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Taking Time Off and Recovery by Fran Davis

Athletes sometimes do not know or understand that “TAKING TIME OFF and RECOVERING” is equally as important as the training itself. Think about why people take vacation –  they want and need to get away from work, school, or their crazy-busy lives to just “chill out and relax” and not think. At times, everyone needs to just not be responsible for anything and not have an agenda. Athletes need that too…a “VACATION from Training,” physically, mentally, and emotionally. It’s called healing the body and mind…a must in order to compete at ANY level.

Too often athletes do not take the necessary time off to rejuvenate their bodies, minds, and spirits so they get burned out. Since the summer is upon us and the racquetball season is slowing down with less tournaments and leagues and more vacation and family time, let’s take a look a what my “Championship Team” is going to do so you can follow along. Postseason begins right after your playing season ends in June, and you should take three weeks off for a full mind and body recovery. Your body thrives on stress with recovery cycles. You work hard during the season then rest, relax, eat and sleep well, hydrate lots and enjoy your time off. Then, gradually start back with aerobic conditioning and overall fitness.

Racquetball Skills:

DO NOT play racquetball. Play other sports that you enjoy…tennis, running, boating, cycling, rock climbing, surfing, or whatever.

Slowly add in drilling so you get your timing, accuracy, and consistency back.

Conditioning Skills:

Slowly add conditioning and strength training as well as cross training (specific types of training are in my book).

Mental Toughness:

If you over train with no recovery time you can BURNOUT. Burnout is when you are doing too much, too often and under too much stress. Some early warning signs are if your temper is close to the surface, you are extremely moody and emotional, you seem lethargic and depressed. Take a break from racquetball and do something different or nothing at all. All work and no play brings on burnout. As human beings we thrive on stress and recovery cycles. But the recovery has to be healthy like improving your diet, hydrating with water, a massage, a movie, good friends, music or reading…not alcohol, fast foods and no sleep. Burn-out is the end result of the accumulation of a long season. (Specific mental toughness tools, including when and how to practice, are in my book) As it gets closer to the season your training changes

Rocky’s, Paola’s, Taylor’s and Sharon’s “Championship Racquetball Game” stems from their belief in the Sports Triangle where ALL 3 sides of the triangle must be present and working together to reach their potential NO MATTER what. But without a shadow of a doubt they KNOW how important “Taking Time Off and Recovery” is to their success. They are all now taking time off since their last tournaments and just ENJOYING their time. Rocky will soon start training for the Outdoor Nationals in Huntington Beach, CA, Paola will soon start training for her Mexican National Championships, and Taylor will be getting ready to go to Japan at the end of this month. They are living proof it works and their titles substantiate it.

Next time I will continue to build your Championship Racquetball Dream House one level at a time so be ready to become the champion you always dreamed of, but now you will have the tools to do it and make it a reality.

For details on more personalized instruction, a weekend camp, instructional DVD’s, our book, “Championship Racquetball,” and more please visit my website,  IRT.  International Racquetball Tour.