high school athlete

Nutrition

Game Day: Are you prepared?  

nutrition for highschool athletes.

High School athletes usually fly by their seat when it comes to nutrition.  And yes, while most of them are getting enough nutrition here in the USA to avoid being malnourished, a better nutrition “plan” will take their game to the next level. Want to perform even better on game day?  Want to have "good nutrition" instead of just "good enough nutrition"? Don’t worry, Sports Nutrition Coach Joey, CSNC, CSCS has your back!  Let’s dig into a better nutrition strategy for a game day.

That big game day starts first thing in the morning, before you leave for school!  Athletes need good carbohydrates and good protein sources first thing in the morning.  Carbs and protein in the morning give your body glucose to fuel your brain for school and performance on the field later in the day.  With steady levels of “fuel”, your body will maintain homeostasis, which means that all systems of your body will be working together correctly.  Just some examples of this combination are: PB&J Sandwich, a protein smoothie with some fruit in it, overnight oats (made the night before and put in fridge from simple ingredients oats, fruit, “milk”, protein powder, nuts), hardboiled eggs and fruit, or low sugar and high protein yogurt with fruit on the side.  And don't forget a large glass of water! Hydration in the morning is very important!

Lunch is more of the same, with some with good quality sources of carbohydrates and protein (and some good fats also).  This can be; a bigger sandwich with a piece of fruit, or a salad with chicken or eggs on it with a piece of fruit.  If you are lucky to have a hot school lunch, try to grab chicken, potatoes, and some fruit!  Again, keep glucose running through your body so it can use it for fuel, your body’s most preferred fuel source!  

Before the big game or practice we usually need another feeding or “snack”.  This can be (depending on how much time before your game or practice) dried fruit and nuts, protein bar (get the ok by Coach Joey on these as most are just candy bars in disguise), beef/turkey jerky with some fruit, packed peanut butter sandwich with some fruit.  Again, lots of liquid in the form of water, or milk.  For some of the older athletes that already drink coffee, and since many go to the local coffee shops in between school and games, bring a scoop of protein powder and mix it into your coffee with a piece or two of fruit on the side. This is a great way to get your caffeine fix with some quality protein and carbs (not just carbs and sugar!).  

With these nutritional strategies you'll know you (or your athlete) will perform at your best!  Don’t forget after the game or practice you need nutrition to help recover for the next day’s practice or game also!  

Joey Taraborelli, CSCS, CSNC   

Training

Jtab’s Best Exercises for Volleyball Players

Last week we went over why volleyball players should not only be lifting, but be lifting some heavy weights (progressively).  Today we want to cover some of the more beneficial lifts to increase your vertical (‘cause what volleyball player doesn’t want to jump higher?) and get a stronger swing.  I am going to give you my top 5 weight exercises for volleyball.  

1. Trap Bar Deadlifts- probably the best overall bang for your buck this lift is perfect increasing your vertical.  It teaches you that great starting position to “create” your blocking vertical.  It also decreases lower back strain by utilizing the higher handles and neutral handle position.  This is your main lift for strength, so it makes sense to do these with heavy weights for low reps most of the time. Once in awhile pepper (see what I did there?) in some lighter weight for high reps to get that crazy hamstring/glute pump!  

 
 

2. Bulgarian or Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats - This is the best quad builder for increasing your vertical, plus it’s really safe for those that want to avoid spinal loading (by not having a bar on your shoulders).  It also incorporates a single leg training which will help strengthen each leg individually, leading to less imbalance.  We know as volleyball players your dominant leg (the one opposite your hitting arm) gets taxed more from the approach take-off.  Strengthening your legs individually will lessen your chance of injuries that occur from a one-sided dominant sport.  Since this is your main “quad” exercise it should be done with medium weight for lower reps.  On occasion you can switch it up and do high rep sets to really burn those quads and glutes!  

 
 

3. One arm Push Press- Keeping with the single side work from #2, this is an upper body focused single arm overhead press.  Again, most volleyball players are one side dominant, leading to imbalances and injuries.  Work each arm individually so you can’t cheat with your dominant arm (like you may do using a barbell).  These can be done with high/medium weight and low/medium reps.  

 
 

4. Face Pulls- Volleyball players are front side dominant and need to build lots of strength posteriorly to stay balanced.  Face pulls are one of the best for strengthening the back of the shoulders and upper back.  These can be done using a pulley/cable machine, TRX suspension straps, or with bands.  High reps work great for this exercise.  Done religiously they will keep those shoulders healthy for years of great swinging!  

 
 

5. One Arm DB Rows- The old/new adage of strength coaches is “more pulling than pushing” so we are including another “pull”, the One Arm Row.  This is one of the most classic exercises and is also great for volleyball players to strengthen that posterior.  Coupled with face pulls you hit all the angles needed for strengthening the back of your shoulders.  These can be done for heavy/low reps or light/high reps but make sure only one of pulling exercise is used for heavy/low reps to build a good base of strength.  When wanting to switch it it up, it's best to use these for heavy/low reps and face pulls after for light/high reps.  

 
 

Training

Volleyball and Lifting = Pair made for the stars

I’m a volleyball player. I’m also a Certified Strength Coach(CSCS) and I like to lift heavy weights.  There is still a stigma in the volleyball community that these two activities don't normally go together.  I’m here today to talk about how they can co-exist and help volleyball players get to the next level in their play. 

