Leg Cramps & Team Sports – You Get Back What You Put In

I read it all the time in the newspapers and online sports reports how players suffer leg cramps literally in the last quarter and how this can mean the difference to a win, lose or draw. Especially in tough physical contests such as football (soccer), American football, rugby union, rugby league and Australian ‘Aussie’ Rules.Imagine the impact it would have if a coach could eliminate and prevent cramps that plague sports teams during games. In this article I’m going to touch on some of the things the coach or the assistant coach or trainer needs to keep an eye out for.Well, the first place I look at is the environment the players are in and how much they physically sweat. If they sweat a lot that’s one thing that will promote cramps.The other thing you could do is watch what they eat before they go into an event. If they’re going to a fast food restaurant and get a burger or a soda they’re going to get more challenges than someone that ate a high protein, high carbohydrate meal.You can’t look at a person and say he’s tall so he’s more likely to get a cramp but if you look at their eating habits or see them perform and they’re sweating excessively and losing a lot of liquids then you can assess more accurately what’s going to happen.I’ve worked with teams for a long time as a trainer and after starting with a new team I could tell you after 2 weeks who’s going to get cramps & who’s not – poor diet or a good diet, their eating habits, whether they sweat profusely, whether they take care of themselves or not, you can tell. For example if someone’s drinking a litre of fizzy pop before they work out and that’s their only method of drinking water, that’s going to create a lot of problems.In a recent study of Australian Rules players, it was revealed that players are running at close to their maximum speed for 15 to 20km per game.Interestingly the coaches began analysing their players because they started showing signs of severe fatigue and cramping as a result of a rule change which had bigger defenders running more.The increase in the number of players suffering leg cramps and calf cramps is a direct example of how environment – in this case causing fatigue – can influence how much and how often a person can cramp.And in ‘wet and heavy track’ conditions the percentage of players suffering leg cramps in particular gets much higher.Copyright www.Running-Cramp-Relief.com

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