Three simple off-season exercises to improve soccer skills

Jeff Richter, CSCS, USAW, shows you three simple exercises you can do this winter to improve your soccer skills by the first practice next year.



Finals freak-out? Treat it like a big game and optimize your performance.


Finals week can be a very stressful time and as a student-athlete you likely have a lot to balance that week. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally during this time to ensure you are studying efficiently and are able to perform well on your final exams. The following are some tips that can help you manage the stress of the end of the semester:


1. Be organized and create a schedule- this will help you stay on track throughout the week.


2. Create study groups and utilize resources that will help you maximize the time you spend studying.


3. Know yourself and study in ways/environments that allow you to study at your best.


4. Take care of yourself- you need sleep, hydration, and balanced nutrition to fuel your mind.


5. Utilize mental skills (i.e. relaxation techniques, positive self-talk, focus techniques) to help you perform your best and picture success at the end of finals week.

SVSP Nutrition Tip of the Month- Fast Food

Fast food can be nutritious, you just have to find the right items on the menu. In this month’s nutrition tip, SVSP’s Sports Dietitian Lindsay Langford tells you what to eat at a few popular fast food joints.



Sports Psychologist Dr. Chris Carr discusses goal setting

Chris Carr, Ph. D, HSPP talks about goal setting and the difference between process goals and outcome goals.




Be thankful, but don’t be afraid to say, “Thanks, I’m full.”

It’s that time of year when even vegetables get topped with marshmallows. With each year’s holiday season, people are surrounded by numerous calorie-dense food choices. According to The American Council on Exercise, the average adult consumes 3,000 calories at their holiday meal. And that’s one meal, let alone the whole day.


Here are some tips to keep your diet in check during this Thanksgiving from St.Vincent Sport Performance, Lindsay Langford, Sports Dietitian, MS, RD, CSSD:


Build the Rainbow:  When sitting down to a table full of food, be sure to add “color” to your plate. Foods that are rich in color are generally rich in nutrients. From reds to purples, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals fill these foods to provide high quality fuel. See how many colimagesors your plate can represent.


Drink Up:  Often times, hunger pains are more likely due to dehydration than true hunger. Be sure to drink at least 8oz of water, 30 minutes prior to mealtime to help prevent overeating. During the big meal, skip the sodas, sweet tea and lemonade. These are drinks that contain high volumes of sugar and add a lot of calories, but won’t help you to feel fuller. Stick with water, unsweetened tea, or low fat milk.


Pleasing Protein:  Lean protein sources such as turkey, chicken, or fish can be a great way to please the palate. Protein sources take longer to digest, helping your stomach to have the feeling of fullness. By making ¼ of your plate skinless turkey breast, you will find yourself less tempted by the dessert table.


It is important to realize that food is fueling your performance. Eat well to play well this holiday season. Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving tips as the big day draws near.

MLB pitcher Joe Thatcher’s off-season training at SVSP

MLB lefty Joe Thatcher, a native of Kokomo, Indiana, has been slinging pitches in the majors for over eight seasons. He has recorded 244 strikeouts over his career that has seen stints with the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


Thatcher, now a free agent, has been training at St.Vincent Sports Performance for four off-seasons and is continually impressed with the results. “The innovations that go on here are pretty amazing. I leave here in the offseason feeling great and I feel ready every spring training.” With more than 160 games each season, nothing is more important to a pitcher than a training regimen that optimizes performance, prevents injury and supports longevity.

USA Gymnastics Performance Tip of the Month- Advanced Side Planking

Jeff Richter, CSCS, USAW, performance specialist at St.Vincent Sports Performance, demonstrates advanced side planking techniques in this month’s USA Gymnastics Performance Tip of the Month. The side plank is one of the best exercises you can do. It builds strength and endurance in the core. This will help keep your lower back protected and stable during activities that require movement in the hips or back.


Introducing Dr. Ordaz

Dan Ordaz3-sm


Dr. Dan Ordaz was recently named team physician for Heritage Christian High School, a St.Vincent Sports Performance partner school.

Originally from Ohio, he is a graduate of the St.Vincent Family Medicine Residency and St.Vincent Sports Performance Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship.

Dr. Ordaz’s training in sports medicine included coverage of the Butler University and Marian University athletic departments. He also covered several sports as a team physician for Pike and Roncalli High Schools.  Dr. Ordaz annually provides coverage for major running events including the Carmel Marathon and the Geist half-marathon. In addition, he has covered Big 10 men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, Big 10 Football Championship games and multiple USA Track and Field events.

Dr. Ordaz has a special interest in helping athletes of all sports and levels. An avid runner and endurance athlete, he particularly enjoys the evaluation and management of running injuries.

Dr. Ordaz is board certified in both Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. He is a member of several national organizations including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine. He enjoys spending time with his wife, running, watching movies and various sports.

Making Hydration Easier

Waiting rooms, paint drying, watching the clock tick tock, drinking water. All are pretty boring, right? Well, we can’t do anything about the first three, but this video has three tips on making drinking water easier and more delicious. Check out how SVSP Sports Dietitian Lindsay Langford, MS, RD, CSSD can make hydration actually kind of fun.

When Should Athletes Work with a Sport Psychologist?

It is valuable for any athlete to work with a sport psychologist to develop a structured mental skills routine. Whether the athlete is performing well, or experiencing decreases or plateaus in their performance, a sport psychologist can provide all athletes with mental skills that can help lead to their peak level of performance. Sport psychologists also work to assist athletes in coping with outside stressors that can negatively impact their performance.

Things to look for:

  • Inconsistency in performance
  • Lack of clearly defined goals
  • Differing levels of performance in practice versus competition (not performing well under pressure)
  • Excessive nervousness prior to and/or during performances
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Difficulty controlling emotions when playing (i.e. anxiety, anger, frustration, etc.)
  • Negativity directed at oneself or others
  • Focusing on things that are not within their control (i.e. weather, the other team, etc.)
  • Lack of, or decreases in, motivation
  • Low levels of confidence

Athletes going through any of the following could benefit from working with a sport psychologist:

  • General mental health disorders: anxiety, depression, adjustment disorders
  • Conflict with coaches, parents, or teammates
  • Outside stressors (i.e. academics, social relationships, etc.)
  • Injury
  • Signs of substance use/abuse
  • Disordered eating/body image concerns
  • Sleep difficulties, changes in appetite

Lastly, it is important to answer the question, “How do I know if they are qualified to help me?” Identifying who is qualified to work with athletes is an important step in getting them the resources they need for success. Identify licensed mental health professionals in your area with a specialization in sport psychology. Mental health professionals with a counseling or clinical psychology background will be able to assist athletes experiencing a wide range of things, including both sport performance challenges and general mental health concerns.