I started lifting weights seriously in college, while playing for a top level College Club Team (Volleyball is still growing in the NCAA space).  Proper weight lifting helped me be able to compete with the taller, stronger players around the country I had to go up against.  

The game of volleyball is an explosive game.  It requires big jumps to block, an aggressive approach to attack and quick reactions in the back court on defense.  Strength training happens to train your body and muscles in the same manner.  Strength is defined by “the maximal force that a muscle or muscle group can generate at a specified velocity”* .  Power is defined as “time rate of doing work”*.  By this conclusion, explosive movements on the volleyball court are generated by increasing power.  Power comes from strength and the stronger you are the more powerful you are.  By strength training, this translates to a higher blocking jump, higher approach and an even quicker “push-off” to go get a ball on defense.  The ability to generate power in a fast motion is what people refer to as “quickness”.  

Now, how does strength training really transfer to the court?  Let’s take a squat - one of the first exercise people think of when they think of training for volleyball (I’d argue it’s the deadlift that gets you higher off the ground but that’s another article topic).  Getting stronger through a Goblet Dumbbell Squat (see the video below) will teach your body to transform power to be used on the court. 

 

The heavier the dumbbell, the more your body has to create drive downward into the ground to finish the squat motion.  The stronger you get, the more “power” you can push down into the ground to lift your body (plus the dumbbell) up to the end position.  This new “power” drive can now translate into a higher vertical jump and, even more importantly, a more efficient jump.  You will be able to jump more times without tiring due to your increase in strength.  Strength is what makes you able to last and keep jumping as high during the 3rd, 4th, 5th sets, not “cardio” or conditioning.  

The next volleyball and strength blog will focus on the best bang for your buck exercises to increase your vertical.           

* Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning

High School Athlete's Nutrition

Here we are 2015.  High School athlete are training more and more and pushing harder and harder.  That's the good(great) part.  Lifting weights to become strong(er) to jump higher, throw harder, run faster, hit harder, hit further... and doing smart strength based conditioning ie:sprints, ropes, kb swings, etc.  Awesomeness! 

The "other" part of the equation is the recovery and nutritional component.  I have seen and chatted with many young athletes and their parents to really see enough of the picture(think a very sad looking puppy face). 


Some of my young athletes do not know what a veggie or fruit(who doesn't like fruit??!?!!) are.  Enough is enough.  This is the harder part for sure.  Until now.  Jtab Training has partnered with Purium to bring only the best organic nutrition to help fuel recovery and have more "Awesomeness" on the court or in the field.  Jtab Training has put together monthly packages that when used as directed will help young athletes achieve more with less soreness, recovery time and potential for injury.  Note: although these products are all whole food and organic based, we still need allergy info for athletes beforehand.

PURIUM Athlete Packs

The Varsity Pack $145/month
Best Recovery/Nutritional Support - High Level

1)    Super Amino23- Organic Legume(non-soy) Protein Pills for muscle recovery, muscle mass and preventing muscle breakdown during season and during lifting sessions.  30 servings(5 pills/serving)
2)    Power Shake(Apple Berry)- Organic Greens Shake combining many organic superfoods give you sustained energy during games/lifting.  Added benefit for those that don’t like veggies it will count towards your daily veggie intake.  Energy, endurance and strength preworkout/pre-gametime.  15 servings
3)    Super Xanthin- Organic Astaxanthin, nature’s highest antioxidant superfood.  Will prevent muscle tissue damage, buffer lactic acid accumulation, improve recovery time.  This is a game changer!  30 servings
4)    LOVE Supermeal- Organic high protein, high nutrient meal replacement to further aid in workout/game recovery.    Purium’s L.O.V.E. Super Meal(TM) is composed of 36 pure, premium, natural, whole food ingredients. It contains 12 green foods, 10 vegetables, 9 sprouts, and 5 mushrooms - and only 2 grams of naturally occurring sugar. It can be considered 7 products in 1: Weight Loss Formula + Protein Drink + Fiber Supplement + Essential Fatty Acid Supplement + Super-Antioxidant + Immune Support Supplement + Energy Drink(non-stimulant, from natural energy)!  10 servings/container(20 half servings/container)

The JV Pack $115/month
Best Recovery/Nutritional Support- Medium Level

1)    Super Xanthin  30 servings
2)    LOVE Supermeal  10 servings(20 half servings)
3)    Super Amino23  30 servings(5 pills/serving)

The Freshman Pack $70/month
Best Recovery/Nutritional Support- Basic Level

1)    Super Xanthin  30 servings
2)    LOVE Supermeal  10 servings(20 half servings)

To Be Added to Any Pack:  Apothe Cherry- Purium’s Apothe-CherryTM is made from Montmorency Tart Cherries, which are nature’s most nutritionally dense food. They contain a wide variety of antioxidants and phyto-chemicals, and each serving contains 7,000 ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units.  $25/16 servings(32 half servings)

Simply come visit Jtab Training here in East Greenwich, RI and place your order or ask any questions about components.  You can contact me(Joey of Jtab Training LLC) 401-529-5089, via Facebook(Jtab Training LLC) or on this website(www.jtabstrength.com).