Tag Archives: mental fatigue

Are You Overtraining?

1 Oct

A well-designed, periodized Strength & Conditioning program directs training strategies and recovery activities throughout the athlete’s off-season, pre-season, and in-season phases, to optimize performance and minimize fatigue.

But training doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and athletes often have to balance other factors, such as school-based team training/workouts, open gyms, etc. (not to mention family obligations, homework, studying, and part-time jobs)

Currently, my high school boys and girls basketball players train with me 2-3 days a week.  They are also expected to participate in “voluntary” team-based Strength & Conditioning activity at their schools (a discussion for another day) – usually 2 days a week – and 2-day-a-week open gym workouts.

So how much is enough and how much is too much?

Here’s a resource – An Overtraining Scale – from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Strength and Conditioning Journal that provides some insight into the subject of overtraining.

 

It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t “pre-determine” your training activity, relative to time off training.  For example, don’t make a decision to skip your Saturday workout just because you have a practice scheduled for Friday, without knowing how you’re going to feel Friday or Saturday.  This is where mental discipline becomes important.

Also understand that you’re going to have to work hard to achieve your goals.  You’re going to have to (reasonably) work through some fatigue – both mental and physical.  That’s how champions are made.  If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Avoid Late-Season Burnout

16 Feb

Hitting+the+Wall[1]What do you do when you “hit the wall?”  I’m referring to the wall that suddenly appears at the end of your season, just before the playoffs begin.

If you’ve hit that wall before, then you’re aware of the mental and physical fatigue, performance decline, stress, frustration, and self-doubt that an athlete can experience.

The pre-season and regular-season — practicing, training, and competing — can take a heavy toll on an athlete.  Some athletes deal with it better than others, and are able to avoid feeling “overloaded.”

But even the best athletes can begin to feel like their bodies are shutting down, and they’re too physically and mentally “spent” to push past it.  Here are a few tips to help athletes better manage late-season fatigue:

  • Allow more time for recovery, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
  • Stay well hydrated throughout the day — before, during, and after activity.
  • Fuel your body appropriately.  Make sure the frequency, timing, quality, and quantity of your meals and snacks complement your activity level.
  • Reduce the frequency, volume, and/or intensity of your activity, especially the stuff you do outside the gym. (strength training, etc.)
  • Focus on technical, sport-specific skills (ball-handling, shooting, etc.), and cut back on high-intensity conditioning activity.
  • Practice strategically, and be efficient.  Don’t just go through the motions — make every repetition count.  Quality trumps quantity.
  • Talk with your coach about how you’re feeling.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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