Year two started with some great momentum after a great first year , but what happened during that year really took DST to a new level as we transformed from a company centered around my individual efforts into a team. During the football season, an assistant coach by the name of Pete Wilkening started hanging around the weight room and asking great questions. By the time Christmas rolled around, Pete was helping out with our after-school kids which was a huge help for me. At the time, my hands were full training a few pros ( Scott Kazmir & James Loney had joined Carl in the group) in addition to my 1-on-1 clients and a handful of college guys training over their winter break. When the calendar rolled over to 2010, it made sense to bring Pete on as DST’s first hire -- and what an amazing hire he was! Not only did he have the desire to become a better trainer through continued education, but he was also training himself through our processes as he wanted to be more effective at demonstrating and intimately knowing what he was coaching. God’s timing is always right and in this instance it was truly the catalyst to DST becoming greater than just myself.
DST’s breakout exposure came during our second year as well. ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and Buster Olney did an entire 1-hour segment on Carl Crawford’s off-season training which highlighted his physical preparation for most of the segment! With MLB spring training approaching, Carl wanted to know if I could be available to fly out to the Tampa Bay Rays ' spring training facility to make sure he was physically prepared. The demand for DST’s services increased and Pete couldn’t have been a better fit for the increased responsibility and opportunity. The patience, work ethic and dedication Pete brought to the team were instrumental in our development!
Proper hydration is essential for athletes. Extended periods of time training and performing a sport can lead to dehydration if not addressed. Dehydration is defined as losing fluid in a greater amounts than 2% of body weight. When dehydration occurs, the physiological strain on the athlete, as well as the athlete's perception of effort needed to perform an exercise task, increases. It can cause deterioration of the mental and cognitive performance, too. The decline of performance is relative to the magnitude of heat stress, exercise and the individual's unique biological characteristics.
Early signs of dehydration can be general: fatigue, headache(s) and confusion. Eventually, it can become a risk factor for heat exhaustion and heat stroke, according to The Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness.¹
Hydration needs vary from athlete to athlete. Different environments and physical activities require different hydration needs. Sweat contains electrolytes and water - both must be replaced! Also, prolonged exposure results in sodium loss through perspiration. It is important to replenish your body’s fluids, electrolytes and sodium levels.
The American College of Sports Medicine has developed the following fluid replacement recommendations:²
Individuals can monitor their hydration status by employing simple urine and body weight measurements.
Fluid replacement before exercise, if needed, is meant to start the physical activity at “normal” body water and electrolyte levels.
Fluid replacement during exercise is meant to prevent excessive dehydration (weight loss greater than two percent from baseline body weight) and to avoid excessive changes in electrolyte balance in order to avert compromised performance.
Fluid replacement after exercise is meant to fully replace any fluid and electrolyte losses.
The above list is the main reason we have our athletes weigh-in and weigh-out each and every day. Whatever weight you lose during a workout is water weight that needs to be replaced. For every pound of weight you lose during a workout, you need to replenish with 16 oz. of water.
Your choice of beverage will also affect your hydration status. Depending on your sport and exertion, water will not satisfy your body's true needs. Many “sports drinks” on the market are formulated to easily deliver electrolytes, fluids and carbohydrates to the body. According the the The Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness*, “studies have shown that athletes, including children, consume more fluids and stay better hydrated when the liquid is flavored.” Not all sports drinks are created equally, though! Athletes should always research what they're putting into their bodies.
We Want To Know: Are you loyal to a particular brand like Vitamin Water, Gatorade or Powerade? Or do you prefer just water?
With September upon us, the freedom of summer has officially ended and students are back in school. Gone are the days of staying up until the early hours of the morning followed by sleeping in past noon. It is now the season of playing “How will I get all of this reading done tonight?”, “How many times can I hit snooze before I’m seriously late?”, “Will I have time for breakfast?” and, my favorite, “If I fall asleep now, I have exactly 5 hours, 32 minutes and 45 seconds of sleep”.
Sleep tends to be the first demoted from our list of priorities when we have a day brimming full of tasks to complete and activities to attend. Picture each day before you as a building -- Sleep is the foundation. Playing a vital role, sleep protects our physical health, mental health and overall wellbeing.
When your body and mind are not well-rested, the processes of how you learn, think, act and perform decline. When sleep-deprived, you may struggle to pay attention, make decisions, problem-solve, control your emotions and produce creative ideas. These factors are all incredibly crucial for students who are seeking to succeed in school.
Not only is sleep a large component of your performance in the classroom, but also on the playing field. Many students today are student-athletes. These students not only spend upwards of 8 hours a day in school or more, juggle many classes and class assignments, but also spend, on average, 4 hours training or performing their sport. That alone is 12 hours! When you add in preparation time, meals, homework assignments and dreaded chores...There is not an allowance of 8 hours left over for a solid night's rest.
Athletes training to reach their performance goals are continuously involved in intense exercise catered to their sport, where muscles are being torn down to some degree. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute *, sleep supports healthy growth and development. Proper sleep allows your body to maintain a healthy balance of hormones. The particular hormones, Ghrelin and Leptin, control your hunger levels throughout the day. Other hormones that stimulate muscle repair and growth are triggered during non-REM deep sleep. During this time, the blood supply to muscles increases allowing larger amounts of nutrients and oxygen to be received, helping boost muscle mass, repairing tissue and rejuvenating cells. Sleep is also the longest period that your body has to synthesize protein -- a large factor in muscle repair and growth between meals. Getting adequate rest is extremely important to ensure that your body properly completes the necessary cycles of muscle repair and recovery to grow properly. Below you will find tips from the National Sleep Foundation on falling asleep!
Our athletes at DST put in tremendous amounts of dedication and time training to challenge and maximize their genetic potential in their sports. While we instill the physical training skills, we cannot force you to sleep! So after a long day, in whatever stage of life you are in, make it a top priority for your overall health and performance to achieve the proper amount of sleep. Giving your body the proper rest will maximize all the time spent training. Your body will thank you greatly when it is able to to function properly and perform at its highest capabilities on the field.
Sweet dreams, athletes!
Deserving of further research (These supplements could be considered for athletes under a research protocol or case-managed monitoring situation):
Physical Principle: Periodization
One of the core principles for our athletic development processes is the concept of periodization. Having goals is vital for all athletes. You need to know where you want to go before you can take the proper steps to get there. However, constant fixation on an end-goal can be detrimental to actually achieving it. That is where the idea of periodization helps immensely.
Periodization is taking the end-goal and breaking it down into smaller, more achievable steps. Think of it this way: Your end-goal is that finished bookcase from IKEA. Periodization is what helps you build it with steps A through J. This process-oriented mindset creates daily opportunities for little victories, which helps sustain the motivation required to accomplish long-term goals.
"Rome wasn't built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour."