Therefore, I thought it appropriate to talk about what athletes should do to help their bodies recover in order to keep their performance at that top level.
Here are a few examples where I feel recovery will affect the results:
- Overtime games. How many games are won or lost in the last five minutes? We won three state championships in high school and the third took two overtime games in a row to finish it. I felt pretty good, but I am not certain the other team did. Who do you think felt better last night in the overtime of the Lakers vs Magic?
- Here is how you win championships in Division I College Basketball. You win on the road. The Big Sky this season has ruled in favor of Friday, Saturday games. Do you think your athlete's recovery will affect those games? Absolutely.
- In the WNBA we had training camp for nearly a month before games began. I did this five years in a row. During this time coaches would decide who to keep, who to cut, bring in new players, and throw out players who couldn't consistently perform. I counted one year of going two a day practices for 16 days in a row without taking a day off. Then you hit the season and play four to five games a week travelling commercial airlines. Does this sound easy?
Everyone WANTS to play professionally, but can you get through the two a days?
I believe a few simple tricks can help you recover quicker and take your game to the NEXT LEVEL.
1) Be the best conditioned athlete on the floor. You will recover quicker and be less likely to get injured when thrown into a hard training environment.
2) Jump in an ice bath after every work out. It may not sound fun, but I lived in the ice bath when I played for the Cleveland Rockers, especially during two a days. The "rookies" did not.
3) Slide your rear to the wall and put your legs up for 10 minutes. The circulation will get your legs back sooner rather than later.
4) Eat some fruit within 30 minutes of your workout. You can also throw in a nutritional shake as well, but you need the nutrients as soon as possible.
5) Buy some "skins" and get comfortable in them. Just go to Australia and you'll see every national team in them. They are designed for recovery but look like tights. You can wear them on airplanes, buses, and even sleep in them. I wish I knew about these when I was a player.
6) Properly warmup and stretch down.
Now, if I would have taken my own advice this past week then I wouldn't have pulled my quad on Monday.