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EVERY DAY HEALTH: KENT MERCER     Jayne Appel, center for the San Antonio Silver Stars and graduate of Carondelet-Concord and Stanford, is the best...

EVERY DAY HEALTH: KENT MERCER 

   Jayne Appel, center for the San Antonio Silver Stars and graduate of Carondelet-Concord and Stanford, is the best passing post in the WNBA, and she dishes out great advice to high school athletes who would follow in her All-Star footsteps. For instance, staying in shape isn’t just about conditioning.

   “Sleeping, eating and conditioning all go hand-in-hand. If you put garbage in your body, it’s going to perform like garbage,”says Appel, the all-time Pac-10 rebound leader while at Stanford. “Kids have a lot going on, but unless they get eight hours of sleep at night, they won’t perform like they want to.”

   Appel often gives athletes practical tips for getting enough sleep and eating right, which means fruits, vegetables and proteins. Good advice for performance and for recovery from inevitable injuries.

   “Sleep is a huge part of recovery,” Appel said. “So is eating right, especially in lower-body injuries where you can’t train like you used to. You need to make sure you’re not gaining weight.”

   And she tells athletes to listen to rehabilitation specialists. For Appel, that’s the physical therapy team at Muir Orthope- dic Specialists in Walnut Creek, experts she trusts to balance challenging her while holding her back.

   “The sports mentality to play through the pain is wrong,” says Appel, who regrets playing through a broken foot her senior season at Stanford. “The trick to rehab is listening to your therapist and allowing your body the time to recover.”

 

Kent Mercer is a certified athletic trainer for Muir Orthopedic Specialists and De La Salle High.

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