What makes elite athletes perform at such high levels day after day, game after game? You might assume it’s because they’re just “gifted”, or they have the insider secrets to performance we don’t know about. The truth? While training is important, and genetics do determine if you’re going to be 6”6’, the real secret to performance is: recovery.
by Brandon K. Cole
It’s common sense. Your body simply cannot get better if you don’t give it time to rest, heal, and repair. You will actually perform worse if you go hard everyday. So, why not train like a pro, and let your body recover? Here are 3 ways to recover like a champ:
- Sleep Ritual: This is absolutey the most important. Without enough quality sleep, you’ll never feel or perform your best. There’s a reason LeBron James routinely gets 10-12 hours of sleep a night. If you consistently want to get a good night’s rest, make it a ritual. Before you go to bed, do a series of mini rituals to get yourself ready to sleep. Turn off electronics. Read something light. Turn the thermostat down low (cooler temps tell the brain it’s time to sleep).
- Meditate: Meditation has been around for a very long time. But it’s only been until recently that scientists have proven that it actually works. Brain scans show that 10 minutes of meditation a day can literally change your brain structure. I use a website called Headspace (headspace.com) that offers dozens of guided meditations to help improve things like focus, stress, relaxation and recovery. You can get started for free with their 10 sessions of 10 minutes series.
- Play outside: Playing is not just for puppies and kids. Being a grown up doesn’t mean you have to stay inside and be a grump all day. Playing has a ton of mental and physical health benefits. Go outside, take a walk, toss a Frisbee with friends, join a local kickball league – In other words, have fun while getting some fresh air.
Hopefully you’ll be able to use these, or find some other recovery strategies that work for you. Either way, make sure you’re actively doing something to fill that mental and physical tank back up every week!
Till next time!
Brandon K. Cole