November was Health and Wellness Month at Toronto FC Academy
The club annually hosts Health & Wellness Month to educate Academy athletes and equip them with the necessary tools they will need to succeed on the field by learning what work is needed off the field. Sessions are led by internal club staff as well as external guest speakers, who provide their expertise on topics surrounding health and wellness. In the past, this event has included sessions on topics such as, financial literacy, strength and conditioning, nutrition and mental health.
A summary of this year’s event has been included below –
Every Wednesday morning throughout the month, athletes received a message including an engaging topic to review and try out on their own or with members of their family, to manage their overall health and wellness. Such topics included –
· 5 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR MENTAL ENERGY
· GUIDED MEDITATION
· 4 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MANAGE STRESS
· TACKLING YOUR TO-DO LIST
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16TH
Landon Hong, RD (Nutritionist | Toronto FC)
During this session, athletes were educated on how to properly fuel their bodies for high performance. A few key concepts that were discussed included, the timing of meals before and after training, and portion sizes depending on the intensity of the training session. The objective of the discussion was to enable athletes to properly identify appropriate snacks for pre-/post-training, proper hydration strategies, and the importance of food for energy, both on and off the field.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH
Monika Cule, CAT(C) (Academy Athletic Therapist | Toronto FC)
This session highlighted the most common injuries seen in the Academy, and the risk factors associated with these types of injuries. Monika addressed the importance of load management throughout the season and some different recovery tools athletes can utilize when they are not on the field.
There was an emphasis on elements the athlete can control (fitness, flexibility, strength) versus things that athletes may have less control over (age, genetics). The objective of this session was to educate athletes on what is included within a proper warm-up and cool down as well as the best way to prepare their bodies for the demands of the game.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22ND
MENTAL HEALTH FOR ATHLETES
Susan Lambert (Boomerang Health | SickKids)
Boomerang Health, powered by SickKids, hosts workshops with the aim of educating and enhancing the understanding of common adolescent struggles such as sadness, self-esteem and identity exploration, along with friendship and social issues.
The objective of this session was to help youth and their families gain a better understanding of mental health challenges throughout their involvement in sport. Strategies to cope with the highs and lows, as well as ways to foster resiliency were explored, and resources for further review were provided.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25TH
DEVELOPING PROFESSIONAL HABITS
Anthony Capotosto (Academy Director | Toronto FC)
The focus of this session was on the development of habits for young professionals. Areas of dicsussion included what defines professionalism – perserverence, resilience, grit, accountability, academic performance, to name a few.
Assisting Anthony throughout the session was TFCII midfielder, and former Academy athlete, Antonio Carlini. Antonio shared his pathway and experiences within the Academy as well as what is required of him and his teammates within the professional environment. The objective of this session was to show Academy athletes that an athlete has to work just as hard off the field as they do on the field if they want to be successful.
Thank you to all of the guest speakers for taking part in the 2021 Toronto FC Academy Health & Wellness Month!