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Silicon Valley Eagles Blog

The Silicon Valley Eagles Soccer Academy blog is a great source of soccer coaching tips, parents and players improvement tips and advises, and updates on the soccer world news.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_jesus_navas_spain.jpgNo matter your sport or age, anyone who’s ever played has felt those pre-game “butterflies” in their stomach. Some of us also get the sweats even before we set foot on the field or in the arena. And in the extreme, you might feel your heart pump so rapidly, you think you’re about to faint.

Although they feel nowhere near normal, these symptoms are actually common to anxiety, clinically known as Cognitive Mental State Anxiety. Other symptoms can include negative thoughts, feelings of apprehension and nervousness. Another form of anxiety is known as Somatic Physical Anxiety, which describes the characteristics you are born with (for example, if you have the habit of vomiting before a big game).

Both types of pre-game anxiety can be overcome, but you must keep in mind that what works for one athlete may not work for another. Therefore, overcoming anxiety requires a wide range of tactics.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_partner-squat1.jpgAs the soccer season begins, all youth soccer players are excited to start playing again. One thing to remember is that many injuries happen at the beginning of the season. Many of these injuries can be preventable! Below are some tips to help stay injury free for this soccer season and beyond:
Pre-season training:

Many kids enter their season with no off-season training, and their bodies aren’t prepared to play again. A preseason conditioning program should include proper full body warm-up, strength training, agility drills, and stretching.

Strength training is one aspect that can be easily overlooked. Strength training is important because it helps improve coordination, confidence, and help protects the body from injury. Here are some examples of good strength training exercises for young soccer players (recommended for ages 10+). Below are a few pictures of the body row, plank, and partner squat.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_apple_XXSmall_20160203-220354_1.jpgPractices are a good way to test what snacks work best for your child in regards to energy and performance. Just as the old adage goes for adult athletes, “Do not try anything new on race day;” this also can be applied to youth soccer players. Testing what food works well for pre/post practice can then be applied to pre/post games.
A snack before a soccer practice or game should be something that isn’t heavy, but is enough to keep kids fueled. Try to fuel muscles 1-2 hours before an athletic event. Some kids will need two hours to digest before they play. This depends on the individual kid and timing of eating needs to be experimented with at practices. Also, a snack that travels well is best, since travel to and from games is commonplace. Make sure to avoid fatty foods, extra sweet foods, and caffeine. These cause spikes in blood sugar, and then sugar levels can drop quickly during performance. This will make kids feel sluggish.

Here are some examples of good pre-practice and pre-game snacks:

Whole grain bread w/peanut butter
Cereal that is low in sugar
Low-fat cheese
Yogurt
Turkey or chicken
Fruit, such as: apples, bananas, pears, oranges
Post-soccer practice or post-soccer game snacks are something one needs immediately following the event. First thing is fluids. Some examples are water, chocolate milk or natural fruit juices. Sports drinks can be included as recommended fluids, as they aid in replacing electrolytes, but read the labels to make sure there is no caffeine. After fluids are replenished, youth athletes need a mixture of food that includes both carbohydrates and protein. Again, something fast and that travels easy is likely to be a good choice. This way, kids can eat something on the car ride home and they won’t be starving by the time they eat their next meal; which is not good for their blood sugar levels to dip too low.
Some good post game and practice snacks are:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_coachbase123.jpgThere is a problem with participation in kid sport.

Unknown to many though is just how big the problem is. Right across the board, no matter the sport, the amount of children starting and staying active in sport is decreasing. The good news is that technology offers solutions that could help reverse the trend.

But first it’s important to understand just how serious this downward trend has become. The data, tabulated by the Sports & Fitness Industry Association and presented by the Wall Street Journal, says the numbers of kids aged 6 to 17 playing the four most-popular sports – baseball, football, basketball and soccer – declined from 2008 to 2012. Surprisingly it’s basketball that saw the largest drop off, losing 8.3 percent of participants over the study while soccer dropped 7.2 percent of its players, baseball 7.2 percent and football down 5.4 percent. These numbers become increasingly worrying when placed against the backdrop of a childhood obesity epidemic along with concerns over childhood bullying and the like.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_133947695.jpgEven over the holidays, when your kids are training for sports, you want to provide them with the right foods to fuel their activities. You should also provide your child with the right foods to promote their growth. Certain nutrients are essential to achieve optimal growth; this helps their performance in sports and can help to promote their overall health. Here we consider which macro and micronutrients are vital for growing bodies and where these can be sourced in the diet.

Protein

All tissues in the body contain protein. From the bones and muscles to the organs, all require an adequate supply of dietary protein for growth. If we break a bone, tear a muscle or accidentally cut ourselves, protein is also required for wound healing. The amount of protein your child needs each day depends on their age. Teenage boys require more protein in their diet than girls; this is demonstrated in the table below, which is based on figures provided by the CDC.

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