Sometimes the winner of the match is the player who is the least tired….Good RECOVERY helps YOU to be the winner more often.

Published May 28, 2009 05:59


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Sometimes the winner of the match is the player who is the least tired….
Good RECOVERY helps YOU to be the winner more often.

Play Hard + Recover Well = Best Performance

All players recognize that to be the best, they need to work hard, on and off the playing field.

Most athletes work very hard at the five 'S's needed for sport:

1. Stamina
2. Speed
3. Strength
4. Suppleness
5. Skill

Many ignore the two 'R's unless they become ill or injured:

1. Rest
2. Recovery

* Hard work alone will not produce the best performance.
* Overtraining, overuse injuries and lack of motivation can lead to burnout.
* These can happen when athletes neglect to properly Rest and Recover.

Training Load and Performance
The practice you do, your gym workouts, your matches, fitness and cross-training sessions are all designed to help you improve your game. They improve your athletic performance in part due to progressively overloading your body systems and fuel stores that form the basis for each of the five 's' areas.

This training stress or load leads to a degree of fatigue or tiredness in your physiology (body), nervous system (responsible for your alertness, reaction time, anticipation and reflexes) and / or your psychology (mind, responsible for how you feel). Your energy and fuel stores will also be diminished after training and matches.

Adaptation to the training load results in improved performance. Adaptation is the way that your mind and body adjust to training, allowing you to progressively do more, without causing physical injury or mental burnout.

Monitor Yourself
A good way to tell how well you adapt to your training load is to keep a detailed training diary. Most elite Olympic athletes keep regular training diaries. This diary is a record of all the training activities you do each day, including matches and recovery activities. You also record your resting (first thing in morning) heart rate; any injuries or illnesses; muscle soreness; energy and motivation levels; your mood and sleep patterns. All these factors are indicators of how well you adapt to your training load. A food diary is also useful to monitor your energy and hydration intake. Your physiotherapist/dietician can give you training and food diaries and instruct you in how to use them. These diaries provide them with information about areas where you need make changes that can improve your performance. Start yours TODAY!

Adaptation to the training load results in improved performance.

Bounce back faster
Recovery techniques will allow you to get back on the field and be physically and mentally tougher and stronger.
* Recovery is active rest.
* Use recovery to "bounce back" from tough matches much faster.
* Recovery will help you fight to the very end of long matches.
* You will feel better, physically, mentally and emotionally after your recovery sessions.
* Recovery techniques will assist you when you compete in multiple events in one day during tournaments.
* It will become easier to perform at your peak for that streak of matches that you are more likely to be winning.

Active and Passive Rest
* Both types of rest are important. Sleep is the best passive rest. It gives a tennis player's
body and mind critical time for adaptation to occur. Seven to nine (7 to 9) hours a night is recommended.

Recovery Techniques to Boost Your Performance
Immediately after each practice, training or match:

Drink and eat
* High carbohydrate and some protein intake within 30
* Replace lost fluids and electrolytes ( use sports drinks and
energy bars)

Walk and move for about five minutes
* Increases blood supply to the muscles

* Maintain / improve flexibility of working muscles

Hot /cold showers/Pool
* Improves circulation to muscles
* Jets in spas relax and massage muscles
* Stimulates the nervous system

A little later in the day….
* With massage therapists
* Use self-massage techniques e.g. foam rollers
* Aids muscle recovery
* Helps your mind to "switch off" and relax

Hydrotherapy- warm shower / spa / sauna
* Jets in spas massage and relax muscles

Stretch again
* Can do in the shower or spa

Relaxation before bed
* Music, relaxation exercises, visualization,
* Yoga, tai chi, pray, meditate; whatever helps you unwind.

Used extensively in Europe, these are great recovery techniques.
Alternate Hot & Cold:
Hot Shower 1-2 minutes
Cold Shower 30 seconds
Repeat each 3 times

Spa or Bath
3-4 minutes
Shower or Plunge Pool
30-60 seconds
Repeat each 3 times

* Invigorates your body & mind!
* Drink before, during & after.
* You should feel relaxed and refreshed, not sleepy.

DISCLAIMER: The contents of the Game, Set, Health site, are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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