Get Healthy, Stay Healthy

For a lot of people in the US, the first half of the calendar is about getting healthy. Every year, we see the kick off at New Year with resolutions, diets, dry January, and fitness equipment.  Usually, by Easter, the focus has shifted from getting healthy and losing weight to getting the best bikini body for the summer.

At STACK Sports Performance and Therapy, we think getting healthy should always be the goal, and physical movement is part of the prescription for success. This is as true for a person trying to lose weight as it is for an athlete recovering from an injury. Health should always be the overall vision.

What Should I Do Next?

Your health goals will drive your physical activity needs. A weight loss and tone plan may need to do more cardio or HIIT to burn the excess fuel carried on their body; but for a soccer player recovering from a torn ACL, the physical activity will look different.

At our Atlanta facility, we have the ability to work with all types of fitness needs, from weight loss fitness to sports training, and even physical therapy. Our trainers can help you set the goals you need and give you the tools to accomplish them in a fun environment.

Summer Is Coming

Every morning gives you a new chance to decide to be healthy, and make good, health conscious decisions about how you move and what you eat.

This summer, wouldn’t you love to have an extra measure of health and energy? Come see us in Atlanta and get ready to get STACK’d!

Posted on behalf of STACK Sports Training & Therapy

Here’s Why Athletes Need Yoga, Too

Set aside any misconceptions of Instagram girls posting yoga poses alongside their makeup demos and snaps of their coffee.

Yoga has benefits for even the most serious endurance and recreational athletes.

How can it enhance your high-intensity routine?

Take a look at these benefits of yoga for athletes.

Boost Body Processes

Your performance depends on the optimum functioning of processes like breathing, circulation, and digestion. Yoga improves all of those for more efficient energy use.

Better Channel Your Energy

Power leakages lead to wasted energy and effort. If your body is as perfectly aligned as it can be, you’ll make every single shot/punch/kick/run/ride/whatever count.

Improve Focus

Yoga is a practice in breathing and meditation. When you learn how to control your mind and emotions, you’ll be able to better focus on your goals.

Enhance Strength

Yoga won’t add bulk like weights do. But you will gain an agile kind of strength since the various poses have you supporting your body weight on different muscles.

Reduce Chances of Injury

As you strengthen your core, you will draw on the right muscles for power in more intensive maneuvers. Yoga can keep your spine flexible to help you avoid injury.

Get Better Balance

What sport discipline does balance not matter in? Yoga is a gentle yet powerful way to fine-tune your center of balance.

Recover Faster

Here’s where that stretching comes in handy. Most athletes turn to yoga with good reason while recovering from an injury.

Take yoga with our team where we harmonize it with performance and sports training. Get your first yoga class in Atlanta on the house when you sign up with STACK Sports Performance and Therapy.

Posted on behalf of STACK Sports Training & Therapy

How can MUSE make it easier for you to meditate?

When we lift weights, it strengthens our body. Meditation is like lifting weights for your brain: the more you do it the stronger your mind grows. The hard part about meditation is that it’s very difficult to get the same kind of feedback that we get when weightlifting. When I can lift more than I used to, I know I’m getting stronger. But how do I know I’ve gotten better at meditating?

This is what makes the MUSE so valuable for people who are interested in starting a meditative practice. The system senses your brain activity while you’re meditating and then gives you feedback in real time.

Are you staying calm, or are you is your mind active?

While using MUSE, you plug headphones into your tablet or smartphone, open the app, connect the headset, and you’re off and running. When MUSE sees that your brain is calm, you will hear serene weather, as though you’re sitting at the beach on a peaceful day. When you hear birds chirping, you know that you are remaining calm. When your mind wanders, the waves begin to crash louder and the weather begins to sound stormy.

This simple mechanism provides instant and clear feedback on the quality of your meditation. Suddenly you have a way to know if you’re meditating “well.” MUSE also tracks and stores data on your sessions so you can see your progress over time. While it would normally be very difficult to know when we have learned how to stay present for longer periods of time, with MUSE it’s easy. You can, for instance, look at the number of birds that “chirp” during your sessions; more birds equals better quality meditation!

The app then gives you challenges to encourage you to build a regular habit of meditating. Starting with just three minutes at a time, you earn rewards for practicing daily or for practicing multiple times a day. High frequency is vital to forming a successful habit. Just like anything new, it takes practice to get good at it. The important thing is that you carve out time out of your day to meditate. Over time you will get better at hearing more birds and being able to be still and meditate for longer periods of time, but only if you cultivate a meditation practice each and every day.

The benefits of meditation are many and varied. At Velocity, we recommend it because of its benefits on sports performance. Learning how to deal with frustration, loss, and adversity are necessary skills for anyone who wants to compete at the elite level. Meditation is one tool that helps our athletes learn how to calm their minds when the pressure is on, but just like any skill, it has to be practiced regularly. No competitive athlete would expect to get physically stronger by training sporadically or infrequently, and the same is true for meditation. Caring for your mind can be a powerful tool in taking your performance to the next level.

Why Being a One-Sport Athlete is Not a Good Thing!

