Game day workouts have caused some controversy with both young athletes and their parents. There are some who believe in it, and others who do not. While it may be a little controversial, it really shouldn’t be. It’s one of those things that when you look at the facts and science behind it, deciding whether or not to workout on the day of a game should be a no-brainer. You just have to look at top-level athletes in team sports. Game day workouts are just part of their routine. Let me outline some positive factors that contribute to the need for game-day workouts.
Athletes know how much mental preparation it takes to compete at a high level. It can be a critical factor in taking the next step forward to reaching a higher level. There are many mental techniques that help athletes succeed, from visualization to self-talk, but it is hard to deny the fact that working out is a great tool to add. With team sports, this can increase when you are working out with teammates or other athletes. You’re doing explosive moments, You’re doing some strength movements, you start to think about the upcoming game, and you’re with teammates. Sounds like mental preparation to me.
Range of Motion
While the warm-up can definitely increase the range of motion, it might be a good idea to take it a step further. The warm-up for many youth teams starts about 5 minutes before the competition. What has recently started, is the warm-up starting even earlier, with teams going through a dynamic type warm-up before they take to the field, court, or ice.
Range of motion can be a limiting factor when it comes to getting in the right positions for the sport. Doing a variety of strength exercises can increase your range of motion and allow you to freely move in and out of certain positions. Going through the full range when doing strength exercises will help you in your sporting activity.
Balance is a key component of the majority of team sports. Whether it is on the field, court, or ice, a player will have to fight to keep their balance at some point during their game/competition. Doing single-leg exercises before the game can help to get the body ready to deal with many types of balance issues.
Primes Central Nervous System
The central nervous system has to be working in top order when playing sports. How efficiently it responds to a certain stimulus can make a huge difference. When training, the central nervous system is in charge of recruiting more motor units when it comes to producing force and power. Shouldn’t an athlete be ready to produce the right amount of force and power when needed? I think so. Strength training can definitely help get the body ready to produce force and power when called upon.
Coordination is often taken for granted by many athletes. Often, it’s the people who aren’t overly coordinated who aren’t in sports. Coordination can be worked on and can get better. This is why working out on game day can be very beneficial. Sports and athletics take a great deal of coordination to do everything that’s involved in the particular sport. Running, skating, jumping, shooting the ball, passing the puck, receiving a pass and the list goes on. Working out on game day enables the body to prepare for the different types of conditions for coordination that will be called upon.
Strength and Performance Professional
The one thing with game day workouts is you really don’t want to tire yourself or the athletes, too much..or at all. Working out on game days shouldn’t be a taxing workout, a conditioning workout, or a workout that will expend too much energy. This is why consulting a qualified performance coach or strength coach is your best bet. He/She will know the best exercises that will get the athlete game-ready, yet not drain needed energy.