Is Your Athlete Sore From Training Or Is Their Pain Something More?

An athlete’s body is their best friend and most important tool, but it can also quickly become their worst enemy.

Athletes enroll in Parisi Speed School to get quality and effective training,  work every single day, prepare their body, work their muscles and yet still get aches and pains.

An athlete’s initial thoughts may be of confusion.

“What is this feeling?”

“It hurts.”

“Am I Injured?”

As a parent your instinct is, “My child is in pain. Should we seek out a doctor?”

These are all reasonable initial questions to ask.

Often times, the discomfort that an athlete is having is a normal response to intense training that he or she may not be used to. In order to ease the mind of everyone involved in the training process, it is important to understand the difference between soreness due to training versus the pain of an injury that needs medical attention.

For example, your child comes to you after a Parisi training session expressing discomfort in their hamstring. Your immediate thought may be that your child pulled a hamstring and needs to see a doctor, but how do you know it’s not just discomfort from their intense training session?

We have some cues, tips and other information to help you assess your athlete’s needs.

What is soreness?

Let’s start by looking at the training that athletes are receiving at Parisi.

Parisi uses unique techniques and training methods that recruit multiple muscle fibers at one time (that’s a good thing!) Athletes muscles are being worked more often and more intensely than they may be used to in normal athletics practice.

This change in training and increased use of different muscles during training sessions may leave athletes (especially in the beginning) feeling some discomfort.

This discomfort can often be attributed to soreness. When assessing pain as an athlete and or parent you can refer to this checklist to ensure that the discomfort is simply sore muscles:

  • A burning/tender sensation in muscles

  • The feeling goes away after a few hours of training or within 1-2 days post training

  • Stretching and movements improve discomfort

  • Tight after rest/sleep

To ensure that your athlete’s pain is just soreness, it is important to keep an eye out for the length of discomfort. If the pain is intense and lasts longer than two days after their training session, it may be time to seek medical help.

When pain persists…

When soreness turns out to be more than just discomfort, it is important to seek medical help as soon as possible to avoid further injury. Parisi Certified Coaches are always here to help and give insight, but serious injuries should be brought to a certified physician.

When a serious injury occurs, it should be fairly easy to realize once pain persists. Timing is key. Here are some tips to remember when assessing an injury:

  • Muscles are experiencing sharp and intense pain

  • The pain begins within 24 hours of training and continues

  • The pain lingers and does not go away with rest

  • Pain worsens with further training/activity

  • Lasts 1-2 weeks and beyond

What can lead to injury?

As a parent, you never want to see your child get injured, but you also never want to take them out of a sport. With that being said, there comes a point where rest may be the best medicine.

At Parisi, athletes of every age and ability come to train. Some come to get better at a specific sport, while others come to get stronger, faster and build confidence.

But for some athletes there comes a point where training goes from beneficial to harmful. This turn happens when athletes over train. Overtraining is one of the leading factors that turns muscles soreness into actual injury.

What are the signs of overtraining?

Overtraining can occur in any athlete, so it’s important to know the signs.

Signs of overtraining include:

  • long-term fatigue

  • a decrease in performance and strength

  • irritability

  • loss of enthusiasm

  • sleep problems

  • mental health issues

  • or other health and wellness problems that continue to persist over a period of time

Overtraining can lead to serious injury. In order to prevent overtraining it is important to have balance, good nutrition and hydration, rest days and a well-trained team keeping track of training needs.

Athlete Tips!

No one wants to sit out on the sideline because of an injury. Here are a few Parisi tips to remember in order to keep muscle soreness from turning into muscles injury.

  • Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! Training hard every day means lots and lots of sweat. To replace the nutrients being lost during workouts and to replenish the body with water is key. Live by the 8 by 8 rule, which means 8 ounce cups of water, 8 times a day. And if training at Parisi, double it!

  • A well-balanced diet is also crucial in a successful performance and a healthy body. During workouts, the body is burning calories and building muscle. The only way the body can continue on is with proper fuel.

