Be the Toughest Player on the Field: Stay Cool
In talking all the lacrosse tips in the book, we hold firm in our belief that playing your best game ever begins long before the first face-off.
Today we are not talking about your practice habits however; we are talking about your habits off the field.
The one off-the-field habit we insist on you picking up this week is the COLD SHOWER.
Yeah, I see you shivering. But after those chills go away how about you take a minute and see how Cold Showering can improve your lacrosse game in TEN DIFFERENT WAYS.
Maybe after this article you will be inspired to turn your faucet to cold tomorrow morning.
10 WAYS A COLD SHOWER CAN IMPROVE YOUR LACROSSE GAME
1. Miss Less Games
Ever had to miss a tournament or game because you had come down with a cold or the flu? Start taking cold showers, and the chances of that happening again are close to zero.
Cold showers boost the immune system. With habitual cold showering, an individual can see higher numbers of the cells in the body that fight the bad stuff that comes in. These protectors of the body that see a boost after cold showering are the white blood cells, plasma, T helper cells, and lymphocytes.
Every time winter comes around, you should not be guaranteed to catch a cold or the flu. The reason this happens is because our bodies do not get the chance to adapt to the cold. (In winter we do everything we can to stay inside right?
Taking cold showers promotes this ‘adaptation’ progress and will keep you performing your best while others fall victim to a seasonal illness.
2. Stay Alert and Focused for Practice and Games
Some research shows that cold showers can help many people in struggles with chronic fatigue.
How do you feel before afternoon practices? Do you ever feel sleepy, less motivated and sluggish?
Ever feel a little dull and lethargic when you should be firing on all cylinders before a game? Trying out the shiver inducing cold shower may be something you want to try.
3. Eliminate Pre-Game Performance Anxiety
Ever done a polar bear dive late in the fall or early spring at a lake or river? If you have, maybe from personal experience you can relate here.
Cold water is rejuvenating. Taking a cold shower increases the amount of oxygen in your blood and brain. Those of you who suffer from some anxiety know that when you feel extremely anxious or nervous it often times can feel like you can not breath all too well.
With the oxygen flushing characteristic of cold showers, your anxiety symptoms can be relieved.
Help yourself get out of your head before the big game.
4. Maximize Your Force!
Cold showers have been seen to increase the body’s natural testosterone production.
Testosterone levels are heavy contributors to how well your body creates muscle mass. Take cold showers frequently, and you may see gains faster in the weight room, and further see gains on the field in your ability to dominate another player.
5. Stay Loose and Warm on the Field
It may seem kind of backwards, but in cold weather, cold showers are a great way to keep yourself warm for the rest of the day.
This concept is heavily related to the ‘adaptation’ concept we explored earlier.
Cold showers force your body into a gentle form of stress which then engages the process of thermogenesis, which is just the body internally generating heat.
This effect is long lasting as well. When starting your day with a cold shower, your body will continue to be in thermogenesis throughout the day.
If you ever are playing a game in the cold, or feel more game-ready when your body is warm, consider a cold shower on game-day.
6. Sleep Better
If you are not getting good sleep, you are not performing at your best. PERIOD.
If you have a problem falling asleep, whether on an average night or the night before a game, a cold shower will help you sleep like a baby.
Cold-water bathing or a cold shower just before going to bed can reduce insomnia, as it lowers the temperature in your brain’s hood prefrontal cortex and slows down brain activity.
Take a cold shower one hour before you would like to go to sleep. A five minute cold shower causes the body to naturally produce more melatonin than if you were to take a cold shower.
Shower cold, fall asleep.
7. Take A Hit, Or Two
Relating back to the concept of “thermogenesis”, the process that occurs after blasting your body with the cold water for a few minutes, this process turns on the body’s repair systems to over-drive and greatly increases your pain and stress tolerance.
Perhaps a hit on the field will not put you out for a play when for another player it surely would.
This speaks to mental and physical stress. Have one bad play? Forget about it, you are on that cold shower game, move on to the next play and kick some butt.
8. Avoid Injury!
Any player who has suffered a serious injury in their career understands that time away from the game might as well be torture.
Preventing injury starts with your daily habits of taking care of your body. A cold shower is a heck of a habit to keep your body running on high.
Sort of like icing, or taking an ice-bath, cold showering decrease inflammation and removes toxins like lactic acid in the body. This happens because the blood flow increases as your body warms up.
9. You Can Push Yourself Harder!
Cold showers give you a tremendous confidence boost (from personal experience). That is to say, if you can start your day getting through what many people consider torture, you feel like there is not much else you could not handle.
Give the cold shower a try, make it a habit and keep the habit in mind when you practice and play.
You are the Laxer that is crazy enough to jump into a frigid shower first thing in the morning. People will make a movie about you.
But seriously, through making such a unique effort to pick up a habit most of your other competitors think crazy, you have proved you are willing to go father to improve your game already.
Ride that wave and continue to push harder.
10. Uhhh…Feel Better?
As a loyal cold shower enthusiast myself, I can tell you I do not need any study or science to tell you that cold showering is a surefire method for me to feel uplifted to start my day, end a workout, get ready for bed.
Simply put, feel good play good right?
Think you could turn the faucet to cold next time you step in the shower?
If you do, comment below and tell me how it felt and if you think you would do it again.
Stay Cold Laxers –