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Softball Recovery Regeneration

490579_sIn Softball Recovery Regeneration the goal is to prevent over training and to maximize potential for the most important competition.  The most important place to start for ensuring adequate recovery and regeneration is in the yearly training plan.  The early design and implementation of your training plans and the variations in intensities if done correctly will prevent over training and allow adequate time for recovery between training.  Athletes younger than 18 require longer rest periods in between.

The following factors will influence recovery:

  • age
  • gender
  • environmental factors
  • freedom of movement (tight muscles restrict blood flow)
  • psychological factors
  • freedom from injury
  • availability of nutrients
  • efficiency of energy transfer and waste removal

Softball Recovery Regeneration Methods

Nutrition
Optimal nutrition is very important in assisting with the formation of ATP which is crucial in softball.  Being an Anaerobic – Alactic sport, the muscles are continuously working hard to accommodate the ATP-CP system.  Eating the appropriate amounts vitamins and minerals through good nutrition also works in repairing damaged muscle and connective tissues.  Good nutrition is a measure that needs to be continuously adhered to in order to benefit to its fullest potential.   Supplements would be included to some degree as part of the nutrition.

Mental Training Techniques

Our mental state can affect our motivation, create negative anxiety and then create tension in our muscles which can contribute to fatigue and exhaustion.  By using mental training skills such as relaxation, visualization and goal setting, athletes can prevent the unwanted effects of an inadequate mental training plan.  This is a daily activity that might include skills such as:

  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation
  • Sports psychology counselling
  • Yoga – controlled breathing and stretching
  • Hypnosis and auto-hypnosis
  • Visual imagery
  • Breath control

Adequate Sleep and Naps

Being that female athletes regenerate slower than male athletes, rest in the form of adequate sleep and naps will do a lot to contribute to an alert and regenerated softball player.  It is important however that the sleeping happen in the dark because darkness affects the release of the sleep hormone melatonin.  9 – 10 hours of sleep per day would be ideal.

Cold Treatments / Cryotherapy

This 15-20 minute cold bath, shower or ice pack is generally used to alleviate pain.  It should be done within 2 hours of training to effectively assist with the regeneration of the fast-twitch muscle fibers and tendons.

Static Stretching

This method would be used after training to restore the muscles back to the resting muscle length.  This will enhance circulation post training in addition to providing a relaxation effect to the athlete.

Thermotherapy (Heat)

Used to increase blood circulation and provide a relaxation effect, this method could be used 6-8 hours after an intense training session.  This method is not recommended if an injury occurs until 3-4 days after the initial injury.  We would likely use a sauna or whirlpool for this method  2 – 3 times per week in the general preparation phase and 1-2 times per week during the competitive phase.

Active Rest

This method would be used predominantly after endurance training.  Softball is not an endurance sport however there is endurance training during the preparation phase which contributes to the overall fitness level of the athlete.  As the athletes increase their fitness level, the ability to discard the waste products increases in efficiency.

Aero therapy

Living near  seashores and mountains, athletes would have access to this method of recovery.  A walk with friends or family in either of these areas will provide relaxation and some nice time away from the hectic schedules of training.

The largest constraint in attaining access to recovery methods is finances.  To afford a message therapist, EMS, acupuncture is not an option for many athletes.

If possible though, add regular massage therapy sessions to the recovery and regeneration activities.  During the General Preparation Phase, there will be many hours of intense physical training to develop the energy systems, and explosive power required in softball.  Massage sessions would ideally be after the training sessions which would happen 4-5 times per week with varying types of training.

In the Specific Preparation Phase the intensity would lessen which would require less massage and then during the competitive season, It is a good idea if you can to make sure that the athletes received a treatment at least 2 times per week to facilitate psychological recovery as well.

Travel

For short time zone shift

  • set sleep patterns to match the zone of competition
  • train in the morning after western change and evening after eastern change
  • try to travel in one direction
  • eat at regular times at the new destination
  • avoid alcohol before, during and after the flight
  • engage in light social and physical activities 2 hours after arrival
  • avoid gas producing foods before the flight
  • take vitamin B complex and C and E

For Long Time Zone Shift

  • arrive at least a day early for each time zone crossed, for more than 6 time zone arrive 14 days early
  • for more than 10 time zones, travel west
  • adjust sleep and wake up times to the new time zone
  • engage in light social and physical activities 2 hours after arrival
  • alter heavy and light meals 3 days before departure
  • avoid alcohol before, during and after the flight
  • avoid gas producing foods before the flight
  • take vitamin b complex, C and E

Softball Recovery Regeneration Training Session

Planning the recovery and regeneration is critical to ensuring that it does actually occur.  Without this component, athletes will not be able to optimally benefit from training and are at risk of fatigue and over training .

  1. 30 minute warm
  2. 30 – 40 min of something fun and not sport related that can still provide conditioning without stress and anxiety
  3. use regeneration activities as mentioned above
Summary
Softball Recovery Regeneration
Article Name
Softball Recovery Regeneration
Description
In softball recovery regeneration the most important consideration is your methods, how frequent and for how long the recovery occurs.
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Publisher Name
Softball Tutor
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