It’s well-known that hard work is important and has many benefits for soccer performance. Research is endless about how hard work and perseverance can lead to various results. But how do these results impact your ability and performance? Your success is directly related to your cardiovascular conditioning, strength training and power development. But are you actually improving while training? Or do they happen afterward?
This question can be answered with “both”. But let me tell you more. There are many ways that players can improve their game. Some may occur instantly, others over a period of time. These channels are called by exercise scientists: immediate recovery (between repetitions or repeated sprints during a game), short-term recovery (between sets of speed work or reps), and training recovery. Our coach might offer us new ways to achieve a desired result when we are working on a technical skill. The instant realization makes us more efficient and effective players on the field. However, it will take thousands of repetitions of the skill and hours of hard work to make it a consistent tool in competition. livescore
Similar skills can be applied to speed, agility and strength as well as stamina. Sometimes, the skills we acquire in acceleration and deceleration can be learned quickly, such as correct use of our arms while sprinting. The majority of the benefits of training don’t occur until you are far from the training field. Our body adapts to the stress of training by undergoing a period of “downtime” or recovery. This is also known as supercompensation. This is the part of my game that most players don’t understand and do not take advantage of when trying to improve their game. I will be spending the remainder this post discussing it.
Although recovery is one of the most overlooked and under-studied components of the training-adaptation cycle it is also the most important. This could be why you stop getting stronger, fitter and more explosive, but instead plateau and become injured.
From a practical standpoint, recovery is the ability to perform at or above a given activity. This means that after an hour and half of intense training, our bodies’ ability to perform for a certain period of time will be affected. While we all know that it is impossible to play another 90-minute game at maximum intensity within two or three hours, what about after a few days? What about intense training for back-to-back days, back to back weeks, back to back months? What does all this mean for us?
Let’s take a look at the simplified graph below to see how training to rest can improve our performance and bodies. The stimulus, in this case intense training, causes stress which decreases the body’s ability to perform at a certain level. The body’s ability to adapt to new stimuli is not at its best if it doesn’t receive the right amount of recovery (shown by recovery). This can lead to serious problems, especially if this continues for a week or more before a competition. As you can see the ability of players to perform has decreased since they started.
This is a common trend in youth soccer. When a coach or player believes there is no pain, no gain, they will work as hard as possible every training session. This can lead to not only poor performance but also injury.
If done properly, however, a good recovery can have opposite effects on a player’s performance. The graph below shows the opposite trend. This is super-compensation, where the player is now making progress and has made a full recovery.
How long does it take to adjust to training (to be in better/better playing condition)? Can we reduce the time needed? The short answer is that no one knows. Although there is not much research that can be credited with one answer from consistent data, there are many recovery habits and routines that thousands of athletes swear to. Let me list them and give you an idea of which ones work for you.
These have all been studied and show some success, even though it is not supported by actual numbers.
1) Proper nutrition Research has shown that eating nutrient-dense foods rich in Carbohydrates and Protein/Amino acids immediately after exercise is the best way to get your body back into shape. If you are exercising at a high intensity for more than 90 minutes, one of these foods should be consumed within 30 minutes: Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread (WW), or WW bagel; Bowl of cereal with skim milk; Pasta w/chicken or lean protein source; Tunafish sandwich on WW bread/WW bagel; Oatmeal w/skim Milk or H20 w/2T Peanut Butter or a good old Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on WW or WW bagel.
2) Hydration- This one is worth the research. It is essential to do this in order to fully recover. A liquid with sodium (50 mg/L), along with potassium, carbs and sugar is recommended by studies. There are plenty of sports drinks that will do the trick, but you need to ensure that you get enough fluid. After training/game, one 16oz sports beverage and 75-120 ounces water throughout the day.
3) Tapering This is the preferred method for recovery strategies by most coaches and clubs worldwide, as it will allow players to continue training and improve without affecting their mid-season rhythm. Tapering refers to the idea of reducing training volume (total length/time) or intensity (%maxeffort) by a certain percentage during concurrent training sessions. This will ensure consistent recovery over the course of a week. This can lead to up to a 6% improvement in training for both coaches and teams.
4) Compression — Ever see Allen Iverson or any other NBA player wearing tights and long sleeves underneath their uniforms? Or the runners who wear socks that cover only their calves. They serve a purpose, and they are as cool as they appear. These compression sleeves and shorts, which are most commonly used by soccer players, can be used to protect against strawberries and to provide support for the muscles and muscles to reduce swelling. This reduces the inflammatory response and helps you avoid soreness.
5) Cool down – You don’t stretch when you train. You’re tired, hungry, dirty, and don’t care what your coach thinks about that missed shot in the six-yard box. This is the best and most efficient way to make sure you’re fully recovering. All the chemical reactions and processes that happen during intense exercise can cause micro tears and other damage to your muscles. Your hammies need adequate blood flow to nourish them. They don’t want to shrink in order to feel better. It is possible to stretch your muscles passively (by someone else) or actively (by you) and get immediate relief.
6) Cryotherapy is a popular way for college students to get the most bang for their buck. It’s also known as . It is not only annoying but it can also reduce swelling and soreness. You will be awakened faster than 6 espresso shots at Starbucks if you soak your legs in a bucket full of ice.
7) Hyperbaric Chambers – This is for millionaire players who don’t have claustrophobic tendencies. It is believed that increasing oxygen levels and atmospheric pressure can cause your body to absorb and use oxygen. This has amazing results. A good night’s sleep in a coffin-like chamber and 10,000 dollars will make you the best player for your high school thriller.
8 ) Massage therapy – This idea has been the basis of a whole new industry. The hands-on therapy uses the manipulation of muscle and soft tissues that have been damaged by training to make it easier for the bad stuff to go away and the good stuff get in faster. It doesn’t always work. I’m willing to overlook it if it does not.
9) Ergogenics/Supplements – Creatine, amino acids, Flinstone vitamins, and ginseng have all been researched and shown mixed results. I recommend sticking with something simple, inexpensive, and that has at least some potential. For example, a multivitamin containing iron or folic acid should be taken within a few hours of training.
10) – Doing nothing might be the hardest thing in your daily routine, but it may also be the most beneficial. Studies have shown that intense exercise can cause the body to fail to recover after 72 hours. While the above methods can speed up this process, you can’t go wrong with just relaxing and letting your body do its own thing.