Rest and recovery are so important in a short-term competition. Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential for high-level performance.
Rest days are crucial for athletes for a number of reasons. In a short-term competition, we need to be aware of the importance of balancing on and off-ice training with rest and recovery. Knowing when to hang out with family and friends, when to sign up for a massage and when to take a nap because it is needed is all part of being at your best. As an athlete, you need to stay focused on your task at hand.
Being a female and playing sports, we don’t get those big contracts like the men do. We play for the love of the game and the pride of representing our country. We have players on this team who still go to college and they are missing school to play. Some girls are writing exams, some are finishing up papers and some are just doing homework to keep up with their classmates, so rest and recovery days for them are full and can be mentally draining. It is very important for the athlete to plan ahead and make sure they are getting the rest they need to perform at their best when the puck is dropped.
Our days off aren’t the only time to rest and recover. We need to focus on recovery every day. Another very important part is an athlete's cool down after an intense workout. Most athletes will make a shake that has protein and l-glutamine and drink that before they go bike or run for 10 minutes. After the cool down, the athlete will stretch. You also always make sure you have a great meal after a hard day of training. To be a high performance athlete, you need to take care of yourself, including your body.
As our head coach Dan Church puts it, "Tomorrow's preparation begins today."