West Catholic Falcon Soccer: Welcome
Welcome the West Catholic Falcons Soccer Team website. The Falcons play in the OK Blue Conference and are coached by Rich Young.
Wednesday, October 28
West Catholic - 2
North Pointe Chrisitan - 0
Wednesday, July 29
Rebecca Subbiah RD, LDN, cPT
Our bodies are like a finely tuned engine that needs to be fueled with the right mix of nutrients for optimal performance. This is especially important for soccer, where you are relying on your body for those sprints up the field and fast-paced tackles.
Foods are made up of food groups, namely carbohydrates for energy, protein for growth and recovery, fats for energy and water for hydration. That doesn't even mention vitamins and minerals for growth and many other of our body's functions.
Let's start with carbohydrates, the most important fuel for contracting muscles. In fact, our body has its very own storeroom supply of this--called glycogen--in the muscles. Once the blood's supply is used up it will turn to this reserve to break down. Carbohydrates are found in bread, rice, pasta and cereals. Whole grain varieties of these are a better choice as they are broken down at a slower rate and will give longer lasting energy.
Next is protein, which is found in meat, fish, beans, nuts and lentils. Protein is needed to repair and rebuild muscles that have been damaged during exercise. It's important to note that you don't need to overdo this.
Fat is found in meat, butter, dairy, convenience food and oils. Try to choose monounsaturated fats such as olive oil or canola oil and eliminate trans fats. It will protect your heart and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
You want to ensure that the meals you eat give you the most nutritional bang for your buck. A healthy meal should be made up of 2/3 whole grains, fruits and vegetables and 1/3 low fat meat, dairy, beans or other protein-rich foods. Fast foods have very little nutritional value and, in turn, will hinder performance on the field. However they can be part of a healthy sports diet as an occasional treat.
It is vital to fuel your body on a regular basis, having three nutritious meals a day with snacks. Make time for meals, as they are just as vital as the training session.
A good meal plan would be:
- Breakfast: whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk and fruit
- Snack: yogurt and granola
- Lunch: whole-grain bread with tuna and a glass of milk
- Supper: chicken, potato and greens
On a final note, focus on getting enough water for hydration. To find out how much water you need, weigh yourself before and after the match. For every pound lost, you need at least 16-24 ounces of water. This is especially important in hot weather, where you lose a lot of water through your sweat and have a higher chance of becoming dehydrated.
Also, make sure you are getting enough iron found in red meats and iron-fortified cereal to prevent anemia--often common in female soccer players. Anemia will cause fatigue and hinder your ability to play. Try to drink orange juice or have vegetables rich in vitamin C with meals to aid iron absorption.
Have a sensible pre-workout snack like a peanut butter sandwich and refuel afterwards. Some good choices would be a fruit smoothie, sandwich, chocolate milk or cereal and milk to replenish glycogen stores and protein for tired muscles.
Finally, consider consulting a dietitian to give you advice to get the most out of your game.
Wednesday, July 29
A three-year survey of injuries in select youth soccer (U12 - U18) was done, and an extensive database of injuries in soccer has been developed. We have learned many things--some obvious, some not so obvious.
For example, two-thirds of all injuries occurred to the ankle, knee, head, lower leg and foot. One obvious conclusion is first aid for games--be prepared to administer first aid for ankle and knee injuries, strained muscles, contusions, lacerations and concussions.
Another interesting finding was the number of players who had a similar prior injury. About half the players with ankle sprains had a prior sprain, many within the same season. Competitive sport is inherently risky, but are you taking appropriate precautions against injury or re-injury?
- Poor flexibility and muscle tightness often are cited as risk factors in muscle strains, tendon injuries, and especially re-injuries of strained muscles. The groin, hip flexors and ankle dorsiflexors (pointing your toe up) are tight in soccer players. Don't neglect stretching.
- Ankle sprains often occur during tackling. Sounds like technique may be an issue. Plus, over half of those with an ankle sprain will re-injure it and half of those do so within two months of the first injury. Follow the doctors' and therapists' orders about rehab. You may view a sprained ankle as a nuisance, but if you return too soon, you are putting yourself at risk for another, possibly more serious, injury--ankle or otherwise. Protection of a sprained ankle (e.g. taping or lace-up ankle supports) for a year or more has been suggested. So practice the technique. If injured, don't try to come back too early. Follow rehab orders to the letter and protect prior sprains. Your team needs you on the field, not on the sidelines.
- The risks of non-contact knee injuries include:
- Laxity: loose ligaments due to either prior injury or genetics
- Muscle Imbalance: one leg being stronger than the other
- Flexibility: People with knee injuries have pretty flexible hamstrings
- General Motor Skills: Knee ligaments seem to tear during landing, stopping or cutting in an erect stance (straight knee and straight hip). This is especially true in females. Players (girls especially) should play with a lower center of gravity (the old "ready position") and absorb these shocks by flexing the hips and knees. Start teaching this when they are young.
- Low endurance has been cited as an injury risk. Injuries and goals are a lot alike--they occur late in the game. In our survey, about one-fourth of all injuries occurred in the last 10 to 15 minutes of a game. Lots of injuries occur during preseason when players are unfit. The message? Arrive in shape, and improve on it as best you can so you don't tire as much late in the game.
- Soccer skill is also a factor in injury. The poorer skilled players suffer more injuries. You may find skill work as dull, but you know that the better-skilled players are injured less frequently.
- Foul play has been implicated in injuries, as up to one-third of traumatic soccer injuries were due to foul play; sometimes to the "foul-er" and sometimes to the "foul-ee." The most skilled and fittest players are better able to avoid these collisions.
- Middle-school-age boys are at a special risk. Height comes faster than muscle growth. The tall, weak boy gets injured more often than the shorter, less mature or the older more mature. That in-between period is the problem.
- Shin guards are required in soccer. While all spread out the impact across the guard, they are not real helpful at preventing fractures. Shin guards that spread out the impact the most are those air/foam cell pads that happen to be the biggest ones on the market. Most kids want the bare minimum to pass the referee's inspection, but the reality is the bigger the guard, the more protection.
- Head injuries occur during head-head contact or head-ground contact, mostly in the penalty area and near the midline (when competing for goal kicks, punts, clears, etc). Especially dangerous are head flicks, where a player flicks the ball off their head, usually backwards. The problem is the defender behind who jumps for the head and gets hit in the chin by the other player popping up for the flick. This can lead to a whiplash type of injury. Solution? For most players, the flick is a desperation move--can't figure out what do, so flick it on. Teach players to take a step back to either control the ball on their chest/thigh/foot or head it back to a teammate they can see. They don't know where that flick is going anyway, so it is usually a wasted pass.
Many injuries, especially re-injuries, in soccer are preventable. Preparation prior to play is important as well as decisions made during play. Remember, you are needed on the field, not on the bench.