15th November

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made from the flesh of mature coconuts after they have turned brown and woody on the outside. The thick white coconut meat is processed into coconut oil, which is then used for cooking and, in some cases, topical treatments for skin and hair. Coconut oil is rich in healthy fatty acids, which may help increase endurance and reduce levels of body fat. Because of this, athletes sometimes take it as a supplement.

Coconut Oil and MCTs

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride, or MCT, which is a type of fatty acid that may have numerous health benefits. MCTs are easily digested by the body, which uses them as a form of direct energy because they are so easily absorbed and processed. According to NYU Langone Medical Center, coconut oil contains up to 15 percent MCTs. When taking MCTs as a supplement for athletic performance, the recommended dosage, according to the medical center, is 85 milligrams a day.


May Boost Endurance

NYU Langone Medical Center reports that MCTs may help enhance exercise ability. A study published in April 2009 in the “Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology” found that the easy digestibility of MCTs may increase energy metabolism during both high- and medium-intensity exercise. The two-week human study found that MCTs reduced the body’s reliance on carbohydrates as a source of energy and cut the amount of lactate produced during exercise, leading to greater exercise endurance.


May Reduce Fat Levels

MCTs in coconut oil have also been associated with changing body composition, reducing the amount of overall fat. In an article published in the March 2003 issue of “Obesity Research," researchers who conducted a human study concluded that a diet high in MCTs led to lower body-fat tissue, throughout the body, in test subjects over the course of four weeks. Researchers concluded that a diet high in MCTs helped increase energy expenditure and may help kick-start weight loss. An animal study published in “Diabetes” in November 2009 also found that MCTs led to lower levels of body fat. The study, which was conducted over a period of four to five weeks, found that a high-fat diet supplemented with MCTs led to lower overall body-fat percentages.


How Much Coconut Oil

While coconut oil contains MCTs, it also has a number of unhealthy fats, including saturated fat. A 1-tablespoon serving has 13.6 grams of total fat, 11.8 grams of which are saturated. MCTs make up no more than 15 percent of the total saturated fat content, so this still leaves a little over 10 grams of saturated fat per serving of coconut oil. According to the American Heart Association, you should get a maximum of 5 to 6 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat. This means that if you consume 2,000 calories a day, you should have, at most, 16 grams of saturated fat. Based on this, a 1-tablespoon serving of coconut oil represents 63 percent of the recommended daily limit for saturated fat.


19th November

New Snapchat

20th November


28th October

Dealing With Rejection

The power clean and squat clean are two functional CrossFit movements that will help you gain strength and get ripped at the same time. Cleans are regularly performed by athletes because they demand explosive power, speed, and strength to be executed properly when using any appreciable amount of weight. Once you master the proper technique, the strength gains and benefits from clean presses will be evident from adding this move to your programme are incredible.

Clean presses use almost every muscle in your body such as: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Core.

They can fit into a wide range of programs if you decide to use them.

They can complement a back and biceps workout or a metcon (metabolic conditioning) routine.

Cleans are also a great benchmark movement- a way to monitor strength gains over a period of time.

Don’t get frustrated if at first you’re not as fast under the bar as you want to be, or you’re having trouble getting your elbows up. This movement takes time and patience to master much like the deadlift.


How To Perform The Clean Press

  1. Approach a loaded barbell in a deadlift stance, with your feet hip-width apart, abs tight, shoulder blades retracted, and back straight.

  2. Push your hips back until they’re above your knees but below your shoulders, with your shoulders in front of the bar

  3. Deadlift the bar off the ground. As soon as it passes your knees, explode upward, driving through your feet and extending your hips.

  4. The power from your hips is what propels the bar upward to this point. Your arms merely guide the bar in a straight path.

  5. Once the bar reaches the apex of it’s journey off the ground, flip your grip so your elbows are pointed forward, and drop your hips so the bar lands on your shoulders. If it’s extremely heavy, you may have to front-squat the bar up from the hole.

Learn more here: http://deadliftworkouts.com/benefits-clean-press/


17th November

If you are not currently including cherry juice as part of your nutrition plan to support your endurance training, it is well worth considering, in my opinion. In this blog post I take a look at the properties of cherries, specifically the tart Montmorency variety, which research suggests can be of value to people training for endurance sports events, and suggest a number of ways to incorporate cherry juice into your training and recovery routines.

