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Mental and Emotional Recovery- are you switching off?

Mental and Emotional recovery

When we think of recovery, quite often the first thing that comes to mind is physical recovery.  

Once we finish a hard training session or tough game on the court or field the first thing that comes to mind is stretching and helping your muscles and joints recover ready for the next challenge.  

But just as vital for peak performance as Athletes is Mental and Emotional Recovery.  

Every training session you do and every game that you play is not only taxing on the body, but also your mind and your wellbeing.  

In a game you constantly thinking, rethinking, evaluating, making judgement calls.  You are also going through a range of emotions – every time to do a great pass, every time you don’t, every goal you shoot, every goal you miss, whether your team is winning or losing.  

Every training session you have in the gym with a PT or Coach, we ask a lot of you.  Not only do we push you to your limits, motivate you, and keep you focused.  We are constantly educating you on why you are doing what you are doing, giving you feedback, correcting technique, asking you to assess and reassess yourself, making you think about what you are doing and why for every single minute you are with us.  

When you leave a session or a game – that feeling of fatigue is never just your “body” that is tired, it’s your entire being that is exhausted.  When you think of how many sessions you are doing every week and how much mental and emotional commitment it takes – it is vital you allow yourself to recover.

If you’re not allowing your mental and emotional recovery to take place after each session or game, eventually you will break down.  I’ve seen it hundreds of times.  The need to train and play and stay focused becomes such an obsession that eventually one day you just crack.  And it’s normally over the smallest thing and at the worst possible time.  Nine times out of 10, it’s during a session or straight after.

So what can you do to help yourself recover?  Quite simply.  Switch off.  Do something you enjoy.  Get to your “happy place”.  Allow yourself a small window of time after every session or game to to let your mind and emotions settle and reboot.  Being a successful Athlete is not just about your training.  To keep at your peak and on top of your game is about looking after yourself after every session or game.  Your body can only run under stress for a certain period of time before the wheels start to fall off.  

So take time out.  Listen to your favourite music, listen to a podcast, call a friend and have a chat, spend time on a hobby, read a book, watch a movie, spend time with your pets or kids or friends.  Anything that releases you from the stresses of your sport and training.  Anything that allows you to completely switch off and not think about or focus on your sport or training.  

And it doesn’t have to be a massive commitment – 5 to 10 minutes a day, or 30 minutes every 2 days, or a few hours on a weekend.    

Because if you don’t allow yourself to switch off, your mindset will begin to change.  Your motivation will begin to falter, you will lose focus, and keep spiralling further and further down.  

Instead of looking forward to every game and every session and enjoying the process, you will start to dread every session, worry about your performance, become overly critical of yourself.  

Put steps in place from today and help yourself recover in every way possible.  Recovery is just as important as your training.  


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