Typically physical trainers for ball teams know that in the pre-season games and particularly the games played in hotter conditions and over extended periods (especially in the case of extra-time) will result in a ‘deluge’ of cramps.
In fact, as athletes and coaches well know, delaying the onset of cramps or preventing them can make the difference between winning and losing or getting a top three finish.
And that’s where physical conditioning along with the techniques of nutrition, adequate energy reserves, hydration, stretching and massage all come into play.
Understand your body, look after it and then work on your weak spots – those calves or quadriceps or hamstrings that are cramping. Get a Plan!
Here’s how you begin:
o Train to a Plan – Initially you can do this by starting a regular and committed training program. Plan your training sessions, plan your meals, take time to stretch and massage. Develop a better and regular means of delivering water and electrolytes to your body. Begin a supplement program if you can’t get enough of the right fresh foods to support your activities.
- 10% Per Week – don’t increase your exercise by more than 10% from week to week as this can induce cramping.
- Hit The Gym – The main benefits of working out lie in the prevention of injury, strengthening and conditioning of the muscles and in rehabilitation following an injury.
- Train Specifically – The best training routine will more closely resemble the body posture and muscle mechanics you have as you are running. You can find exercises in the gym that resemble what you do when you run or perform your chosen sport.
This last point leads us to the next stage of your training plan. You need to understand that training a particular muscle to be more powerful won’t make that muscle more powerful in competition, unless the precise movement patterns used in training are very close to those used in competition – and for that reason you must start to focus on exercises and training plans that resemble your focus sport.
In the case of running, for example, most of the leg exercises you find in the gym get the muscle moving in the vertical direction. But to build up your running performance, you need to simulate moving horizontally. The same is true of other sporting disciplines.