- By: Mike Cavaliere
Recently I have felt compelled to write about all the "magic bullets" that exist and how they can help athletes improve their performances by 20-30%. If it sounds too good to be true, it is! Here in Canmore we have the luxury of consulting with many experts (physiologist, strength consultants, nutritionists/ bio chemists) and they all give us the same message: KEEP IT SIMPLE AND STICK TO THE BASICS.
Nothing will replace hard work, and a well thought-out recovery plan.
Recovery is something we take very seriously; we constantly think of ways to help our athletes achieve quality training - daily, weekly, monthly and most importantly, yearly. We need to keep our athletes going until their peak, which can occur from their mid twenties on.
We plan fluid intake for before, during and after training. Calories are counted to ensure that the body stays in an anabolic state (keeping the tank full, so to speak). As coaches we have no problem breaking the bodies of the athletes down, but we must have a firm grasp on rebuilding them too.
We insist on:
Plenty of sleep, sound nutrition/hydration, stretching/flexibility, hot/cold showers, massage, tennis ball massage, noodle massage, golf ball massage and personal down time.
We try to add variety to our training. While an athlete needs to focus a majority of their time on technique for thier sport, riding a bike, playing soccer or road hockey are complimentary training aids, breaking monotony before it breaks you. One of the most important causes of stress is the mindset - and athlete has to understand that there are no shortcuts, and at times it will be uncomfortable. It is vital that an athlete understand training and its effects on the body. If training and recovery is planned intelligently an athletes time at the depths of the valley of fatigue will be short lived.
Think about what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish. Be realistic: take a long-term view and then plan. Work smarter. It's not easy - but it is the challenge we all crave. These are all magic bullets you need for success.
Quotes to live by:
"Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike busting my ass six hours a day."- Lance Armstrong
"If you want to leave your imprints in the sand of time you have to wear work boots" Tom Renney.
(Mike Cavaliere is the coach of the Canadian National Senior Development Team in Canmore, AB. Mike is an integral part of the success that Canada's young men's team has had over the last few years. He is leading our next generation of Olympic contenders into the battle field again this year.)
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