Alcohol is a funny substance, surrounded by double standards. It’s socially and legally acceptable at some times in your life but not others. It’s against the law until age twenty-one but legal for adults. In small amounts it’s not harmful to your health, but in excess it can kill you. Your parents tell you never, ever to drink as a teen—but if you do, call them for a ride home. Talk about mixed messages. As with everything else, I believe knowledge is power. You’re less likely to abuse alcohol...
First things first. Before the season even starts, you should already be in shape.
“A lot of youth don’t think they need to get in shape,” says James Chesnutt, MD, a sports medicine specialist at Oregon Health & Sciences University. “They are couch potatoes right up to the first day of practice.”
Don’t let that be you. Practice is going to put a lot of strain on your muscles. Games are even more intense. You have to be prepared. Think about baseball. If you’re a pitcher and your arm isn’t up to the task, your game might not be the only thing to suffer. A weak arm is an easily injured arm.
Chesnutt, who coaches teen sports in Portland, Ore., tells his players that they need to start working out six weeks prior to the season, putting in an hour’s worth of exercise a day (something everyone should be doing already). That means a mix of lifting, cardio training, and active play that revs your heart.