Category Archives: athletic training

Confidence is Key

By: Jamie McIntyre, BS Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

“So much of this game is about believing in yourself and believing that you will succeed.” Those were the words I left my softball team with after another tough loss. During the game I watched each player timidly approach the plate and walk away with their head down after they were called out. After only a couple of weeks of coaching, it was clear to me that we needed to focus on building confidence. I believe that confidence is a key success indicator in every sport. When you watch the best players in the NFL (or any other major sport) you can see that they are confident, they hold their head up high, they are aggressive, and everything about their body language exudes confidence. So, I built a practice that would not only enhance my players’ physical ability but also increase their self-confidence. I provided critical feedback along with praise. I made sure they knew I was giving that feedback because I had confidence in their abilities to make the proper adjustments. This is also something I needed as a softball player. When I knew that my coach believed in me, I believed in myself. As a collegiate athlete I struggled with confidence at the plate. I felt that my coach and my teammates didn’t have the confidence in me to hit the ball and they were right. But it wasn’t because I didn’t have the skills or ability to hit the ball, it was because I didn’t believe I could hit the ball. However, when I was playing defense I was the complete opposite. I owned the field, I knew that every ball that was hit to me would be an out and it usually was. It is funny to think back on that now. To see how in one game I could have two completely opposite views of my skills and abilities.

This experience is what I bring to my coaching, my training, and my life. I know that if I want to accomplish something or I want someone to accomplish something I need to believe in myself/them. There are three things that I do to work on improving my self-confidence everyday:

  1. Practice – “Practice makes perfect.” Not a single person in the world can truly succeed without practice. Practicing and honing your skills whether it is for sports, work, or everyday life, is crucial to improving self-confidence. Knowing that you can do something outside of the game or presentation will help you succeed.
  2. Visualize – Visualizing a time when you made the big play or you gave a great presentation will help boost your confidence to go out there and do it again.
  3. Positive Self-Talk – You can have everyone in the world believing in you but at the end of the day you need to believe in yourself. Always speak to yourself in a positive way. Even if you fail, know that you can learn from that experience and you will use it in a positive way to succeed the next time.

Confidence is the key to success in everything you do. But it doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come without putting in the work and a strong support network. I know that a consistent, daily approach is worth the time and effort and will in having a lasting positive effect.

Jamie McIntyre, B.S. Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

meJamie McIntyre is the Marketing Coordinator and a personal trainer at Ascension Fitness. She came from San Diego, California where she recently completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dickinson State University. Jamie received a softball scholarship to play at Dickinson State University. During her time at Dickinson State she completed an internship as a student athletic trainer which led to her passion of fitness.  Jamie loves training, softball, ringette, and watching movies.

Preventing Injuries in Young Athletes

 

By: Jamie McIntyre, B.S. Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

There are an estimated 60 million children ages 6-18 that participate in some form of organized athletics, with 44 million participating in more than one sport. In a society where many children are addicted to technology such as cell phones, video games, TVs, etc., it is great to hear that athletics are still a way of life for millions of kids. Not only do sports teach physical skills, they also teach skills such as teamwork, leadership, and strategic thinking.

Despite the many benefits of playing sports, there are some risks. Estimates show 3.5 million children aged 14 and under receive medical treatment for sport-related injuries, while high-school athletes account for another 2 million a year. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases the most common sport injuries are due to accidents, poor training practices (such as overtraining) or using the wrong gear or equipment. The good news is that many of these injuries can be prevented. Below are seven tips to help prevent injuries in your young athlete:

  1. Play Safe – probably the most obvious one is to teach your young athlete how to play a sport safely. This includes teaching proper technique (such as diving for a ball) and wearing proper equipment.
  2. Allow time for recovery – make sure your young athlete has a rest day so that their muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. Rest days can also help maintain a better balance between home, school and sports.
  3. Take breaks – along the same lines of taking a rest day, make sure your young athlete gets rest during practice and play. Taking breaks will reduce the likelihood of both injury and heat illness.
  4. Don’t “push through the pain” – If a young athlete is complaining of pain it is best to have them sit out a game or practice instead of letting them play and making it worse. Parents also need to be watching their young athlete for any signs of pain because they may not tell you about it. Watch for a change in their movement (limping), or wincing when making certain movements.
  5. Build Strength –Resistance training has been shown to increase both muscular strength and bone strength which will in turn decrease their chances of injury.
  6. Increase Flexibility – The International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA) defines flexibility as: “the ability to produce and reproduce efficient static and dynamic movements at speed over an optimal pain-free range of motion.” In basic terms, flexibility is the “freedom to move.” If a young athlete’s ability to move freely is compromised, the likely outcome will be inefficient movement, decreased athletic performance and injury.
  7. Enforce an “off-season” – Young athletes who play sports year-round are more likely than others to experience overuse injuries because they aren’t giving their bodies a chance to rest and recover. Encourage your athletes to take at least three months off of a particular sport each year. Have them mix it up and play different sports during the year so that the same muscle groups are not being used continuously, leading to overuse injuries.

Overtraining is one of the most common causes of sports-related injuries. According to sports medicine researchers at the Loyola University Medical Center young athletes should not spend more hours than their age in training during a given week. Those who did not follow this recommendation were 70% more likely to incur serious overuse injuries than other types of injuries. If an athlete does experience pain or other symptoms that might indicate an injury, seek medical attention immediately.

At Ascension Fitness our philosophy is simple: Provide our athletes with the most effective, up-to-date education and training techniques to improve performance and prevent injuries. We are dedicated to changing the lives of young athletes in a positive environment.  Call us at 504-304-6205, email jamie@ascensionfitnessnola.com, or click here: http://ascensionfitnessnola.com/sportscamp.html to learn more about our Sports Performance Camp!

Jamie McIntyre, B.S. Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

meJamie McIntyre is the Marketing Coordinator and a personal trainer at Ascension Fitness. She came from San Diego, California where she recently completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dickinson State University. Jamie received a softball scholarship to play at Dickinson State University. During her time at Dickinson State she completed an internship as a student athletic trainer which led to her passion of fitness.  Jamie loves training, softball, ringette, and watching movies.

References

mygroupfit. (2008, February 6). Flexibility Development in Young Athletes.

Stop Sports Injuries. (2010). Teaching Kids Safe Ways to Participate in Sports.