The 3 determining factors.
Effecient movement, musclar endurance & proper diet.
Stamina seems pretty straightforward but has three determining factors. Efficient motions, muscular endurance and fueling their body through proper diet.
1. Efficient Movement
Many athletes perform movements that do not directly turn into pitch speed, foot speed or bat speed. These motions will limit power production and reduce the amount of times the athlete can perform repetitive motions necessary for playing softball. Training with proper mechanics that agree with biomechanics of the human's body is the quickest way to improve stamina. Seeking out a pitching coach, hitting coach and speed coach is essential. For most families, trying to balance school, social, siblings and training schedules may not allow for extra speed training. Coachataclick's fitness app covers running mechanics and programs to fix pitching mechanics are available in the Coachataclick web store.
2. Muscle strength.
An athlete needs to train muscles for optimal strength to body weight ratios to really maximize stamina in games. Strength to body weight ratio means your muscles are strong enough to support your weight at fast and slow speeds and have balance front to back as well as left to right. To make an athletic motion your muscles have to pull bones into position. Although aggressive strength training programs are not necessary for all ages, improving strength to body weight ratios will dramatically improve athletic ability and stamina in games. Age specific, softball specific workouts are available through the CoachataClick fitness app.
3. Proper Diet
Your muscles require energy which comes from food. Putting the wrong types of food or not enough food in your body will cause muscles to underperform. Following a good balanced diet of protein carbs and fat will help fuel muscles to perform better in games.
Here are five nutrition habits that may be making you feel "out of shape" despite your rigorous conditioning program, and how you can correct them to improve your stamina.
Meal the Night Before
Ever heard of carb loading? It's the idea that filling up on carbs (like pasta) the night before a competition will fill your muscles with glycogen and give you more energy the next day. There are advantages to a proper night-before meal. But you don't need to eat a pound of pasta to realize them. Instead, eat a balanced meal with protein (beef, chicken or fish) and carbohydrate (pasta, bread). You really can't go wrong with the protein or carb source you choose; just don't have a salad with no meat or a snack in place of a meal. In-season is not a good time to try to cut weight, so make sure you have a hearty dinner you will enjoy.
You should eat a light meal approximately one hour before warm-ups. Make sure to include a protein source like peanut butter and a carbohydrate like fruit or crackers. Dependant on your metabolism, you might need to eat a little less or a little more. A few peanut butter crackers or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich are my favorite options. Protein bars, bananas, apples and granola are also good. Check out the video player above for sports dietitian Leslie Bonci's recommendations for athletes to eat and drink before exercise.
This has to start three days before competition. Consistently drink 100 ounces or more of water every day. During activity, drink only water during the first two hours (including warm-up); drink half water/half sports drink for three to five hours of activity; and during long tournaments, drink one bottle of water and two sports drinks after five hours of work. For an extra kick of energy before a game, drink about 8 ounces of a sports drink between warm-ups and start time. For long tournament days, it's OK to treat yourself to a milkshake after competition to refuel your body for the next day. To learn more about proper hydration strategy, watch the video player above, in which Leslie Bonci explains which fluids are best for hydration.
Time Between Meals
Going long periods between meals affects metabolism and competition. If your body does not get regular feedings, your metabolism slows down to make sure your meals last as long as possible. This is a survival mechanism that helps the body function in periods of starvation. But a slower metabolism can increase body fat, which is not ideal for any athlete. Best practice: eat within 30 minutes of waking, then have a snack or a meal every 2 to 3 hours. Choose healthy snacks like fruit, veggies, nuts, granola or dried cereal, so you won't pack on weight by eating high-fat and sugary snacks. In the video above, sports dietitian Leslie Bonci answers questions about the number of meals you should be eating per day.
Not Eating Enough
This is more of a problem for female athletes, but it can affect all athletes, especially those who compete in sports (like wrestling) that require you to weigh in. Male athletes trying to build muscle mass should consume 24-27 calories per pound of bodyweight per day. Female athletes with the same goal should consume 20-23 calories per pound of body weight. Athletes engaged in high-intensity training and endurance athletes need to consume more—36 calories per pound for males and 27 calories per pound for females.
Coachataclick Fitness portal covers strenght training, conditioning and nutrition specificly for softball players and customized to the individual. Portal is avlailble now and comming soon to App Store and Google Play.