Sports Medicine Preparing for Fall Sports Camp By Sports Medicine, August 9, 2014 As summer vacation ends, fall sports begin, with training camps and practices starting up in August and September. While athletes might be excited to start their season, jumping back into a rigorous workout routine after a long summer break can sometimes be taxing on the body, and could end the season before it even begins. To avoid injury, athletes should begin preparing in the weeks leading up to camp. Whether you’re a first-year athlete, a seasoned veteran, or concerned parent, consider these tips and suggestions to get ready for fall sports camps. Fitness As the start of camp approaches, think about personal fitness training to get in optimal shape. These pre-camp tips can help prepare for the return to sports: Two weeks prior to camp, run at least one mile and ten 40-yard dashes per day, with rest periods on weekends. Prior to camp, jog, run, and sprint in new shoes to help break them in. Incorporate a dynamic warm-up into fitness routines. Personal Safety While at camp, be conscious of your body’s safety needs. These in-camp suggestions can help athletes anticipate specific areas of challenge: Apply sunscreen with protection against UVA and UVB in the morning and throughout the day. Bring changes of clothing, including extra socks, to practice. To help avoid athlete’s foot, wear moisture-wicking socks during practice, and change into shower shoes, sandals, or flip-flops after practice. Wear rubber spikes without screws, or tennis shoes if the ground is hard. Report any injuries or discomfort to an athletic trainer if available, and seek medical treatment when necessary. Fuel Your Body Following a healthy diet can help you prepare for long practices. These tips focus on appropriate nutrition during all stages of fall sports camp: Two weeks prior to camp, begin adapting your diet with healthy food and drink. Women should consume 90 ounces of fluid per day, and men should consume 125 ounces of fluid per day. Bring bottles of water or sports drink to practice, and drink at least a full bottle before finishing. If possible, within 15 minutes before practice ends, eat a healthy snack such as fruit, pretzels, trail mix, granola bar, or peanut butter crackers. Practices and camps are often a time of physical transition, as the body gets used to a higher level of regular activity. With a little preparation and some healthy choices, athletes can overcome any sports camp obstacles, and look forward to a successful season in any fall sport. To learn more about the services offered at UPMC Sports Medicine, call 1-855-93-SPORT(77678) or visit our website.