Modern soccer is incredibly demanding and draining. A typical season is a seemingly never-ending series of physical trials and tribulations. It is only natural that in order to perform at your best, you need to take a break every now and then and rewind. Indeed, letting sleep and rest take a back seat is not a good idea: they must be regarded as an essential tool in the soccer arsenal.
A long row to hoe
Long games and exhausting training sessions take a toll on the body, and even the best of the best can experience performance fluctuations due to improper recovery. Young players who do not take rest seriously are particularly prone to injuries and performance issues, because they are still growing and their bone structure is not fully developed.
Recovery determines the quality of performance on the field. It repairs damaged muscles, stimulates their growth, and recharges your batteries. Namely, your muscle tissue has enough time to tackle the build-up of lactic acid and diminishing glycogen levels. Moreover, rest decreases the risk of injuries that put you off track. It alleviates deep tissue strains that are sadly the natural consequence of strain.
Rest is the bedrock of a healthy lifestyle and goes a long way in enhancing a soccer player’s bottom line. There are some other related aspects, such as keeping yourself hydrated and drinking a lot of fluid during the day. It is best to stick to water and steer away from caffeine and energy drinks that keep you alert. Experts argue that 10 glasses per practice or game day do the trick.
Sleep on it
Furthermore, let us turn attention to shut-eye. While you sleep, the body naturally heals and repairs itself. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, undermines concentration, focus, as well as the physical ability to respond to extreme challenges. So, from a biological standpoint, things are as clear as day: sleep should be an integral part of any pro athlete’s training regimen.
So, analyze your sleeping environment. A good place to start is your bed, which should be large and comfortable enough. Make sure there are no light sources or distractions, such as a TV to impede your sleeping habits. What is more, try not to consume big meals prior to bedtime, because your body will not be able to enter sleep mode. You should also invest in a pillow – look into some of the best latex pillows, and treat yourself to one.
Finally, if you have sleeping problems, feel free to rely on the marvels of modern technology: a useful CPAP machine can aid you in drifting away to dreamland effortlessly. Another thing to note is that sleep is also linked to factors such as stress levels. This is to say that you need to figure out what works for you in terms of mitigating this nuisance.
The benefits of reducing stress also spill over into the performance department. Take, for instance, the fact that when your body is relaxed, you are able to receive the ball better. Also, some people claim that soccer is all about thinking, and when your head is not clear, it is rather difficult to make sound decisions in a split second. Likewise, players who are nervous before the match deplete their energy reservoirs and undermine their performance.
Thus, take a holistic approach and nurture broader lifestyle changes to achieve peak performance and sustain it over the course of a season. Studies suggest that pros need to include one rest day per week into their training. Overtraining is a double-edged sword to say the least, and it bears the risks of emotional fatigue that can plague a career. And when the effects of overtraining take hold, no amount of rest can easily solve the issue.
Give it a rest
Rest is pivotal for success in the soccer arena. It helps you avoid losing steam and provides good health. So, get a good night’s sleep and take your time to melt the stress away. You will be able to recover your body faster, steer clear of mental and physical burnout, avoid perilous injuries, and prolong your soccer career. This is unsurprisingly the best way to kick your game into overdrive and witness the thunderous roar of the fans.