Athlete Recovery Principles
One of my principles to increasing performance is to be proactive instead of reactive. Proactivity is the better scenario from a preventative standpoint than to be reactive and work out of a hole. I want to keep the recovery tank flowing opposed to being on empty unless it is a planned over-reaching phase of training (a topic for another post). However, as an athlete you should aim to recover from each session so you can perform at a high level the next. High level performance is a habit, making your recovery habitual is as important as the work itself. The following are actionable task that will keep your body fine tuned and ready to perform.
After every game and tough practice I strongly advise ice for joints, especially the knee and ankles. The constant running, jumping, and cutting impose damage to our joints. Applying ice even if they are not in pain at the moment is a proactive way to keep your joints from a state of inflammation. Cold tubs are accessible as well. Ten minutes and you're good to go. This alone improved my recovery and joint health while playing basketball in college. After every practice or game I was either in the cold tub or ice on my joints. The years prior I ignored this and payed the price with spending precious time in the offseason tending to my aching knees and ankles.
3-Ways to Get Cold
Cold Tub 5-10 Mins
Ice on joints 10-20 Mins
Contrast Shower. Cold 2 Minutes Warm 1 Minute for 10 Minutes
Junk food, simple sugars, and all the processed non-sense encourages an inflammatory response in the body. You have already trained hard and induced inflammation, we want to counteract that and put the body in a state of anabolism and rebuild what has been broken down. A grass fed protein source alongside a clean carbohydrate source is optimal.
Sweating induces the loss of fluid and electrolytes. It is imperative to replenish what is lost and relube the gears for the next day's grind. Ideally, taking your body weight pre-training/practice then measure post practice/training and rehydrate the difference will be optimal. I love this but I don't see my players weighing themselves as part of their pre-game ritual. Implementing 24oz of water with electrolytes within an hour of training is enough.
Train and compete hard and recover the same. Refuel, rehydrate, and get cold. The consistency of sticking to these will aid in keeping you healthy and performing at your best.