It’s important to listen to your body, refuel and recover, to make sure that you don’t become susceptible to injury or burn out.

Here are five of our quick and easy suggestions to keep on top of your recovery game!

1.Incorporate your recovery time into your training session

We know that sometimes, after a long journey home from training, you don’t necessarily want to spend 20 minutes on the foam roller, or doing your stretches. By lengthening your training session to include your warm-down and stretching time, you’re much more likely to do it!

Warm down as a team or with your coaches so that it seems like less of a chore. Stretching afterwards is important, so that your muscles don’t have a chance to tighten up on the way home!

2. Listen to your body – but also your mind!

It’s really important to tackle any oncoming injuries as soon as possible, to prevent any damage and make sure your recovery is quick and easy. Talk to your coaches or parents as soon as you sense an issue.

Aches and strains can be easily identified by pain, or stiffness, and you can address them immediately, but your emotional needs should be addressed to.

If you’re feeling particularly disengaged with your training sessions, or notice your mood towards your sport is changing… it may be time for a break. In fact, some coaches suggest that you have 1-2 whole rest weeks every few months, to recharge your batteries and de-stress!

3. Mix up your recovery and warm down routines

There are many different techniques to enhance your body’s recovery. You can tailor your recovery time to your sport, the muscles that need most attention and the time you have available.

This could mean looking at new foam roller techniques, discovering the benefits of sports massage (increasing blood flow and reducing stiffness), signing up to a stretch class or venturing into hydrotherapy.

4. Prioritise your sleep

With so much time spent at training, it’s totally understandable that you want some time in the evening to catch up with your favourite tv shows, or scroll through social media… but prioritising your sleep is really crucial to eliminating fatigue and giving the muscles the time they need to recover.

A lack of rest can leave you groggy not only at training, but at school too: a good night’s sleep should not be underestimated and can help you keep on top of your game in all aspects of life!

Setting a routine, cutting our energy/caffeine drinks and only napping sensibly can all help you in your efforts for a better night’s kip!

5. Try not to skip your rest days

In a competition environment, it’s hard to convince yourself that it’s ok to take a day off. The reality is that, with proper rest days incorporated into your weekly routine, you’re much more likely to avoid injury, train harder and remain engaged with your training on a long-term basis.

The term ‘burn-out’ may not sound very scientific, but it is a real thing! Even though you are young and may feel full of energy, taking 1-2 days off training every week is really important, to give your muscles time to rebuild and recover.

Sometimes, more isn’t best!

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