Unit 13, 47 Grange Rd, Cheltenham, Melbourne, Victoria 3192

Why Athletes Need Time Off

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Why Athletes Need Time Off

It can be really challenging for young athletes to admit when they need a break or need to back off some of the activities they are doing each week. The notion that if you're not always busy and doing work you are falling behind has been overplayed with social media and celebrities highlighting this concept. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

For professional athletes, playing their sport is their job and that's all they have to do each day. They wake up and train all day and go over tactics. They can afford to spend that much time and energy on a singular focus when someone else is cooking their meals and playing them lots of money. But for your young athletes who are juggling school, friends, sport, homework, work and family, the space for free time gets pushed to the background very easily.

Now that we are in the school holidays after the first full term back from COVID, this is a great time to allow your kids to get the rest they deserve. Speaking to a lot of young athletes we work with at the gym, they have been getting really run down at the back end of the term. It can be very easy to see this extra free time as a chance to fill in with more organised activities, sport trainings or holiday academy programs. But first thing for your kids is to let them relax and enjoy their free time, away from the stresses of school and reset their mindset for the year ahead.

If you think of your energy, focus and time as a pie, and each piece of that pie reflects a different component of your lives, this might include: sport, school, sleep, work, eating etc. There are only so many pieces of the pie that you can have on your plate at one time, and when you add a slice, you are taking a little bit away from all the other slices. The more slices that are focussed on school, work, sport and training, the less focus there is going to be on recovery. If this is done over a prolonged period of time, it will lead to athletic burnout and a poor relationship with sport and exercise, as it will be seen as something that makes them feel run down rather than feeling excited and energised!

Switching up the current training program for a week or two, playing some games in sport trainings and having fun in the gym, can drastically decrease levels of stress and rejuvenate their mindset towards training. The monotony and drag of training will become more obvious if breaks and holidays are not properly utilised to maintain the energy and dedication towards their sports.

By letting your young athletes hand out with their friends, play games and sleep-in over the break, it will help them recharge their motivation and frame their mindset for the next term ahead.

For more information on how to improve your young athlete's performance, contact us today.

Matt Hucul
Junior Strength Coach
Inner Athlete (AUS)

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