Depending on your age, you may be approaching the end of a 12 game season, 32 game season, 56 game season, or if you have prepared to be ready, a 162 game season. With the end of high school and college regular seasons approaching fast, you're probably feeling the aches and pains of “the grind" and finding it tough to stay focused and not cut corners in your training or daily habits.
Here are some strategies you can adopt to keep your performance high and finish the season strong.
1. Stay Fresh
Make sure you are getting enough sleep at night to be prepared for the day ahead. If you're committed enough to give your time to the game, make sure you're giving your body the rest it needs to execute at your best. Eight hours of sleep is the recommended number of hours needed to be fully rested. What does that mean? Put down the phone by 9:30 to allow your brain to begin to slow down and prepare yourself for a full night's rest.
Try incorporating a good barrel rolling session to your wind-down routine. Your body will benefit.
2. Eat Like a Champ
Nutrition is always a key component to staying fresh but as the season wears on, nutrition plays an important role in how your body feels and performs. If you're fueling yourself with junk food and not monitoring your intake of fluids, it could lead to feeling sluggish or tired. At game 55 when you're heading into a conference tournament, the last feeling you want is to be tired and bloated from poor nutrition. Make sure you are having good meals and hydrating properly with tons of water. See exactly how much water here.
3. Hit the Gym
We all know how important offseason work in the gym is, but to slack off in the weight room in-season can cause major issues and even injury. The hardest part of playing games and making sure you're staying physically strong is actually making the commitment to continue going to the gym. It's easy to show up at the park at 2 for a 7 o'clock game and get BP and ground balls in because it's routine. Only your commitment can take you into the gym at 1 for a workout or keep you late after a 3 hour game. It's no coincidence to see the best players on the team in the gym early or staying late.
"Hall of Famer Cal Ripken would stay after every game to get a workout in. Maybe that’s the key to playing 2,632 consecutive MLB games."
Stock your home gym with performance gear for those days you don't have time to get to a gym.
4. Stick with a Routine
Definition of Routine: A sequence of actions regularly followed, a fixed program.
Routines build habits and habits build character. What you do routinely shows the world what you care about. It also allows you to build a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t. If you begin to have issues at the plate, in the field, or on the mound, your routine (process) can give you comfort in that fact that it has worked before, and it will work again. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, just check the lug nuts, and ultimately, stick with what works.
No matter what level you're on, these tips can help you stay focused and give you a baseline so you know when to make adjustments.
Finish strong and prepare to be ready for your moment.