Barrington Committed is a lifestyle initiative based on a unique framework called Life of an Athlete (LOA), created by John Underwood. The LOA multifaceted program focuses on factors facing today’s youth, which directly impact their physical, behavioral, and intellectual development. The factors are proper nutrition, sufficient sleep, and the benefits of being drug and alcohol free.
Nutrition is the Fuel for the Body
What you eat will determine your performance on and off the field. What you eat before the competition matters. What you eat immediately following your competition/workout matters.
Eat Less CRAP. Eat More FOOD
There are two basic ways you can improve regular daily nutrition.
First, get rid of the bad junk you are consuming. Carbonated drinks, refined sugar, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods.
Second, eat more good food. Fruits, veggies, lean proteins, omega 3 fatty acids, and lots of water.
Your Brain Runs Your Body.
Sleep is your body and brain’s time to rejuvenate and replenish. It is critical to how your body and brain work. Students get pulled in many directions with, school work, outside activities, social life, family, etc. the result being insufficient sleep.
Sleep deprivation adversely affects your ability to do critical thinking, follow thought processes, memory, attention span, concentration, physical coordination, reaction times, physical strength and endurance.
A good nights sleep of 8 to 10 hours will store roughly 14 hours of central nervous system readiness. It’s what your brain and body need to perform at their best.
Tips for Better Sleep
- Maintain a consistent daily schedule.
- Reduce caffeine intake.
- Turn off the computer/TV 45 minutes before trying to sleep.
- Don’t go to bed on a full stomach.
- Don’t go to bed on an empty stomach.
- Engage in regular exercise.
- Limit beverage consumption before going to bed.
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.
Drugs & Alcohol
Drugs and Alcohol Usage and Athletic Performance
There are no positive performance effects, linked to alcohol and drugs, only negative ones. The use of alcohol and other drugs (AOD) dramatically reduces HGH and testosterone interfering with performance and recovery.
Consumption of alcohol reduces the blood flow to the brain, decreasing speed, agility, strength and concentration.
Athletes who drink are twice as likely to be injured.
Elite Olympic athletes loose over 11% of their overall performance when they drink alcohol. High school and college athletes loose between 15% and 30% of their overall performance capabilities.
AOL use can reduce reaction times by up to 38%. This translates to how quickly you get off the line, off the starting block, swing a bat, or block a shot.
You are an Athlete & You’ve Been Invited to a Drinking Party
There is no doubt that there are pressures on teens. Along with academics and athletics there is the social pressures to fit in.
So, when the phone call comes and you’re invited to a drinking party…
- Think about how hard you have worked.
- Think of how far you have come.
- Think about where you want to be & what you want to achieve
- Think about the commitment you’ve made.
- Think about it…
One Night of Drinking Equals 14 Days of Lost Training.
The Influence of a Coach
“A coach can have a huge influence over the lifestyle choices of a young athlete, especially the use of alcohol and other drugs”
Director of the American Athletic Institute
Coaches have a special relationship with their players and are in a unique position of influence with their young athletes. When coaches talk to their players about the importance of nutrition and hydration, the dangers of sleep deprivation and the use of drugs and alcohol, the message has more impact because ‘Coach’ is speaking.
If coaches want their athletes to make lifestyle choices that will enhance individual and team performance, then the coach must send that message clearly, in words and in actions. Coaches need to send a strong message that alcohol, drugs, poor sleep habits, and junk food will never mix with being an athlete.
Rather than limiting the scope of the Barrington Committed program to just athletics, we’re expanding the program to include other youth activities, including fine arts, performing arts, clubs, scouting, etc.
All of these programs use performance, commitment to a team, inclusion in something larger than themselves, and other motivational factors to move youth toward making healthy choices on nutrition, sleep, and choosing to be drug and alcohol free.
Barrington Committed with Broncos Committed
Barrington High School and Barrington LEADs worked together to bring the Life of an Athlete (LOA) program to Barrington High School. Coaches and staff attended training sessions with John Underwood to learn the philosophy and specifics of the program to implement LOA in the BHS Athletics Department.
In 2012, several BHS seniors attended the Life of an Athlete training in Lake Placid, New York. These seniors decided to create their own student-led LOA program which they called Broncos Committed. For the summer 2013, Barrington LEADs has sponsored 8 BHS seniors to attend this training in Lake Placid, to further the Broncos Committed initiative in the upcoming school year.
Barrington Committed is a parallel program which extends the Broncos Committed lifestyle philosophy to younger athletes, and beyond athletics to the whole community.