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softball nutrition tips

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 – Surviving Hot Summer Days

By Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

hotsoftballdayWhat a gorgeous day today was where I live. A high of almost 90, sunny all day long, with just enough breeze to make it tolerable to work outside.

Just the kind of day that can sneak up on you if you’re not careful. With the summer tournament season getting into full swing I thought it might be a good time to go over a few reminders for dealing with a day in sun, heat and humidity. And not just for players, but for coaches and parents too.

We say it all the time, but the first three rules of dealing with an all-day tournament are hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Even if you don’t feel like drinking water, drink water anyway. Lots of it.

Water is good. It’s most of what your body is made of. When you get hot your body releases water (sweats) to try to cool your body. Nature’s way is that the sweat sits on your skin, and any passing breeze against it helps cool your body.

The thing is, as you sweat your body is losing water. If you don’t replace the water your core temperature starts to rise, you begin to feel sick, get dizzy and ultimately can end up with heat stroke, which will put you in the hospital. Drinking water is much easier on you.

Sports drinks can help replace the electrolytes you lose through sweating, but you don’t want to drink them exclusively. You still need water. It does a body good.

Sunscreen is another essential. (I feel a bit hypocritical writing that sentence given that I am currently sitting here with a nice, hot burn because I didn’t bother today.)

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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 Tournaments – How to Recover Faster Between Games

By Coach Marc

I got an excellent question from one of my readers. He asked: ”What is the most effective way to recover mentally and physically between games during weekend softball tournaments?”

While there is no secret formula, there are several things you can do to help you recover faster between games especially when you have to play 3-4 games in one day. In this video, I share a few things that you can do.

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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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