Every athlete has the same problem after every game or practice: muscle soreness. However, how each athlete deals with this problem varies. Five Walpole athletes have chimed in on how they each handle their sports related muscle soreness — pickle juice, Advil, sleep, stretching and rolling and ice baths. Below is what each athlete had to say:
Senior volleyball captain Kayla Frost just finished her third year on varsity, helping to lead the team to the South Sectional Finals — the Rebels’ furthest playoff run in school history. On the season, Frost had a total of 54 sets played out of a total 79. She also had a total of 160 digs, eight aces, two kills, and three assists. With Volleyball’s long run in the State Tournament, soreness is obviously a problem.
“I typically take three Advil before a practice or game so that my muscle soreness does not interfere with my ability to play,” said Frost. “After a long practice, I usually take two or three more Advil so that I can prevent soreness for the next day.”
Advil is not the only
medicine students use, many take other pain relievers, such as motrin and aleve.
2. Pickle Juice
Junior Billy Porter, boys soccer captain-elect, just finished his third year on varsity starting as an outside midfielder. This season, Porter had nine goals to help lead the Rebels to another Bay State League title. Often playing the majority of each game, Porter struggled with muscle soreness and cramping at different points throughout the season, but pickle juice is one strategy he used to help.
“A big problem of mine in the beginning of the season was that I was really prone to cramping in my calf muscles,” said Porter. “It got so bad that I had to get taken out of several games and played another at about 50 percent. The trainer [Rory Fawcett] recommended drinking pickle juice 30 minutes before a game because of its extremely high sodium content. After that, I never cramped again.”
Isaiah Shephard, senior Boys Basketball captain, is entering his third and final year of varsity basketball. In the Rebels’ Holiday Tournament this year, Shephard helped Walpole make the championship. In the first game against Hingham, Walpole won 78-71 with 17 points from Shephard. In the second game — also the championship game against Westwood — the Rebels unfortunately lost 59-58; however, Shephard ended the game with 23 points. Often playing the majority of each game, Shephard usually deals with soreness with one simple strategy.
“Sleep is definitely a big help for soreness,” said Shephard. “If I get to bed late, or do not get enough rest, it shows in my performance. On average I get about seven hours of sleep a night, but nine after games. The night before games I make sure I am in bed by 10, too.”
4. Stretching and Rolling Out
Despite the fact that she is only a sophomore, Meghan Hamilton is not only a starting first-line center, but also in her third year on Walpole Girls Hockey. Head coach Joe Verderber called Hamilton up in her eighth grade year because the team did not have enough players to fill out a competitive roster.
In her first game of this season, Hamilton scored to help lead Walpole to a 3-0 win over Archbishop Williams. Having played three years on varsity as well as being a first-liner, Hamilton uses stretching as a suitable cure for any soreness.
“I use a stick roller to roll out my legs in the
locker room before every game,” said Hamilton. “We also do line dynamic stretches off the ice, and then I have one of my teammates help stretch me out more.”
5. Ice Baths
Finishing up his final winter track season, senior captain Jack Kennefick has had his fair share of issues regarding muscle soreness. In his second meet of this year, the annual Winter Festival Invitational, Kennefick finished the 600 meter run in a time of 1:26.28 — his personal best so far in his four years at Walpole High. Along with many other runners at WHS, Kennefick utilizes ice baths as a treatment for muscle soreness.
“I usually take an ice bath once a week” he said. “I use six pounds of ice, and stay in the tub for about ten minutes. The ice helps get the lactic acid out of my muscles, and relieve any aches or soreness I have in my legs.”
In theory, the cold exposure from ice baths help fight small tears in muscle fibers and relieve soreness from repeitive excercise.