Tart cherry juice appears to be of benefit in two main areas: muscle recovery and sleep. Looking at muscle recovery first, Montmorency cherries contain high levels of substances known as polyphenols. These include flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are known to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. A 2006 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine tested the efficacy of tart cherry juice in preventing symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage. It found that strength loss and pain were significantly less when participants performed eccentric arm exercises after 4 days of drinking cherry juice compared with placebo.1 Another study in 2011 found that consuming Montmorency cherry juice improved the recovery of isometric muscle strength after intensive exercise and suggested that its polyphenolic compounds attenuated the oxidative damage induced by exercise. 2 Lastly, and of particular interest to endurance sports participants, a 2010 study involving twenty recreational marathon runners found that post-run inflammation was reduced more in those who took cherry juice for five days before a Marathon than in those taking a placebo, and isometric strength recovered significantly faster. Total anti-oxidant status was found to be increased in these subjects. 3 These studies suggest that there may be benefit in consuming tart cherry juice to help promote muscle recovery after exercise.

Moving onto support for a good night’s sleep, which is a vital part of recovery for those undertaking heavy training. Montmorency cherries contain melatonin, a substance which is critical in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. A randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, crossover study in 2011, where 20 volunteers consumed either tart cherry juice concentrate or placebo for 7 days, found that there were significant increases in time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency with cherry juice supplementation. Total melatonin content was also significantly higher in the urine of those taking cherry juice. 4 This suggests that tart cherry juice might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.

To promote muscle recovery, I suggest the following:

  • Mix 30ml of tart cherry concentrate with 250ml of water and drink within 30 minutes of finishing exercise. You can also include concentrate in a homemade recovery smoothie. The Cherry Active brand is available from health food shops and online (www.cherryactive.co.uk). You can buy 30ml sachets of concentrate as well as large bottles – great for travelling to races.

  • Include 30ml of tart cherry concentrate in a homemade sports drink, together with sources of glucose, fructose and electrolytes.

  • Try using a gel which includes tart cherry juice as an ingredient. Try the Cherry Bomb Kicks gel from Mule Bar (www.mulebar.com)

  • Consume dried tart cherries while undertaking long slow runs, or eat as part of your recovery snack.

To help you sleep better, dilute 30ml of tart cherry concentrate in 250ml of water (hot or cold) and drink 30 minutes prior to going to bed. Alternatively, take 2 Cherry Active capsules.

Learn more here (references included): 


Cherry Juice

18th November

1v1 Defending

16th November


24th November


23rd November

23rd October

Possible Nutrition Choices

5 Keys To Success

Consider D.I.S.C.O before your next game

D = Decisions – Try to make the right decisions to make your game easier. Generally the first one is the right one.

I = Intensity – Intensity doesn’t mean 100mph but to always be on the move, with or without the ball.

S = Spirit – To have a team spirit that can bring a side together to battle through the good and the bad.

C = Communication – Always be loud and give your teammates clear and correct information.

O = Off the Ball – Even off the ball you can impact the game with just your movements.

21st November

This is a common challenge for soccer players. Whether its a midfielder dropping into a defensive role, a winger being asked to fill in at full-back, or a striker being told to play in a deeper or wider position…the reality of life as a soccer player is you have to deal with playing in a different position…

….and it feels uncomfortable. It lacks that comfortable feeling you get when you line up in your usual spot. It requires adjustment – visually, technically, sometimes physically and always mentally.

It feels strange because your brain has very limited mental maps of this new position. And with a brain unused to the position you have to think harder. Your plays become less reactive, less instinctive. Awareness reduces and anticipation slows. Mistakes are easy to come by.

A change of position can also lead to tactical problems. A client of mine this season was asked to play on the left wing when playing as a striker or on the right wing were his natural and learnt positions. He struggled! The coach wanted him to stay out wide but he would naturally work back in towards the centre of the pitch making the game too narrow. He was continually confused about his positioning defensively, and as a striker with a propensity to score, he mentally felt isolated out on the wing and frustrated that he couldn`t do what he most enjoyed doing.

Playing in a new position can hurt. And whilst I can’t sprinkle magic dust on a player and make everything alright and ok straight away, there are some mental techniques that can help.

1. Expand your identity – too many players are tunnel visioned in their appraisal of who they are as a soccer player. “I’m a striker, I`m a centre-back”. Stop limiting yourself. Be open-minded about defining yourself differently. “I’m a striker and I can play centre midfield”. “I’m a centre-back and I’m able to play as a full-back”. Playing in a different position effectively starts by believing that you can. It starts by identifying yourself as capable of playing in this new role.

2. Picture the detail – Now you’ve expanded your identity, take time every day (and I mean every day) to picture the responsibilities within your new role. If you’re a striker who is asked to play out on the wing what does this look like? What do you have to do defensively? What positions do you have to adopt ‘with’ and ‘without’ the ball? Remember, you MUST do this every day.

3. Practice it – simple…go and practice your new expanded identity. Go practice playing in your position! Enact the pictures you’ve created every day.

