Tag: recovery

Your Season is Over…Now What?

Quick Tips to Re-Charge After Your Season.

If your sport season is coming to a close, it can be tempting to attack the weight room with new enthusiasm. But while you may be itching to hit the ground running, it’s important to take some time for to reflect, rest and recover before you look toward next season. Here are three quick tips to help you re-charge after your season.

REFLECT

Preparation and performance can be categorized in 3 areas:

  • Physical – Cardiovascular fitness, speed/agility, strength/core training, diet and nutrition, injury prevention.
  • Fundamental – Aspects related to the development of the many physical skills specifically related to the sport you participate in. 
  • Mental – Focus, intensity, purpose, trust, strategy formulation, adversity and coping skills, decision-making capabilities.

No matter how good you are in a sport, you can always get better and improve. Few athletes actually take the time to assess, critique, and formulate strategies to improve in an honest and purposful manner.

Try this short exercise…

When answering the following questions, be as specific and detailed as possible in relation to the physical, fundamental, and mental aspects of your preparation and performance.

  1. What aspects of your performance were you pleased with last season?
  2. What aspects of your performance were you NOT pleased with last season?
  3. What is your assessment of your daily preparation during the past season?
  4. How can your preparation improve?
  5. How have you matured as a person and as an athlete since last season?

REST and RECOVER

After the season your body needs a break. There will be plenty of time to train for your next season, and the best way to start preparing now is to give your body enough time to fully recover. Take two weeks off of high-intensity activity and address any injuries.

This rest period includes all structured high-intensity activity—no strength training and no workouts or pick-up games. 

However, you don’t need to stop ALL activity. 

Stretching (try these 3 mobility moves), foam-rolling (article and FREE CHEAT SHEET on foam rolling), and low-intensity cross-training—like riding a stationary bike, going for a brisk walk—are great options for active rest. 

Resist the urge to jump back into training immediately after the season to take the time reflect, rest, recover, and re-charge!

5 Ways to Maximize Your Athletes Recovery

All athletes know the feeling of being sore, whether after an intense workout, a tough practice or a closely contested game. The discomfort that comes the morning after a tough physical bout when players step out of bed is called delayed onset muscle soreness.

That pain is the result of muscle damage after strenuous exercise, leading to symptoms of swelling, soreness, pain, stiffness, and weakness, often lasting for several days.

Use these five ways to recover faster, avoid injuries and improve sports performance this season: 

    1.) Sleep

Sleep is the most important when it comes to recovery. Adequate sleep helps to provide mental health, hormonal balance, and muscle recovery. You need to get enough sleep, athletes ages 6-13 should sleep 9-11 hours and athletes ages 14-17 should sleep 8-10 hours. Here’s a few tips for deep sleep:

  •     Turn off all electronics an hour before bed.
  •     Drink a glass of milk, which contains “tryptophan” an amino acid which promotes sleep.
  •     Get to bed early. Hours slept before mid-night are proven to be more effective than those slept after.

    2.) Hydration

Drinking proper amounts of water is critical to health, energy, recover, and performance. Typically, athletes are very attentive to hydration levels before and after games, but maintaining proper hydration during training, practices, and during recovery times are just as important. Here’s a few tips for proper hydration: 

  •     Water is the best way to hydrate.
  •     After training, practice, competition consume 20oz for every lb of body weight lost.
  •     Check your pee. The darker and more color in your pee the less hydrated you are and the more water you need to drink.

    3.) Chocolate Milk.

Chocolate Milk provides fluid, carbohydrates to replenish your body’s supply, protein to promote muscles healing and the sodium that you’ve sweated away. Consume chocolate milk in the first 20 minutes after training, practices, or games. Plus, it’s rather inexpensive and tastes so good!

    4.) Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling)

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. 

Read my article and FREE CHEAT SHEET on foam rolling for more information.

    5.) Focus on Mobility

Spending just 5-10 minutes a day stretching can increase your range of motion, improve your movement efficiency, and, most importantly, reduce your risk of injury. Plus, after a tough day on the field, it just feels great.

To get started, try these 3 mobility moves two times a week for one month and I guarantee you’ll feel a difference!

Dedicating additional time to the categories of sleep, hydration, nutrition, self-myofascial release, and mobility will increase your performance, decrease recovery time, and lower your risk of injury. These strategies take very little time, but can make the difference over the course of a long season. Coaches and athletes don’t take advantage of it because they don’t want to dedicate the time to the little things that matter most.

Will you make time?