With much of an athlete’s effort focused on training, it is easy to forget the importance of recovery.
However, if athletes fail to dedicate themselves to recovery, the energy and time they spend in the gym may not translate to their sport performance and career longevity
The process of training stresses the body on both a physical and neurological level. Proper recovery provides necessary resources that the body needs to adapt to these stressors thereby improving physical capacity. Every time an athlete steps onto the ice or into a weightroom these resources are depleted. Equal focus must be placed on post workout nutrition, stretching and mobility, and most importantly rest. These factors become more important during times of mental stress and exhaustion due to upcoming games, busy school schedule, or personal stressors as these can drastically slow recovery, increase risk of injury, and weaken the immune system if not properly accounted for.
Spending a few extra minutes cooling down, grabbing a healthy post workout meal, or getting to bed at an early hour may seem like small steps however collectively these are the details that allow athletes to steadily progress following the high intensity training. Proper recovery is often the difference between an athlete whose performance plateaus along with nagging injuries and an athlete whose performance and health is raised to a higher level, making recovery a crucial pillar of the GRHPT model. In next weeks section we will explore some specific methods used by professional hockey players to ensure adequate and appropriate recovery.