Monday, November 29, 2010

A College Christmas

Congratulations – you are just about ready to complete the fall semester of college – hopefully you did not get kicked out in a matter of 16 weeks. You managed to make it through the exams, papers, midterms, more papers, quizzes, social life, and soon enough - finals. Not only that, you managed to make it through the fall ball season – oh boy, spring baseball is right around the corner. That’s right, official team practice will start before you know it.

Let me make a couple recommendations – albeit highly recommended. You have worked extremely hard this past semester – even if it was by default. You had to go through morning running sessions, REALLY long practices, weightlifting sessions, study hall hours, tutor sessions, and many other social events that probably did not aid in fueling the body for baseball:

- Get some rest – for the next month or so, you are a faux “professional athlete.” You might have time to sleep in a little, recover from your training sessions (which you still need to be doing), and refuel your body from the fall semester – I am sure your parents are looking forward to feeding you again, trust me.

- Continue to train – the spring season is about 70 days away. I am not talking about the first practice – that’s the first game of the season. So you need to keep/prepare yourself for the season ahead. You don’t have the luxury of a big league spring training starting up just about 70 days from now.

- Fuel your body – take the time to eat right. I’m not going to go into detail about how much, what, and when you should eat – I will leave that up to Kim, the dietician on staff – but you are now at home and don’t have to stop at the Munchie Mart or the campus sub shop to get your food. Like I said before – most of the time, your parents actually enjoy you being home and will help you out as much as they can.

- Mentally prepare yourself for what is ahead – it’s a long season. You hopefully will be playing baseball games from February 18th until June 29th – and it will be a roller coaster ride. Remember, the game of baseball is laced with failure – getting hits 3 out of 10 times is pretty good. Think about making 3 out of 10 free throws – you won’t be playing too much, unless you happen to be Shaq.

With all that being said – enjoy your time around the holidays and be careful. We all consider baseball a very big part of our lives, but time around the ones you love is crucial for your overall well-being – even if it’s your dog. They tend to be your best fans and your worst critics, but they are why you are where you are and they will try their best to be there when you need. So give your family a hug, thank your mom, dad, and grandparents as much as you can and enjoy your time at home.

Everyone have safe travels and Happy Holidays.

Chris Ham, MSA, ATC, CES
Athletic Trainer
Vanderbilt University Baseball

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