From players in PeeWee Football and T-ball games to those in college and professional leagues, athletes are making the transition from playing for fun to playing for real.
 
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are holding fast to summer, hoping it lingers for a long while. Perhaps our desire for an endless summer is fueled by what seemed like an endless winter not so long ago.

Though we might be lucky enough to enjoy warm weather a little longer, we can’t delay the onset of many pre-fall events, the first yellow leaf that floats down from a tree, the last free summer concert in the park and that favorite end-of-summer event—training camp.

                                    

August ushers in the beginning of football practice, band and cheerleader camps, soccer, track, lacrosse and cross-country training, a proliferation of marathon and other running events and preparation for virtually any type of amateur or professional sports performances.

As our Cleveland Browns head to training camp and fans gear up for another exciting season, players everywhere ready themselves for organized sports. Making the transition from playing for fun to playing for real--with schedules, coaching, rules and serious competition--can be daunting, even for those who do it every year. It can be particularly challenging to those who are experiencing the transition for the first time.
 
For tips on preparation for physical activities from a sports medicine perspective, read Are You Prepared for Your Sport?

Good nutrition and ample sleep are also important for any type of performance, but beyond the physical game, every athlete knows there is a mental game, which might be a bit more problematic. The mental and psychological aspects of sports performance can involve things like self-confidence, anxiety and inability to concentrate.

“To achieve peak performance, the mind and body must work together. World-class athletes have found mental training and preparation to be as important as physical training,” according to Dr. David Illig, whose audio program, Peak Performance Sports is available in our online store, and is included in our Sports Performance Optimization Pack.

If you find yourself or your teen experiencing difficulty with concentration, focus and follow-through, our Focus and Finish Kit is just the thing. The combination of these two audio programs creates a kind of super-functional team, according to Belleruth, and you have a dynamic duo that will help you start the race, sustain your pace and cross the finish line.

As we celebrate the pre-season, we at Health Journeys are on your team. We are rooting for you and yours. We hope you thoroughly enjoy your chosen sporting activities and bask in the remainder of summer and all its blessings, including training camp. As always, we love hearing your stories, comments, tips and questions.
 
Go team!