Soccer Nutrition and Mental Focus by Steve September
This is hormonal in nature with chemical interactions, in specific terms a euphoric state of the mind-body link.
We've all heard of the "breakfast on champions". This is true because it focuses on the daily nurturing of the body to aid the mind in preparation of the events ahead. It can be a part of a ritual as, proper breathing techniques and adequate liquid consumption.
Focusing on a dietary plan is also preparing the mind for future competitions is a longer process. This is the use of one of the most important issues in life (food), to introduce another important issue (competition), to heighten the all aspects of individual and team performances.
It teaches the players/athletes to cue themselves for their
It also prompts acceptable behaviors and
fosters conditions of ownership among the players and all those
involved in the team.
Nutrition also allows the coaches to use food and other rewards to encourage other acceptable techniques to prepare for a variety of competitions. NO! I'm not encouraging "Pavlovian" psycologial techniques, this is a much longer and indepth process.
Nutrition is only a step in a process towards mental focus. We have also heard, "strong in body, and strong in mind". I would suggest that these major components in life are completely intertwined and in fact are, inseperable. You can win by recognizing this or lose without even knowing that there is a link too or a cause and effect with this issue.
Many of us try and focus on what to eat. This is the first important step in the correct direction. The flip side to that is what not to eat. This is realizing what is harmful to the player and even the coach. "Maybe a little more oatmeal amd less coffee?" is a good first step towards this solution.
The addition to that is what to eat, and in which
We have now entered the realm of the ZONE. This is the area of expertise of the highly qualified nutritionist to deliver the ultimate nutritional plan.
This however can only be successful once the planner knows
which competitons lay ahead. The nutritional planner also has to
understand the team of athletes and their gender and age
Soccer team nutrition plan
Planning a proper diet for your soccer team is as important as
practising set plays. Not introducing and utilizing a good sports diet plan can result in the following problems:
Lack of concentration
Proper nutrition means eating well planned meals before, during
and after competitions and general games. This also includes
correct and timely liquid intake. A highly tuned engine as
the athletes body requires superior fuel to accomplish all of
the tasks ahead.
Max Inzinger, the nutritional counselor for FIFA in the late
1980's and early 1990's has outlined a basic formula for the
requirements of a soccer player. This is a caloric intake
consideration and is calculated with the following formula:
Body size X a value number = energy needs
Body size is measured in height in centimeters.
The value number is represented by the following table;
Training frequency &/ Value number;
1-2 times weekly &/ 18
3-4 times weekly &/ 20
1-2 hours daily &/ 22
3-4 hours daily &/ 24
5-6 hours daily &/ 28
The soccer players nutritional needs should be broken down with
the following considerations:
The importance of rebuilding components within nutrition are
found in the, essential minerals, these are:
Proper intake of liquids
Although water is vital to the smooth functioning of the body of
the soccer player, it is not the only liquid that is essential.
Our sweat is composed of many salts. These salts are the release of essential minerals and need replacing. These essential minerals are:
These are all necessary in the function of daily tasks as they
are important as catalysts. These minerals are called electrolytes when in a aqueous (water) solution. Many of these minerals can also be found in a variety of supplements. These nutitional supplements can be in pill or powder form and should be found in a sports nutrition store or outlet.
Replacing body fluids starts at least 2 hours before a game.
This is important to note because in a very fast paced game and
in hot climates a player can lose as much as 3 litres (3 quarts)
in the form of sweat and transpiration. Liquid needs to be replaced at half time and if possible during a game, especially on hot days.
The liquid should be at or around normal body temperature as cold liquids are absorbed slower. These electolytes should be sipped or taken at a mouthful at a time and not gulped as the body will utilize smaller quantities more easily.
Players can formulate their own sports drinks but need to use
little sugar and use a combination of teas, fruit juices and
Even fruit juices with high sugar content and carbonated or soda drinks should be avoided.This is because of the "sugar rush" which is short lived and produces a type of lethargy If a soccer player uses powdered sports drinks the direction should be followed carefully as a high dosage of electrolytes will also speed up the loss of fluids.
Remember the body wants to be balanced and will react and adjust itself accordingly.
Steve September of On The Ball Soccer Training has been involved
in soccer for over forty years and on three continents.
As a player, player coach and high performance coach Steve wants to
share the knowledge and experiences with all levels of people
involved in the soccer scene. Delve into more of the philosophy
and information at