Best Pre-Game, Halftime, and End-of-Game Snacks for a Team

Best Pre-Game, Halftime, and End-of-Game Snacks for a Team

What you eat before, during, and after a game can affect the way you perform. Make an unwise decision such as overeating before a game or consuming food with too much fiber can lead to cramps or worse, have you running off the field to find the nearest bathroom. This is why it’s wise to know what pre-game, halftime, and post-game snacks are most advised.

Pre-Game Snacks

Game-day snacks for your team should be easy and portable. Pre-game snacks should be easily digested carbohydrate or perhaps a little fat a protein. They’re met to give you fuel when your tank is on empty. And they should be light enough to be eaten at least 30 minutes before a game without feeling heavy in your stomach. Here are some great pre-game snack ideas:

Homemade Trail Mix

Nuts, like almonds, cashews, and peanuts, provide protein and healthy fats. And when you mix them with a source of simple carbs such as dried fruit, granola or bits of pretzels, you’ve got a delicious treat. To make your own trail mix, combine almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and walnuts which are high in good fat and protein and mix them with dried cranberries and raisins or your favorite dried fruit. Other ingredients you may want to throw in the mix to give them that delicious salty-sweet combo are dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips.

Here are some other great pre-game snacks:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Melon/Cantaloupe slices
  • Grapes
  • Fruit jerky
  • Beef jerky

Half-Time Snacks

Similar to pre-game snacks, half-time snacks shouldn’t be too complex. However, they should be more focused on keeping your team hydrated. Ensure they are drinking plenty of water. Avoid salty foods that will dehydrate them rather than rehydrate. Here are some of the best half-time snack suggestions:

  • Bananas – cut in half for younger kids so they can peel them quickly
  • Orange – have them sliced up so kids don’t have to spend time peeling them
  • Grapes – fresh grapes are great. For a refreshing treat, try frozen ones. Don’t serve to kids under age 5.
  • Melon – serve in small slices or chunks
  • Apple or pear – cut into wedges and sprinkled with orange juice to prevent browning
  • Berries – most berries are fine except for cherries since the pits can cause a mess

Post-Game Snacks

Immediately following a game or intense practice, athletes need lots of fluids to replace what they’ve lost to sweat. Milk, particularly chocolate milk, and water are good choices. If they’ve been sweating and it is very hot outside, players also need potassium and sodium. That’s why sports drinks include electrolytes in their formula. But remember, there’s a big difference between energy drinks and sports drinks.

Your athletes will be hungry after their big game and need nutrients to replenish them. If their next big meal is quite a wait away, be sure to give them post-game snacks. Here are some great ideas:

  • Apple and orange slices. These will fill up the kids with fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
  • Carrot sticks
  • Bananas are loaded with potassium
  • Low-fat yogurt sticks.
  • Trail mix.
  • Applesauce squeezers.
  • Granola bars. These are packed with whole grains, nuts, and sometimes dried fruit.
  • Raisins

With any snacks on game day, think about foods that are first of all, healthy. And remember that they should be able to last while in a cooler for hours without spoiling.

Tips on How to Improve Your Shot in Basketball

Tips on How to Improve Your Shot in Basketball

The technique required to become an excellent shooter in basketball takes a lot of time to master.  Watching pro players makes it seem like it’s the easiest thing to do in the world – but as with all skills in sport, the hardest moves look easy because of training.

Training and commitment to a goal are two very important lessons kids can learn from organized sport.  It may be that your child loves playing basketball but is struggling to grasp the technique required to excel on the court.  As a parent, seeing your child come face to face with their shortcomings (and working on ways to improve their weaknesses) can be quite vindicating.  Sports are a great avenue for kids to commit themselves to the struggle for self-improvement, which includes social skills

But sometimes they need a little help too!  You can help your child develop their shot technique by suggesting some of these tips to them:

Set Up a Net in Your Driveway or Yard

Setting up a net is the best way to encourage your child to develop their shot mechanics without even realizing it.  The best cure for poor technique is practice, practice, practice.  If space is an issue then offer to drive them to a local court after school once or twice a week so they can practice there (depending on the age of your child, of course).

Watch the Target

The most common mistake made by children learning the mechanics of a basketball shot is forgetting to look.  A lot of players are more interested in the flight of the ball then the location of the net.  This obscures the focus of the entire shot itself.  When a child learns to consistently focus on the net they will find a nice surge in shooting percentage.

Where Are Your Feet? 

The placement of the knees and feet are super important to executing a proper basketball shot.  Why? Because the thrust of energy that generates the force of the shot comes from the knees.  Knees should be shoulder-width apart and the dominant foot should be placed slightly in front.

The Legs, not the Arms

If your child is using their arms to generate power, they are doing it all wrong.  Watch a couple videos with them of pro basketball players and highlight the fact that they push from their knees, not their arms.

Relax Those Wrists

When it comes to follow through, a lot of children learn the wrong technique.  In a correct follow through, the wrists should be totally relaxed and the hands should hold their position in the air until the shot hits the target.  If neither of these movements are taken on, then the ball will have less directional arc.

Seeing your child shoot the wrong way can be frustrating.  However, you must remember the “more play, less pressure” mantra when you get frustrated.  It takes a lot of time and effort to develop the right technique.  Keep these tips in mind so that you can offer some constructive commentary to your child when the opportunity arises.