  • Food is fuel! Proper nutrition will help muscles and bones stay strong and even increase strength, and overall performance.

  • Know the body! An athlete’s most important tool is the body. Remember to listen to it, keep it hydrated and fuel it with energy in order to reach your goals and perform the way you know you can.

Breaking Bad! Building Good Nutritional Habits For Your Young Athlete (And You)

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You have a son or daughter and they play sports. And since you do love them and want the best for them, you’ve decided to do everything in your power to help them succeed.

You’ve enrolled them at a Parisi Speed School to ensure they get the highest quality speed and strength training.

You’ve found the best coaches, enrolled them in the best sports camps and made sure they’ve played in the best travel teams.

Now imagine this scenario: After a one hour hitting lesson and an intense strength training class at Parisi,  your child has worked up quite the hunger.

“Okay,” you say and pull into the McDonald’s drive through.

Wait? WHAAT?! All that effort. All that quality training. And you’re going to offset it by feeding them garbage?

If I’m speaking about you in this scenario, then don’t feel bad. Over the course of 18 years of training kids and adults alike, I’ve seen this scene play out time and time again. Time, effort and money is spent on gym memberships, training, coaches, etc., but nutritional choices remain poor.

Why?

Because healthy food choices are still the biggest mystery to the majority of people who begin a fitness regimen and this trickles down to their children. In this article, I’m going to address what to eat, but mainly emphasize creating habits that will keep your children on the path to healthy eating.

Here are three habits you can use to help ensure your young athlete gets the nutrition they need. The good news to this is that since you buy the food they’ll have to follow these habits. The bad news is that you’re also going to have to do the same (which isn’t really bad news because you’ll look and feel better too!)

Habit One: Keep a Clean House.

No, I’m not saying that your living quarters are dirty, I’m saying the contents of your refrigerator and pantry are. So let’s get rid of all that dirty food. Here are some examples:

  • sodas

  • chips

  • cookies, cakes, candy bars, ice cream, etc.

  • processed frozen foods (hot pockets, pizzas, microwave meals)

  • sugary cereals

Remember if it’s not there, you can’t eat it, so go ahead and get rid of all of it. Now we replace the bad with the good:

  • lean meats

  • lean lunch meat

  • complex carbohydrates like rice, oats, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, vegetables and fruits

  • healthy fats like almonds, mixed nuts, real cheese, peanut butter

Now your kitchen is nice and clean with all the building blocks of a healthy nutritious meal. What’s next?

Habit Two: Learn to Prepare Meals.

“Meal prep” is often a stressful term that creates images of hours of cooking packed away in Tupperware to be reheated days later. In actuality, it can be as simple as packing turkey sandwiches on wheat bread with real cheese for your kids to bring to school. Preparing dinner is also very important. Your kitchen is now full of healthy options, so there is an endless array of meals that can be made using combinations of those foods. Just use your imagination (or find recipes online). Make extra and you’ve got leftovers that can be packed for school the next day. Now that your meals are taken care of, you’re probably going to ask, “What about snacking? My kid is still a kid. You expect them to eat chicken breast and rice constantly?” No I don’t. Which brings me to…

Habit Three: Snacking.

If they’re going to snack, then choose healthy ones. There are snacks out there that taste great and are still healthy (in proper amounts). Some examples:

  • Fiber One or NutriGrain bars

  • almonds or mixed nuts

  • string cheese

  • baked chips, wheat thins, rice cakes

These are also good to pack with you for games or trips to games as they are a quick means to provide clean, sustained energy.

There you have it. Try those three habits to get your young athlete eating better for performance, recovery and health. But remember as the parent you have to set the precedent by following them as well. Children pick up habits early and one of the most valuable lessons you can give them is what foods to eat and how they can go about eating those foods every day. Increased performance is valuable, but learning how to live a healthy lifestyle is priceless.