As a coach or parent of a youth athlete, we all want the same thing: To put them in the best position possible to be successful. We want them to have plenty of opportunities to be the best that they can be at whatever they decide to do.

Supporting your athlete is a great thing; however, sometimes that well-intentioned support can be detrimental to the athlete’s development. This applies to cases where coaches and parents pressure athletes into playing one sport, focusing exclusively on that one sport, and even seeking private coaching, all in an attempt to get a leg up on the competition.

The Question

Should coaches and parents encourage their athletes to play only one sport or would it be better to play and develop skills across a diversity of sports?

Scenario 1

Before we can answer that question, let’s ponder this scenario: Your child enjoys math. They excel in the subject. In fact, they’ve even mentioned their desire to be a mathematician when they grow up. Does this mean your child should only learn math in school? Should they just not even bother with the other subjects like English, Science, Art, or Physical Education?

The answer is most likely, no. Instead, you’d want them to learn all of the subjects that any student their age needs in order to grow and develop.

Sports and athletics are no different from this school scenario. While focusing on one sport can get you much better at that sport, there are skills in other sports that are worth learning for any athlete.

Scenario 2

Here’s another scenario: When you’re applying for a job, what do you put on your resume? You list all of your previous experience. Employers are searching for a qualified individual with a range of experience and skills.

The number and past jobs, paired with your success in those positions, is an indicator of your quality as an employee. This same idea can be applied to sports. Playing one sport — like having one job — can limit you.

If you look at Olympic athletes, just about all of them played multiple sports early in their career before picking and focusing exclusively on one.

Olympians dedicate their life to excelling at one sport to the point of excellence. And if you ask them, the hardest part about competing at that level of competition is burnout. Without getting into the science and psychology of burnout, suffice to say that playing one sport can, and often does, get boring for athletes. Athletes can also burnout physically — playing one sport year in and year out can take a toll on the body. Using the same muscles to complete the same actions can lead to injury and exhaustion.

The Benefits of Being a Multi-Sport Athlete:

  • Playing multiple sports helps athletes avoid burnout.
  • Playing multiple sports forces athletes to use different parts of the body and learn new movements.
  • Playing multiple sports teaches athletes how to work with different types of people, navigate different team dynamics and learn new perspectives.
  • Playing multiple sports gives the body time to physically recover from the demands of the last sport.
  • Playing multiple sports gives your mind a break, so that when you return to your sport you are excited, engaged and prepared to give it your all.

Here at Velocity Atlanta, we specialize in developing a broad athletic foundation that allows your athletes’ and even You to excel in multiple sports and recreational opportunities.  Contact us Today about how we can help lead your young athlete to their greatest chance for success!

Why Athletes Should Watch Water Boil

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”5%” background_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”#000000″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” hover_type=”none” link=”” border_position=”all” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ animation_offset=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_text]Water-Boiling

“A watched pot never boils.” Or does it? Have you tried? It feels like it takes forever if you watch it. In actuality, whether you watch it or not has no effect on how fast the water takes to boils—you can’t make it boil faster by wanting it more.

So now, you ask, how will watching water boil make me a better athlete? Watching a pot of water boil trains your willpower. You train your willpower the same way you would train any other part of your body. Your brain makes physical changes through the power of meditation and mindfulness training.

Wait, meditation? Isn’t that some spiritual or religious thing? Yes, but that’s not all it is. The practice of meditation teaches your mind to focus on specific and targeted thoughts. Being able to do this helps block out all of the things that take you away from your goals. The hard part about meditation is that it requires you to sit still for specific amount of time— but while it is hard, it is also the reason why meditation is a useful took for athletes — it trains the mind to adapt.

Watching water boil in a pot is simply a form of mindfulness training that is similar to meditation without having to sit crosslegged or chant mantras. I know this sounds silly, but just as squats make your body physically stronger, meditation and mindfulness training strengthens your willpower![/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”5%” bottom_margin=”5%” sep_color=”#000000″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]

Meditation Training Exercise

For the next 30 days, complete the following meditation exercise:

Step 1: Get a small pot and put some water in it.

Step 2: Put it on the stove and turn it up to high.

Step 3: Stare at the water until you see a rolling boil.

Do the same pot of water for seven consecutive days. After that, get a bigger pot and add more water. It is like training the body gradually to increase the load to work the muscle to get stronger.

*Don’t move your eyes from the water no matter what else is going on around you.
*Don’t worry if your mind wanders.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”single|dashed” top_margin=”5%” bottom_margin=”5%” sep_color=”#000000″ border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]The first few times you complete this training, you might experience anxiety or stress waiting for the water to boil. This will pass as your willpower improves.

This meditation training will slowly build your willpower up over time. It is amazing to see what sorts of things you think of when you are forced into a structured —and seemingly boring — situation.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”shadow” top_margin=”” bottom_margin=”5%” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]Mental training is a critical part of all competitive athletes’ training program. Improve your mental game with the techniques and tactics employed by the elite coaches at VSP South Bay. Click below to learn more about our programs and free trial.