Don't drop the ball when it matters most...
You've reached the competitive season with great fitness and skill... everything is going according to plan- and "suddenly" your body starts to break down. Fatigue sets in, and if you're really unlucky, injury comes with it. Performance suffers, and so does your own personal level of motivation to keep working hard toward your goals. What's happening?
Sessions designed to target muscle recovery are often mistaken and dismissed as unimportant work. The unfortunate thing here is that nothing could be further from the truth. More so than that extra weight training or speed training session during the competitive season, your body needs time (and work) in order to recover and stay healthy. Active recovery comes in a variety of forms, and depending on the athlete, and the physical damage that he or she is putting their body through- one method may be more appropriate than another.
While the goal of training hard and pushing our bodily limits to set new ones through a series of stimuli and response is certainly valid during our training season- it requires a careful approach. What's more, is that we can't necessarily drag our bodies through these same repetitive cycles of stimulus and response during our competitive seasons when we are also expecting peak levels of fitness and performance from ourselves.
It just doesn't work that way... it would be nice if it did, but it doesn't.
So what can you do to stay sharp, fit, and ready to compete?
You can prioritize recovery. Even if it means cutting back in another area of training... In fact, that might help too! You see, our bodies don't get stronger while we're training... they get stronger while we're recovering. Too much volume and training intensity is a recipe for disaster- especially if it's taking place during the competitive season.
Sometimes, the very best way to make time for active recovery is to organize a team session. Our strength and conditioning department can design active recovery programming that can be integrated into regular practices and/or weekly training schedules. How about a team yoga session focused on active recovery through passive stretch? We do that too.
If you think that your team or club could benefit from integrating active recovery programming into their weekly routine, you're probably right. Let's talk about it and get started with desining an active recovery strategy that is going to keep you sharp through the season!g
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