Athletes from a wide range of sports have been turning to yoga for years to amp up their game on the field and court. Yoga has been proven to be an extremely effective cross-training technique and has lead to higher performance amongst those athletes who have utilized this practice.
With all the excitement of the World Cup going on, we decided to take a deeper look at the US Men's soccer team and how they are preparing for the Cup. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann heavily emphasizes the player's health and fitness, and has implemented some changes with the hopes of giving Team USA a competitive advantage over the other teams in the tournament. In addition to meeting with nutritionists, traveling with a portable gym, and analyzing the player's blood work, yoga sessions have also been added to the practice schedule.
Yoga has numerous benefits for soccer players including increasing flexibility, reducing chance of injury, boosting endurance, and improving joint and core strength. In a soccer match, players can run to 7-8 miles so it's very important that the muscles be kept loose and strong in order to prevent muscles strains and stress on the body.
Team USA has been placed in Group G, which has now become known as the "Group of Death". Grouped with Portugal, Germany, and Ghana, the USA is facing some very tough competition. Though the chances of the USA being successful seem slim, hopes are remaining high. The men play their first match of the World Cup today against Ghana. After being knocked out of the tournament by Ghana in both 2010 and 2006, the USA is looking for some redemption this afternoon. Hopefully all the work they put in off the field will give them the upper hand in today's match. Make sure to tune in at 2:30(PST) to watch the game unfold.