August Boot Camp--Making the Transition from Summer Fun to Serious Training

Here in Ohio, we are excited about the upcoming sports season, but we're holding fast to summer, hoping it lingers for a long while. 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 leaves, the back-to-school shopping season 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 athletes head to training camp and fans gear up for another exciting season, players of all ages and skill levels 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?

Beyond the physical game, every athlete knows there is a mental game, which might be a bit more challenging than the physical training and preparation. The mental and psychological aspects of sports performance can involve things like self-confidence, anxiety and inability to concentrate.

Guided imagery, visualization and mental rehearsal are techniques athletes often use to address the mental game and improve their performance. To view Health Journeys' titles for athletic performance, go to our online store.

"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.

Because adequate sleep is an important part of physical and mental performance, and the schedule and lifestyle changes involved in sports training can interrupt sleep routines, it's important to address the issue.

Among other things, according to Belleruth, sleep insufficiency results in irritability, poor judgment, muddy thinking, strained relationships and sub-par functioning. These are qualities you don't want to take with you to the playing field.

For more information on sleep insufficiency, including Tried & True Tips for Better Sleep, access our free report, An Epidemic of Sleeplessness, a Health Journeys Wellness Report, by Belleruth Naparstek, LISW, BCD

We at Health Journeys wish you happiness and success as you enjoy your sporting activities. May you bask in the remainder of summer and all its blessings, including training camp. As always, we welcome your stories and comments.

Go team!