Wellness key to performance for Storm

Jun 11, 2016 Hailey Hrynewich

Taking care of the mind and body is key to every athlete’s success.

From getting proper sleep to working out on a daily basis to eating the right foods, there is more to it than just the sport itself.

Defensive back Rick-J Hill says it is important to eat lightly before a game and to give himself at least three hours before playing to digest it all.

Hill also says going into the game calm and mentally focused is important to his performance. For him, joking around and laughing with wide receiver Julius Gregory seems to do the trick. It calms him down and relaxes him.

“I have to joke with him,” says Hill. “He has to give me a good laugh before the game. He’s like the team clown.”

The team clown takes his health very seriously too and even goes as far as having the same strict, consistent pregame meal before he plays.

“I have to have a value bag of Welch’s fruit snacks, Welch’s fruit juice, and some chicken for protein,” said Gregory. “Before every game, it has to be that.”

Gregory also says it is important to eat many small meals throughout the day rather than a few big ones. He eats about five to seven meals a day and spreads them out accordingly.

Along with eating habits, preparing for the game physically is important not only to perform well but to prevent any future injuries.

“Stretching and really paying attention to your muscles is key,” said Gregory. “You have to warm up properly and stretch and cool down after a game. You really have to focus on these things that young adults sometimes will overlook.”

Actually committing oneself to these things is what separates the strong from the weak.

Defensive linebacker Jimmy Gordon says what young athletes need to realize is that being the best you can be comes with all these extra things that will only benefit you in the long run.

“There’s days where you don’t feel like getting up and working out or just want to eat what you want,” said Gordon. “But you just have to see the bigger picture, push yourself, hang around people with similar goals, and know you’re going to get a lot out of it in the end.”

The Storm will take on the Jacksonville Sharks today at Amalie Arena in honor of the team’s Health and Wellness week. Kick off is at 5 p.m.