Workshop 1B – Recovery Strategies for Youth Athletes
Dr Shona Halson answering some of the questions in her workshop during the Youth Athlete Development Conference.
When talking about recovery strategies, many are quick to point out ice baths, massage, and compression garments.
But what about sleep?
Is it even possible to sleep 8 hours while juggling school, training and homework? How can we help? Dr Halson addressed these questions in her workshop.
“The only way to catch up for lost sleep is to sleep. I found out from my athletes that all of them catch up on sleep during class. We need to educate the athletes to remove distractions like social media, video games, or watching Netflix when they receive an opportunity to sleep at regular hours. Don’t make a problem worse,” Dr Halson shared.
Sometimes, we are all so fixated on our athletes that we tend to forget the other most important individual – the coach.
“There is a need for coaches to get enough sleep as well. Most coaches get even worse sleep than athletes do, especially at tournaments. We need to educate coaches to look after themselves, as sleep is important for decision making, mood,” Dr Halson emphasized.
No matter what recovery strategies we use on our athletes, we need to know if our strategies are working. Therefore, it is important to gather feedback and to return feedback quickly.“When athletes understand the use for the data, get feedback on it, and understand that the coaches are using it, they will respond accurately,” Dr Halson explained.