5 Keys to Recovery

ST Faulkner
October 12, 2023
5 Keys to Recovery

As athletes, or parents of athletes, we often prioritize games, practices, and training. In the midst of our busy schedules, we tend to overlook a crucial aspect of athletic performance-recovery. Just as a fully charged tool outperforms one that hasn't been charged, athletes who prioritize recovery consistently outperform those who do not.

One common misconception is that recovery is a passive process. It's not about simply taking a day or two off. That is not sufficient enough for effective recovery. It requires a deliberate and strategic effort. Fortunately, implementing these actions is straightforward. Here are five easy steps to help your athlete recover effectively.


When athletes come to train, one of the first questions I ask is, "What did you eat today?" As an athlete, your body requires fuel not only to perform but also to recover. When you anticipate an active week, it's vital to ensure you're consuming enough protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This ensures that your body doesn't break down essential muscle tissues to provide energy. Athletes should aim for at least three full meals a day, with snacks in between. It's advisable to avoid fried and processed foods, and instead, prioritize whole foods and a sufficient intake of protein. If you're unable to meet your nutritional needs through food alone due to dietary restrictions or time constraints, supplements can be a viable option to bridge the gap.


Proper hydration is the simplest way to ensure your body functions optimally. Surprisingly, it's often the most neglected aspect of recovery among athletes. A simple rule of thumb is to drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, your goal should be to consume at least 50 ounces of water per day. Dehydration increases the risk of concussions and soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles, strained ligaments, or tendons.


Sleep is an underutilized tool in your athletic and performance journey. Athletes should aim for more than seven hours of sleep each night. Quality sleep plays a vital role in recovery and overall performance.


After a demanding training session or a week of intense workouts, your body needs to stay in motion. Take the time to incorporate activities like walking, light weightlifting sessions, yoga, or stretching into your routine after challenging workouts. This helps your body work through any soreness or fatigue.


When reviewing your schedule, identify opportunities for rest. If you have a few hours between work or school and your training session, utilize this time to take the weight off your feet, rehydrate, and have a meal. Given the hectic schedules most athletes maintain, every minute counts!

By employing these strategies, you can make the most of your training and optimize your results. Recovery isn't simply about taking a couple of days off, it's about intentionally managing your time and incorporating these small but impactful practices into your routine. Doing so will elevate your game to the next level

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