Getting the best results from your two-a-days

Gear up
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Training twice a day can be exhausting, but the progress and skill training makes it necessary. Two-a-days may be grueling, but they are effective. But just showing up to practice isn’t enough, you have to choose to train your hardest over and over again. The following tips will help you maintain the necessary dedication to reach your athletic goals.

1. Fuel

Diet and workout

In order to train like a champion, you’ve got to give your body the fuel it needs. Make sure to incorporate plenty of lean protein into your diet along with healthy carbs, fruits, and vegetables. If you want to support muscle development, protein is absolutely essential and should be included in every meal and even snacks. And be sure to keep those snacks handy as you’ll likely be extra hungry during two-a-days. Protein-packed snacks include hard boiled eggs, nuts, and protein bars or shakes. You’ll definitely want to include complex carbs to help you endure those long practices. A few examples of complex carbs are whole grains, brown rice, potatoes, yams, and oats. Fruits and veggies are also important to help your body function optimally and keep you in fighting shape.

2. Hydrate

Drinking Water

It is imperative to stay hydrated before, during, and after practice. Maintaining proper hydration can help to prevent fatigue during your workout and keep your body functioning optimally. The recommended amount of daily water is 64 ounces, but athletes partaking in two-a-days need much more than that. Water is obviously an excellent source of hydration, but for practices that are more than an hour long or take place in hot weather, a sports drink is recommended for the most effective hydration. Sports drinks will enable your body to recover lost electrolytes and carbohydrates quickly while preventing dehydration. Outside of practice, there are plenty of healthy beverages to enjoy such as milk, green tea, coconut water, and chocolate milk.

3. Rest

Girl Sleeping on Bed

It’s always a good idea to get enough sleep, but it’s especially important during two-a-days. Try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. When your body gets sufficient sleep, it’s able to repair itself and support muscle development. There is also evidence that insufficient sleep can lead to increased rates of injury.  Having more energy on the field will enable you to get more out of your workouts. During two-a-days, you’re likely going to feel more tired, so listen to your body and turn in early to ensure you get the necessary amount of sleep to optimize your training results.

4. Yoga

Yoga

It may sound odd, but adding a few yoga moves to your training routine may prove beneficial to your two-a-day schedule. When you’re training hard and placing a lot of stress on your body, yoga can help you relieve tension, improve balance, increase flexibility, and allow your body to rest. Improving your flexibility is also good for your game and may help to prevent injury. Also, yoga’s mental benefits will help deal with the mental stress that occurs alongside physically demanding two-a-days. Yoga has increasingly been recommended to football players, as a form of cross-training. For two-a-days, try doing just a few basics stretches and poses to relieve the tension of training and keep pain at bay.

5. Gear up

Gear up
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Having the appropriate gear may dramatically improve your athletic gains during two-a-days. Training is physically tough; that’s the point. But, it can also leave you vulnerable. It’s especially important when training to be aware of your body and make sure that you’re protecting yourself while training. Training should improve your game, not hinder it. Make an effort to prevent injury by selecting the appropriate gear. If you have a weak knee or ankle, wear a supportive sleeve. Is your mouth guard old or uncomfortable? Buy a new one. If you’ve been putting off buying a quality pair of gloves, now is the time to make an investment in a new pair. Investing in quality gear, like receiver gloves, will help you optimize your training and help to protect your hands.

There are a lot of benefits to making these decisions this early in the season. First, you’ll be able to train more effectively, as you’re focused on the game and not protecting a weakness. Second, it’ll give you time to become accustomed to new gear before game season. Finally, it will help to prevent injuries that could result in bench time. And of course, two-a-days are less grueling when you’re wearing cool new gear.

6. Set goals

When participating in two-a-days, there is a tendency to sign over control of your athletic development to the coaching staff. But that is not the only option. Even when training with a team, it’s a good idea to set personal goals that you can work towards throughout your two-a-days. Determine what you’d like to accomplish or improve upon and then monitor your progress. Setting your own goals and having something to work towards will help provide motivation when you feel yourself lagging. Knowing that you’re working towards a specific goal will also allow you to compete against yourself, which leads to real progress. Whether you’re looking to increase your sprint time or improve your throwing accuracy, you’ll get much more out of two-a-days if you take some initiative by setting personal goals.

7. Have Fun

You’ll benefit much more from two-a-day training if you’re able to avoid burning yourself out, so make sure to incorporate some fun into your schedule. Just because you’re training doesn’t mean you can’t take a break and have fun. Go to a movie or have dinner with friends or go out for some ice cream. Whatever you can do to take a break, both mentally or physically, will help you avoid feeling burnt out. Just make sure that your fun breaks don’t interfere with your two-a-day schedule. Late nights may seem like a fun break, but they’ll only make practice the next day that much more difficult.