4. Be prepared to get it wrong – there`s nothing worse in soccer than the player who lacks decisiveness. If you’re playing in a new position you’ll likely make some mistakes and that HAS to be ok with you. When you run onto the pitch tell yourself this “It’s ok to make a mistake. I don’t know this position that well so I may make a couple of incorrect decisions. But being decisive is the most important thing. Just be decisive”

Be decisive! Be decisive! Be decisive!

Above all, see a change of position as a challenge as opposed to a chore. By reappraising the situation like this you’ll give yourself a chance to play in a more relaxed, confident manner rather than as a tense, tight and terrified soccer player.

Learn more here: https://danabrahams.com/blog/2017/dealing-change-position/

Dealing with a Change of Position

22nd November

Researchers have been interested in the question about how well fitness has been maintained during the season. Groups of sports scientists have designed and performed experiments where they measure the fitness of teams before, during and after the season. For instance, they might study two teams who have the same game and training schedule, but one of the teams does some extra fitness-specific training, like sprint work, plyometrics, strength training, or some combination. They also study how much extra fitness training is performed, such as one time per week, multiple times per week, or during every session.

The findings vary from study to study, but the general results are:

  1. Extra fitness training is better than no fitness training

  2. If the players have a good fitness level before the season begins, as little as one extra fitness session per week is enough to maintain fitness levels, and sometimes increase fitness levels.

You have to keep in mind that all of these studies are done on teams with different situations, and that you need to determine what is best for you. The first result (extra fitness is good) makes sense. The second result is very interesting, but it is important that you take into account your specific situation.

Teams of various levels have different playing and training schedules. Some, like high school and college teams, have a very demanding schedule of two or more games per week over a short period of a few months. Club teams have schedules that depend on their league. Many play a 9-10 month schedule with a game each weekend. Occasionally these teams may play multiple games in a weekend, such as in a tournament or showcase. Professional teams have schedules that vary throughout the season; sometimes with one or more games a week, sometimes with a week off. Add to this that training schedules vary. Some train four or more times per week, while others may train less.

Your team’s playing and training schedule, how your team trains, and what league rules allow during games will all have an impact on how well your fitness levels are maintained during a season. If you are training four days per week with sessions that are difficult, your fitness level will be affected differently than if you train two times per week with lower intensity sessions. Add to that your status on the team. If you are a regular starter playing full matches, your fitness level maintenance will be different than if you are a nonstarter or player not receiving many minutes. In addition, if your league allows substitution and reentry, chances are your fitness level will be affected differently than if there is limited substitution with no reentry.

Now that I have laid out all these scenarios, it should be obvious that ‘one size does not fit all’. However, there are some generalities that I can give you that you can apply to your situation.

  1. Soccer is a game of high intensity action separated by brief periods of rest – Since your body adapts to the type of training performed, in order to be most fit, you have to perform high intensity intervals. Many times, team training does not allow for this because of breaks due to coaching or player rotation. If your training sessions are not allowing you to obtain a good workout consisting of high intensity work and rest, focused fitness training should be completed.

  2. Soreness and fatigue peak about 48 hours after intense activity – this statement has important implications. It simply means that if you complete a high intensity training session, it would be best not to do so within two days of a match. I know that schedules may not allow for this every week. I am not saying that you should not train hard within two days of a match – I am saying that you need to consider the level of intensity by taking into account the match schedule.

  3. 20-30 minutes of focused fitness is sufficient – providing that your training sessions are of reasonable intensity, you can get what you need by working hard for a short period of time. Sport scientists have shown this over and over – brief high intensity work is as good as or better for fitness than lower intensity, longer duration work.

The focused fitness that you perform is dependent upon your team’s coaching plan. In some cases, like with the Dynamo Academy and Dash, focused fitness is a part of the training session. In other cases, you might need to do some additional work before or after training, or on an off-training day.

Learn more here:


Maintaining fitness levels through the season - John De Witt

  1. The Coach Athlete relationship: where a mutual trusting and respectful relationship exists between the Coach and athletes. Each knows what to expect from the other (predictability), they understand how the other communicates, the environment they work best in and how to maximize their strengths in the context of their sport.

  2. High level Athlete self-awareness: the degree to which an athlete understands how they behave, what their strengths and limitations are, what motivates them and how to adapt their behaviour to produce more effective outcomes.

  3. Quality of the training environment: this includes aspects such as athletes’ equipment, strength and conditioning programs and overall facilities used.

  4. The management of the competition environment: this relates to how well planned the competition environment was logistically and how difficult circumstances were managed so they would not limit the athlete’s performance.

  5. Support mechanisms: people in the athlete’s life. Everyone from family and friends to staff surrounding the athletes such as doctors, massage therapists, nutritionists, trainers, physiotherapists.

The Coach athlete relationship was found to be the most important factor and absolutely non-negotiable.

Learn more here: http://athleteassessments.com/coach-athlete-relationship-performance-factor/​



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