We’ve all heard of the term “overtraining,” right? What do you, as an athlete, feel when you hear this term said?
Some may be afraid or wary of the idea – invoking mental images of becoming weak and frail – but I would say most dismiss the thought because they want to tough it out, keep training, and become a higher-performing athlete.
Props to the athletes in the latter group; you have the right mentality to succeed.
However, let’s take a step back for a second and look at the situation of a student athlete.
As student athletes, you have a lot on your plates between school, quizzes, standardized tests, practice, training sessions, and finally, homework. I’m willing to bet all of this has taken a toll on you at one point.
Have you ever felt weaker than normal? Or so tired to the point where your body aches? Or just not in the mood to anything – literally, anything? These are the telling signs of “overtraining”.
And the more you just try to “push through”, as badly as you want to keep working hard, the more you’re only hurting yourself with overtraining.
Overtraining is pushing yourself to the point where your experience these symptoms, and your performance starts to degrade.
Lucky for you, here are 3 ways to avoid falling into the trap of overtraining and allowing yourself to feel and perform your best.
#1 Enough Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important to making sure you’re always performing at the top of your ability. As a student-athlete, you should be getting 7-10 hours of sleep per night. 7 hours is the bare minimum and more sleep is better!
#2 Proper Diet
Are burgers, pizza, fries, and milkshakes best for peak performance in season? You may try to rationalize consuming these food, but no matter what argument you make, the fats and oils in these foods will slow you down and make you feel sluggish. This is not what we need while we’re already running with an extremely hectic schedule. Eat proteins and solid carbohydrate sources like chicken, rice, vegetables, etc. Sandwiches are a solid example of a quick, easy meal for athletes.
#3 Rest Days
WHAT?!? Is that even necessary?! The answer is yes, with your schedule being so packed you need to find a day during the week where you don’t have practice or a game, so you can do as little as possible and relax as much as possible. The day of rest will go a long way in rejuvenating your mind and body for another full week.