benefits of playing softball.

For entire body conditioning; unlike most sports softball or baseball requires players to have multiple skills because of the different aspects of the sport during play time. The players have a load of activities they participate in during the game such as swinging, running, throwing and fielding. These numerous activities mean that the player will condition the entire body as they play on.

Anaerobic benefits and strength; the player on the softball pitch is burning so much calories through the various activities they are involved in. Nearly all the activities on the softball pitch are vigorous in nature which means that the player has anaerobic benefits. As we know more vigorous activities on the pitch mean that there is development of muscular strength which is vital in the body. Ultimately, throwing, pitching, swinging running up and down isn’t just all play; it is also health work for your body.

The development of the upper body; during game time the upper body plays a crucial role such as swinging or pitching. Therefore the key parts of the body relevant for the game include arms and shoulder. Their development can be directly linked to the game of softball where the triceps, biceps, forearms are well toned during play time.

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Softball Performance – Softball Nutrition Tips

There exist a very clear and definite relationship between the nutrition of a player and the player’s performance in the game. The evidence to support this opinion is huge enough to be considered factual. According to Holt et al. (1963), most leading traditional athletes were mainly concerned of their nutrition, which in return had a significant boost in their performance.

While seeking to establish a better explanation on the relationships between players’ attitudes, practices and their playing performance, Grete et al. (2011) too supported the idea of nutrition having played a very significant role in player performance.  The same source showed that among softball players in American college schools, barely 10% of those who engage it as freshmen end up playing it in their final year. All this owed to poor dieting and practices that are acquired with time.

In this edition thus, I tried to outline the best player practices and the best nutrition tips for a softball player at varied times in order to remain strong and encouraged to play again and again.

Foods and Fluids for Softball Players

Rodriguez et a. (2009) in the Gatorade Sports Science Institute publication pointed out that athletes and softball player did share a great deal of characteristics. Their publication argued that baseball, cricket and softball players had a main characteristic of running short distances and making rapid decisions frequently. Either, such players are required to have an uninterrupted focus/ attention for long duration. As a result, most softball players are likely to experience glycogen (sugar) and fluid depletion frequently.  Below is a table illustrating the appropriate meals to consider before a match (suited for a player weighing an average of 80 pounds (81.8 KG).

 

Duration Meals to Eat Nutrients Meals to Avoid Notes
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Softball Performance Tips – Truth About Pre-Game Meals

By Jeff Cavaliere

pre-game mealIt’s important to understand that while yes, the choice you make for your pre-game meal can have a huge impact on your ability to perform just hours later, it’s just as important to look at the contribution the last few days’ worth of eating can have on the game you’ll play today.

Pre-game meals are usually given such focused attention because it is usually the last thing you put into your body before taking the field.

However, if we were to look at weight training in the same way, we’d mistakenly think that the rebound that you just grabbed was a direct result of the last set of squats you did in the workout the day before the game.

Do you think that’s true? Of course it’s not. The fact that you were able to out-play three or four other players had more to do with the consistent efforts and hours you’ve been putting in in the weight room for the last eight months to gradually build up your lower body strength and power with hundreds of sets of squats…not to mention lunges, step-ups, and plyometrics.

You see? So, in much the same way, while your pre-game meal is significant and important, how you’ve eaten and fueled your body on a consistent basis leading up to that day has just as much, if not more of an impact on how much energy you’ll have in today’s game.

Consistently good eating habits provide your muscles with several days’ worth of glycogen building nutrients. It’s much easier for your muscles to absorb and store this key energy source when it’s delivered with steady doses of usable glucose as opposed to flooded with it from some pre-workout or pre-game gimmicky “Super Carbo Charger Sugar Shock Extreme” drink. Eating right for days leading up to your game is much more effective than short-term attempts to “do the right thing” last minute.

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Softball Tips – How to Reduce Brain Farts

softball tips - drink waterBy Stacie Mahoe

You’ve probably seen games before where mental errors cost a team dearly. Just about every coach and player would like to reduce mental mistakes to increase their chance of success on the field.

Well, there’s actually a very simple thing you can do…

Stay hydrated

Yup – that’s it and it works! Did you know that your brain is comprised of water more than anything else? And did you know that your brain’s function becomes impaired and/or reacts slower when you are dehydrated?

Impaired brain function is not a good thing when you need to make the right decisions quick or when you need to think on your feet during a play.  Keeping your brain working at 100% by staying hydrated can help you reduce your chances of making costly mistakes.

As you can imagine, just a fraction of a second can be a big deal! It can be the difference between a safe call and an out call. It can be the difference between scoring and being gunned down at the plate. It can be the difference between getting a hit or not getting a hit. You get the idea…

Have you heard that saying, “Softball is a game of inches?”

How many inches does a ball travel in a fraction of a second? Well, let’s see…

According to those online conversion sites, 50 mph translates to 73.3 feet per second. This means that in 1/100 of a second, a ball thrown at 50mph travels almost 8.8 inches! So if even if your dehydration only slowed your brain processing down by 1/100th of a second, it could most certainly mean the difference between hitting a ball solidly for a base hit and shanking and/or missing the ball completely.

