What do you do when you “hit the wall?” I’m referring to the wall that suddenly appears at the end of your season, just before the playoffs begin.
If you’ve hit that wall before, then you’re aware of the mental and physical fatigue, performance decline, stress, frustration, and self-doubt that an athlete can experience.
The pre-season and regular-season — practicing, training, and competing — can take a heavy toll on an athlete. Some athletes deal with it better than others, and are able to avoid feeling “overloaded.”
But even the best athletes can begin to feel like their bodies are shutting down, and they’re too physically and mentally “spent” to push past it. Here are a few tips to help athletes better manage late-season fatigue:
- Allow more time for recovery, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
- Stay well hydrated throughout the day — before, during, and after activity.
- Fuel your body appropriately. Make sure the frequency, timing, quality, and quantity of your meals and snacks complement your activity level.
- Reduce the frequency, volume, and/or intensity of your activity, especially the stuff you do outside the gym. (strength training, etc.)
- Focus on technical, sport-specific skills (ball-handling, shooting, etc.), and cut back on high-intensity conditioning activity.
- Practice strategically, and be efficient. Don’t just go through the motions — make every repetition count. Quality trumps quantity.
- Talk with your coach about how you’re feeling.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!