Renault GAA World Games Athlete's Preparation Guide - Part 2
In this second part of our athlete's preparation guide ahead of the 2019 Renault GAA World Games, we take a closer look at the importance of game day recovery, as well as managing player fatigue. Ensuring that the body receives adequate time to recharge, relax and recover when it's going through such a hectic schedule is an essential ingredient in optimising tournament performance.
Game Day Recovery
Being in prime condition for match day is every player's main goal, therefore, we have looked at the best ways to recover after a training session/game and what to do once one game is over in order to start preparing and recovering for the next. With matches taking place in quick succession during the Renault GAA world games, it is essential that each player is doing all they can to help their body recover and play to their full potential throughout the week.
Eating carbohydrate/protein-rich foods shortly after a training session or match will increase the energy stores for the subsequent games ahead.
It goes without saying that stretching is so important to keep the muscles fresh and prevent injury. Not only this, but it also improves your flexibility and allows for more movement on the pitch. There are multiple different stretching techniques for different areas of the body. The use of a foam roller can really assist in the preparation coming up to a match as it will massage the tender area for the player.
There is a recovery points checklist that each player should follow, the more you are playing, the more points you will need. After each game, players should aim for 50 points, for example. A cold water immersion is worth 25 points as is a massage. Players can also reach these points by napping, stretching, re-fuelling and switching off for 45 minutes. The use of compression garments can also greatly assist in the recovery process.
With an intense week of GAA action to look forward to, each player needs to look after themselves in order to make the trip as enjoyable as they can and give their team the best opportunity of performing to their potential.
Managing Player Fatigue
Player fatigue can be difficult to overcome, especially with international travel thrown into the mix. This can lead to changes in sleeping patterns and meal times, both of which can be difficult to adjust to. Players should be conscious of sleeping according to the local time and not when they are tired or when they would normally go to sleep at home. Getting out in the daylight and staying active by going for walks can assist in preventing fatigue.
Planning meals and having healthy snacks available can help with keeping energy levels up. As is often the case when people are abroad, you tend to overeat and make poor food choices. In the run up to matches this can lead to drowsiness and low energy levels and therefore should be avoided in order for each player to be at their best for the week of competition.
This, along with getting enough sleep and staying hydrated will assist with managing player fatigue.