Managing Fatigue During Pre Season.

Managing Fatigue During Pre Season.

Pre Season training is an interesting time. Too little training and you are behind the eight ball all year. Too much and you are going to run into issues with injury, being too fatigued as the season starts or peaking before the finals. There are a few ways to ensure that you are ready to perform your best at the end of a long grueling pre season.

Nutrition and Sleep

Every year, S and C coaches talk about the importance of nutrition and sleep and how they help us get through a tough pre season and every year, players either ignore them or implement the wrong measures. A basic rule of thumb is to sleep at least 8 hours per night. This is even more important during pre season!

As a realist, I understand that not every player is able to finish training at 8pm Tuesday night, get home, shower, eat and get 8 hours sleep before waking up for an early start at work. In saying this however, each player needs to do their utmost to get as much sleep as they possibly can. Prep your meals on the weekend for training nights. This way you don’t need to cook and can still ensure you get the optimum amount of nutrients at the same time. Make sure you have an adequate amount of Carbs, Protein and Fat in each meal.

Managing Fatigue During Pre Season.

Hydration

Weigh in before and after training and drink 150% of the fluid you lost during the session to replace it. This basic formula will significantly reduce your risk of injury and make the next session easier as you wont be as sore. Water is generally more than suitable for this task. You don’t need to have a sports drink. More important this post training hydration (in my opinion) is hydration the day of the session. Ensure you drink plenty of water during the day so that you start your session in a good place. Water is extremely important when it comes to injury prevention.

Mobility and Stretching

Dr Kelly Starrett talks about building your mobility into your day. I could not agree more, as it is another important aspect of getting through a tough pre season. Rather than spending 30 mins stretching or mobilising a joint, find a few minutes at different times throughout the day. While sitting at the dinner table or desk, cross a leg over the other and complete the CEO Stretch. When watching t.v spend a couple of minutes doing the couch stretch to help the hip flexors and quads. Breaking your stretching up into little moments during the day will help you find the time to get it done.

Managing Fatigue During Pre Season.

Extra Training

Players love to do extra training either more running or at the gym. While both are important and needed, you do need to be very careful when it comes to extras. Coaches plan their training to get the most out of their players in the time they have with them. If a player arrives to training sore and unable to perform at 100% due to extra training it effects their coaches plan.

With this in mind, it is very important that a player accurately judges their level of fatigue and their ability to recover from the session they are doing. The best way to do this is to engage a Strength and Conditioning coach to program their gym and cardio sessions. The S and C will be able to regulate the players training based on the load at training. They can use devices like a Push Band to monitor the actual fatigue in the player by measuring their bar speed. A greatly reduced bar speed can indicate a high level of fatigue and then allow them to adjust.

If a player is unable to use a private S and C, then they can measure their own level of fatigue by using a vertical or broad jump. take a baseline measurement and then use this baseline to gauge fatigue. If they jump less than their baseline, then they may need to reduce their overall volume for that session. This will ensure they are ready to perform at 100% when it counts… on the field!

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