"Focused attention" involves sustaining attention moment by moment on a chosen object or task. This is the most common type of mindfulness practice. This sort of attention can be honed through simple practices. For example, taking 5 minutes to observe the details of an…
Meditation is an extremely valuable skill, both for the athlete and the professional business person. Because of this, these days it is used not only by monks and yogis, but also leaders, executives, and professional athletes. Brain chemistry in experienced…
Summer is here which means the weather is (finally) heating up! While hydration is important all year round, warmer weather can add an extra layer of consideration to your hydration practices. Whether you’re having a pool day, strolling around the city, or training, staying adequately hydrated will keep you feeling your best. Hydration needs vary due to many reasons, some including: heat, humidity, level of activity, individual sweat rate, etc.
I’m not going to lie, I’m tired. I work six days a week well over 60 hours when I factor in commutes and extra time I spend on work or my own professional development when not at work. I am taking a 5 week online course to enhance my competence in exercise physiology. I consider training for upcoming endurance events a part time job due to the requirements to do it well (meal prep, getting to bed early, figuring out when I can fit workouts into my schedule). I’m also writing this following a week long trip for a conference in New Orleans where I presented twice in one day. Coupled with the heat, 12+ miles of walking to sight-see a few days, keeping up with workouts as I am two weeks out from a half marathon, and travel in general…exhausted might be a better descriptor at this present moment.
We hear about the prevalence of eating disorders in the fashion industry and Hollywood. What is less well known is its prevalence in professional sports. Athletes operate under enormous pressure to fit a physical ideal and to constantly perform at their best. Because of this, professional athletes are three times more likely to develop an eating disorder than the average person (Bowers, n.d.).
The two most common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. People afflicted with anorexia restrict their intake of food in an effort to meet their ideal weight. Many do this to the point of starvation. In bulimia, the afflicted person goes through a cycle of bingeing and purging. The person will binge on a large amount of food in a short period of time, then eradicate what they’ve eaten through self-induced vomiting or other means. This cycle is usually followed by feelings of guilt, shame and remorse.
A recent USA Today story highlighted the mental health struggles of numerous star athletes, including NBA legend Jerry West, New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall, Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt, WNBA center Imani Boyette, and history’s most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps.
Athletes are in the spotlight. If something isn’t working on the field, the ice, the court, or in the boat, it has to do with the athlete, right? It is easy to look at what is in front of you and believe that is where the course correction is needed. Often, the “invisible players” have a much larger role than is considered. These can include: the team dynamic, the environment of the organization, politics within the athletic department, and coaches. These are often last to be looked at, if at all. Truth be told, they can have a much greater impact on performance results than one individual athlete alone.
The weather may be cooling down, but fall sports are heating up! Maintain peak performance all season with our sport dietitian’s top nutrition strategies.
- Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You’re probably wondering why sleep is making an appearance in a nutrition-related post? Sleep is vital to muscle repair, recovery, and the regulation of hunger and fullness cues and stress hormones. Ever feel that your hunger is insatiable, experience strong carbohydrate cravings, or see a lack in results? Cumulative lack of sleep may be the culprit!
- Hydrate: Gone are the days of “aim for 8 cups of water per day.” Hydration needs are not “one-size-fits-all.” What we should really aim for as a baseline is drinking half of our body weight in ounces. For example, a person weighing 165 lbs. should roughly consume 82.5 oz. (or 10.5 cups) of water per day. Hydration needs can increase above that based on physical activity level, temperature, sweat rate, etc. If you don’t have an estimate of your weight, don’t sweat it! Monitor your hydration status by observing the color of your urine during the day. Click here for an example.
No matter the season of your sport, coaching never stops. It is a yearlong process of recruiting new talent, providing guidance and instruction for athletes during the off season, and formulating your goals for the coming competitive year. Coaching is multifaceted, covering various administrative duties and interpersonal roles.
Here are three initial tips to help set you and your players up for success and support all around!
Sharon presented at the 14th International Society of Sport Psychology on a panel “Lessons learnt as practitioners in sport and exercise psychology: A case study approach.” Her case documented the beginning of a Boston Ballet Company dancer’s transition after dancing with the corps (the group of dancers who are not soloists) for ten years through her complete termination. Her transition began post Achilles tendon surgery, due to a Haglund’s deformity. She danced through her rehabilitation of her ankle for three years post-surgery, modifying role selection, intensity of her seasons and number of performances to manage the chronic pain that ensued post-surgery.