Balancing School and Soccer for Young Athletes

Balancing school, soccer, and your social life can be very stressful at times. If you are having trouble balancing all three of these, check out the following suggestions!

1. Organization

  • Use an organizational tool to help you stay planned for upcoming tests, projects, and other school work. Add your soccer games, tournaments, practices, and social events to your agenda or calendar as well.
  • Having all your important due dates and events laid out for you to see, serves as a great visual reminder. The more places you have important reminders written down, the less likely you are to forget them. 

2. Don't Procrastinate

  • Using an organizational tool can help you plan ahead (See Tip #1). If you have a big exam marked down in your agenda, for the day after a soccer tournament, create a study schedule leading up to your game so you aren't left cramming hours before the exam. Study for 1-2 hours every night, for at least a week, leading up to the soccer tournament. 

3. Utilize Your Time Wisely  

  • Set realistic deadlines for the amount of time it will take you to complete your school work so you can plan ahead and finish it to the best of your ability. 
  • Finish your school work while on the way home from a soccer tournament or during any free time at school. 

4. Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help

  • Ask your teacher for further assistance if you are struggling with a concept or subject in school.
  • Find a tutor, with a flexible schedule, that can help you before or after soccer practice. 
  • Study with friends; challenge each other by quizzing and teaching one another.

5. Create a Positive Work Space for Yourself

  • Find a space that allows you to focus and do school work without feeling pressured or stressed.

6. Set Yourself Deadlines and Goals

  • Set realistic deadlines and goals that you know you can accomplish without overwhelming yourself. Try setting a minor goal for every day that leads up to accomplishing one major goal.

7. Reward Yourself

  • Reward yourself after accomplishing the deadlines and goals that you set for yourself!

Try some of these helpful tips and find out what works best for your schedule! If you have any suggestions about balancing school and soccer, please send them to CrossBonesSports@gmail.com. We can't wait to hear from you!

 

Know the Difference of When to Use Ice Vs Heat on a Soccer Injury

Is your go-to method for sore muscles always ice? If so, you may be using the incorrect treatment for your soccer injury. Every injury is unique so we much treat each one differently and apply the correct treatment. Don't worry you're not alone, the team at CrossBones Sports was a little unsure of what the correct treatment was, so I did some digging to help clarify this confusing question for all my fellow soccer players and athletes.

The first thing you need to know is whether the injury is acute or chronic. 

1. Acute Injury:

An injury that occurred within the past 48 hours and has short-lived pain.

Symptoms: 

  • tenderness
  • redness
  • swelling
  • inflammation
  • sudden, sharp pain

2. Chronic Injury:

An injury that develops slowly and is long-lasting. This may be an acute injury that did not heal properly.

Symptoms:

  • continuously bothersome
  • feelings of soreness
  • feelings of dull pain

Now that you have characterized your injury as either acute or chronic, learn which treatment method is the most beneficial. 

Ice-

Ice treatment is best used for acute injuries to help reduce pain and swelling. Wrap your injury in a thin towel so the ice is not directly on the skin and ice the injury in 10 minute increments. It is important to not put the ice directly on the skin to avoid ice rash. 

Heat-

Heat treatment is used best when applied before working out. Heat is generally used for chronic injuries, such as sore muscles and joint pain, because it stimulates blood flow and relaxes the injured area. Apply heat by using a heating pad or a hot wet towel for 20 minute increments. Do not heat your injury for more than 20 minutes or you could increase your chances of heat rash or burns. 

Please remember that these are just tips for minor pain incurred during a match or a long day of soccer practice. If you are ever concerned about a soccer or sports related injury, don’t hesitate to call your doctor!


Kick Funky Smells to the Curb: The Definitive Guide to Cleaning Soccer Gear!

During my youth soccer days I would come home and take my cleats off in the middle of the kitchen. And believe me when I say that you did not want to be in that kitchen to smell the terrible odor of my cleats and soccer bag. As an adult, I now have a better appreciation for what my parents had to put up with so to save all the soccer moms out there I wanted to share several suggestions of how to clean cleats and get rid of their horrible smell. (I know my mom wishes she had this guide years ago!)

Not only will these tricks improve the air quality in your home but it is also important to clean equipment regularly to get rid of bacteria, to keep your gear in good condition, and to avoid skin rashes or irritations.  

Easy Cleaning-

If you are short on time, try one of these quick on the go cleaning methods:

  1. Sprinkle baking soda or Epsom salt in a coffee filter and then place the filter in your shoes or bag.
  2. Soak paper towels in bleach and place them in your cleats.
  3. Spray your shoe with a special shoe deodorizer that can be found at most sporting goods stores.
  4. Place a few dry tea bags in your shoes and bag to soak up the moisture, which will help eliminate bacteria and odor. 
  5. Put a dryer sheet in each cleat after every time wearing them.
  6. Pour rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe out the insides of your cleats. 

For best results, make sure to try these methods over-night for longer lasting solutions to help get rid of all the built up bacteria. If necessary, repeat these methods a few times a month to keep your soccer gear clean and fresh. 

Deep Cleaning- 

Have a couple of days of rest after a big soccer tournament? These methods are more time consuming but are sure to zap all the smells away:

  1. Fill up a sink or big bucket with hot water and a mild detergent.

a. Soak your cleats and other gear that you want clean for 10 minutes.

b.  After your gear has soaked in the water, scrub off the dirt and rinse off the soap.

c.  Dry off your cleats with a towel and put it outside in the sun to air dry. Remove the insoles from your cleats and let them dry in the sun as well.

d.  After your cleats are completely dry, place them in a freezer bag and keep them in your freezer overnight.

e.  For extra protection place baking soda in a coffee filter in your cleats for a couple of hours after removing them from the freezer. Your shoes should smell like new again!

     2.   Fill up two coffee filters or old socks with coffee grounds. Tie the ends of the filters or socks tightly together with a rubber                band so the grounds do not spill. Place the filters in  your cleats and let them sit in your cleats for 12-24 hours. 

These methods are great for cleaning shoes, cleats, bags, shin guards, and other sports accessories. 

Have a killer method for getting rid of smelly soccer gear? Send in your suggestions to CrossBonesSports@gmail.com for a chance to be featured in a future post!