Professionalism in sport has provided the foundation for elite athletes to focus purely on training and competition. Athletes and coaches continually seek to improve performance, and optimal recovery from training and performance provides numerous benefits during repetitive high-level training and competition.

What is Recovery?

“Recovery” is a word commonly used in sport but is not necessarily well understood.

“Recovery” is the restoration of physiological and psychological processes, so that the athlete can compete or train again at an appropriate level. Recovery is complex and involves numerous factors. Coaches of junior athletes do not need to be experts in recovery but do need to have an understanding of the factors that can affect performance and the techniques that can help athletes to recover.

Factors affecting athletic performance

There are many factors that can affect an athlete’s performance, such as:

Training/Competition Volume, intensity, duration, type of training, degree of fatigue, recovery from previous training/competition
Nutrition Carbohydrate, protein and other nutrient intake, fluid and electrolyte balance
Psychological stress Stress from competition, home-sickness, anxiety
Lifestyle Quality and amount of sleep, schedule, housing situation, leisure/ social activities, relationship with team members, coach, friends and family, job or schooling situation
Health Illnesses, infection, fever, injury, muscle soreness and damage
Environment Temperature, humidity, altitude