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5 Simple Sports Nutrition Truths

softball nutritionBy Stacie Mahoe

Being someone who never paid attention to nutrition until recently, I can understand if you’re wondering whether it really makes a difference or not.  I’m here to tell you that it DOES!

Last year while shaping up (after having 5 kids) I finally started consciously trying to make better nutritional choices and I was very surprised at how much it affected my performance.  Actually, I didn’t really notice until one day, after weeks of eating healthier, I slacked off and had a fast food meal for lunch.  Not only did my stomach protest, I just felt plain slow and sluggish during my workout that afternoon.

I couldn’t believe how much having that “junk food” before my workout made such a big difference in my energy level for the rest of the day and more importantly during my workout that day. (Man that was a tough one!)

Ever since then, I’ve been a believer.  It’s really quite simple…

Making better nutritional choices = increased energy AND better performance

Period!

 

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Softball Performance – Most Important Meal of the Day

healthy-shakeBy Coach Marc

This past weekend, the weather was gorgeous outside (it was about time since we’ve mostly a crappy summer over here in Montreal!) so I decided to go for roller blade ride with a good buddy of mine.

After riding for 45 minutes and breaking a good sweat, we took our blades off and stopped by a little snack bar. He bought a water and I got myself a healthy shake.

Knowing I was going to a family dinner in less than 90 minutes, my buddy looked at me funny and asked me why I was getting a shake right before a family dinner.

My response: “I’m having the most important meal of my day!”

Clearly, by the look on his face, he didn’t get it.  So, I went on to explain.

I started with a question:  “If I told you that you could literally screw up everything else in your diet, but if you did just ONE thing correctly, you’d achieve much better results than if you did EVERYTHING ELSE right and left this one thing out?  Would you be interested in knowing?

“absolutely!”, he replied.

So I pointed to my shake and told him: “THIS is that one thing.”

You see, research has shown that right after exercise, there is a “critical window”; a 30-minute period where you must feed your body in order to maximize recovery and results.

That means that you should always eat something within 15-30 minutes of the end of your workouts, practices, and games. Doing so will accelerate your recovery because it is during that time that your body is starving for energy and extremely primed to suck up nutrients to recover and regenerate itself.

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Softball Performance – Nutrition Tips for Maximum Energy

Fruits.jpg

By Coach Marc

A few years ago I was running a tryout and about 1 hour into it, one of the girls started to be sick, weak and looked a little loss and confused.

Being a Red Cross first aid instructor, I recognized the signs and immediately suspected a drop in blood sugar levels – a condition called hypoglycemia.

I took her out of the sun and into the dugout where  I had her sit down and relax.

I asked if anyone had a juice or some sugary beverage.  One of the athletes had a fruit punch. I gave it to the young lady and told her to drink it.

Within minutes, she started to feel a lot better.

What happened is that she was so nervous about the tryouts  because she really wanted to make the team that when she got up that morning, she was not hungry at all. She was too nervous.

So she didn’t have breakfast and her last meal consistent meal was the night before when she had diner. That means that the body wasn’t fed any food in the previous 18 hours and she was pushing her body hard to impress me!

No wonder she almost passed out – her body was running very low on energy. It’s like trying to run a car without gas in it!

The point is, even if you are not hungry, you must eat a good breakfast that will fuel your body and allow you to peak perform on the field and sustain your energy for the entire tryouts.

Three things you MUST do to have optimal energy for your tryouts:

1) Eat a good diner the night before
2) Eat an excellent breakfast the morning of
3) Pack a light snack and eat it during a break

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Softball Performance Tips – Little Things Do Matter

By Coach Marc

As I told you a few days ago, I am presently in Kitchener in Southern Ontario at the Tri-Nations Cup where Canada, Venezuela, Japan and Australia are competing against each other in preparation for the Olympic Games

I have been here for 2 days working with the Canadian athletes helping them prepare for the China Games. All of the teams are staying at the same location so it allows to also observe what the other teams do outside of the ball field.

I can tell summarize everything that I have seen by this:

==> Little Details Do Matter a Lot <==

What I mean by that is that the best players on the planet don’t take anything for granted.

They realize that little things and little details do matter when preparing for competition.

They don’t left anything to chance. And that’s true for ALL the teams.

Here what I mean by that:

  • They watch what they eat
  • They make sure their shoes shine
  • They tuck in their uniforms
  • They all have a bottle of water or Gatorade
  • They sprint to get on and off the field
  • They go for morning jogs and stretch even when they play later
  • They bring healthy snacks to the park
  • They do dynamic warm-ups
  • They are very serious in their pre-game preparation
  • They observe what the other teams does
  • They share information with their teammates about what they notice
  • They are disciplined
  • They are always on time and even ready way before they have to
  • They pick up after themselves and always leave dugouts clean
  • They take very good care of their gloves and bats
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