We’ve already discussed building cardio, strength, and flexibility foundations before tryouts. The final piece to being ready for tryouts is getting in peak health. Just like with the other aspects of preparing for tryouts, you can’t just start incorporating healthy behaviors a few days before and expect results. Start focusing on these four components of health now to be at your best by tryouts: Nutrition Eat nutritious food! Knowing what to eat isn’t rocket science. Just fill yourself up with lots of real, quality food. Real food rarely comes in a package and never has a long list of ingredients on the label. Fuel yourself with fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, lean meat, and whole grains. Minimize your intake of processed foods, like chips and candy bars. The hard part of nutrition is choosing the healthy foods over the often more convenient but less healthy options. Give yourself a head start by planning your meals and snacks in advance. If you already have an apple in your bag, you’re less likely to take a trip to the vending machine. Hydration Drink water! A lot of it. Aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you would drink 75 ounces of water per day. Any disposable plastic water bottle from the store will show how many ounces it holds (typically about 17 ounces). If you are using your own reusable water bottle and it doesn’t say on it how many ounces it holds, use a measuring cup at home to figure it out. If your water bottle contains 17 ounces of water and your goal is to drink 75 ounces per day, you’d need to drink about four and a half bottles. Stress Tryouts are stressful enough. You need to keep all other stress down as tryouts approach so you can stay focused and clear-minded for the big day. Figure out what causes you stress, and then make a plan of attack to minimize it. If it’s school, for example, plan ahead as much as possible. This way you won’t be up late cramming for tests and worrying about a paper or project you have to turn in the next day. Start as early as you can so you can work at your own pace and fit it in your schedule when it’s convenient for you. Since not everything that causes you stress is under your control, you can also reduce stress by setting aside 15 minutes before bed to stretch and calm down from your day. Sleep This is an all-encompassing one” “it will help you in all the areas above. When you are sleep deprived, you crave junk food more, making it difficult to fuel your body with nutritious foods. Going to practice or tryouts on unhealthy food and little sleep is a bad idea. You’ll also have a harder time coping with stress when you aren’t well rested. When it comes to sleep, it’s more than just the night before tryouts that matters. You need to build a habit of getting adequate sleep in the weeks leading up to tryouts to get the benefits” “and then keep the habit going! Focusing on these four aspects of your health will have you at the top of your game by tryouts. What helps you stick to healthy habits?