Proper Fuel + Proper Recovery = Play Another Day!

Proper Fuel + Proper Recovery = Play Another Day!

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All professional athletes have one thing in common: they are hyper aware of the state of their bodies. Most people don’t walk around thinking about the consequences of everyday life: eating a piece of cake for someone’s birthday, staying out late one night, etc… However, an athlete’s existence and job is truly to constantly be aware of how those thing will affect their bodies. An athlete may need a midday nap before a game or a bowl of pasta the night before a race. Each body is different but every athlete needs both fuel and rest.

Fuel is definitely the easiest to define. Just like a car, your body needs the right fuel to work properly. As an athlete, eating the right way seems obvious. Finding the right diet is a bit harder. Pro-Athletes often take it to the extreme. They are in an extreme position and if your goal is to make it there, then perhaps you can try. I think that as a young athlete, there needs to be about an 80/20 relationship with health. 80% of the time, you are on top of it. 20% of the time, you can enjoy yourself. An easy way to think about it is to exclude the “bad” foods from your 80%. The pros generally cut processed sugar, dairy, and complex carbs. This of course is different for everyone, but it allows for there to be safe zones. Lean protein and vegetables are always best, and there are so many ways to enjoy sweeter foods. Train yourself to think of fruit as a dessert- it really is just as scrumptious! Equally, or perhaps more importantly, is hydration. Water, water, water! Your body runs on the stuff. As someone who is constantly exerting a large amount of energy, it is very important to stay very hydrated. Soda, coffee, and even some sports drinks can dehydrate you.

Recovery is a bit harder to define. Initially, most would think of sleep, but it is much much more than that. Of course, sleep is the most important for hormonal balance and muscle recovery. As an athlete, you should be getting into bed at a reasonable hour (before 10:30PM) to allow yourself enough time for your body to complete the process. 8 hours is a good rule of thumb. Now that we’ve covered sleep, I’ll get into the less obvious:

Stretching
Stretching will alleviate pain and improve flexibility. Identify the areas in your body that feel tight, be self aware. There may be more areas that you need to target for your specific sport. Stretch those areas but also try some new stretches to maintain balance throughout the entire body.

Posture
This one is definitely difficult for some people to be aware of, but posture is very important. Bad daily posture will not only become habitual, but will affect the shape of your body as time goes on and make it harder to perform correctly. Make sure that your chairs are safe for your posture and pay attention to standing up straight!

Take Care of Injuries
Athletes who ignore this aspect of recovery always, always end up hurting themselves more in the long run. If you injure yourself or feel funny about a part of your body, take care of it right away. Use heat, ice, or compression to stimulate circulation in those areas.

Mental decompression
Funnily enough, some people forget that the mind is the body. When you are resting or about to go to sleep, allow yourself to think about something other than the sport. Feeling completely relaxed is important.

Adhering to proper fuel and relaxation techniques are what lead to better workouts, better practices, and ultimately better performances. Why set yourself up for failure when you can easily take the steps to set yourself up for feeling your absolute best? Each aspect of this article may begin as tips, but those eventually become habits and allow you to naturally feel great, like the pros!

About author
Bill Schroeder

Bill Schroeder

I have been in love with Psychology and its applications in everyday life since high school. Understanding people and understanding yourself can help a person improve an incredible array of things in their personal, educational and professional life. After 15 years of wonderful experiences in sales and sales management with Marriott Hotels, a huge takeaway is one of their simple mantras - "it's all about the relationships." True relationships require an understanding about the other person and about yourself. The mantra can also be viewed as the relationship between your passion and yourself, and for that, a person really needs to understand the requirements of the passion and one's own strengths and challenge areas required to be successful in the pursuit of their passion. I love helping people get a strategy and process together to achieve their goals However, I firmly believe without learning and understanding yourself- your strengths, your passions, your motivators, what makes you “you,” a strategy and process for goal achievement will prove to be very difficult. Through the skills and tools I have been taught at Better Life Training, let me help you understand yourself, set your strategy and create a successful process to achieve your goals. Let’s do it! **************************************** EDUCATION: MBA Queens University..........B.A. Psychology University of Rhode Island ......Certifications: Certified DISC Behaviors and Motivators Practitioner.......Senior Real Estate Sales Specialist...14 Marriott Sales and Management training courses.....4 Keller Williams Realty Sales and Account Management courses.....10 Years of Mandatory NC Real Estate Continuing Education Coursework.

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