T Nation

NCAA Athletes and Recovery


#1

Hey all, I am competing in the NCAA next year as a freshmen, (lacrosse) not going to specify what school or division.

How on earth do these guys have any recovery time? between intense practices, lifting, conditioning. there is almost no down time 1 day a week off thats it! Then they come home bigger than ever, just animals. I have friends who play and they come home way bigger and stronger, i don't get how this is possible under such conditions with stress and school being major factors.


#2

The alternative is to quit and fail.

You are witnessing those that did not pick that alternative.


#3

And some 'supplements' perhaps?


#4

Shockingly, the human body adapts to stress.


#5

If you guys stop making statements like this, I can bet you there will be less kids considering the use of such "supplements".


#6

Perhaps, perhaps not. The human body has been adapting to much more physical stress than this for thousands of years, steroids have been around less than a century. I'm not saying they're not juiced, just that there's no reason to assume they are either.


#7

Well, those athletes (and you) have spent the last 4-5 years systematically doing more and more work as they got older. If you're playing lacrosse in college, you've probably been working at it longer than that. So, more work is the natural progression. Physically, there is a big difference between a 16-17 year old high school kid and an 18-20 year old underclassman. You won't believe how much bigger, stronger and more conditioned you can get in those 2-3 years.

In college, you'll be training along side those "animals." So pretty much no slacking, ever. This alone will help you become bigger and stronger.

And most of the time, they won't be throwing everything at you all at once. The most intense lifting will take place in the off-season, when you practice and condition the least. Pre-season, conditioning is pushed while the weights are reduced. In season when you practice and play the most, you do the least lifting and conditioning. It's like periodization or something.

Additionally, you have to eat to recover! Once you hit campus, you can load your plate in the cafeteria! This and some beers should help recovery and mass gains.


#8

Im going to have to eat a lot right? I eat 3700 calories now (in season) at 183 weight 5 foot 10,

Thanks for the great input


#9

Definitely. Keep it as nutrient dense/non junky as possible too. If your time to recover is limited, good nutrition will be one major factor that determines your success. Try to get as much quality sleep as you can, although that can be much more problemaic. Also, it'll probably be very beneficial for you to find some way you can mentally relax to keep in a positive state of mind. If your mental state is good and you're getting enough decent food you'll be far better able to weather less than optimal sleep and recovery.


#10

I will so my best, That may not be easy due to the partying but i am pretty conscious of what i eat. Sleep will be important i will nap as often as possible and of course mental positivity will be huge for me something i will have to work on .


#11

Yep, been there. With the partying/sleep issue I found a big help was putting on a favourite movie to fall asleep to. I know that's the complete opposite of what most sleep hygiene advice recommends, but I found if people were partying in the corridors and stuff I'd just lock my door and zone out to the movie and I'd fall asleep.

What to do to stay mentally positive is a funny thing because its very personal, but I'd recommend whatever you do make it something internal that relies on nothing but you. So, for instance, for me it's reading. If I have a favourite book I can get into almost anywhere and it lets me switch off. Music is great too. I think the key thing is that it should ideally be something utterly separate from study, work or training that is done purely for enjoyment. My favourite books helped me through some shitty times.

When you're older, it'll probably be family - it doesn't matter how tired I am or how shitty training or work were that day or week but if spend time with my other half and the little one everything is ok again. Hell, if college isn't too far from home, it could be just going home for an hour. I know here in Australia we keep seeing a bunch of our top young rugby players switch teams to be closer to home and that often sees them perform much better.


#12

If you're worried about partying affecting how well you recover then don't party as much... not too sure what the culture is like at other schools and for other teams, but where I play it's pretty frowned upon to get completely belligerent every Friday and Saturday night. If you're playing any sport in college, especially at the D1 or D2 levels where they have scholarships and pay you to go to school, then you better be mature enough to not put stupid things into your body (be it drugs or copious amounts of alcohol).


#13

If you're worried about partying affecting how well you recover then don't party as much... not too sure what the culture is like at other schools and for other teams, but where I play it's pretty frowned upon to get completely belligerent every Friday and Saturday night. If you're playing any sport in college, especially at the D1 or D2 levels where they have scholarships and pay you to go to school, then you better be mature enough to not put stupid things into your body (be it drugs or copious amounts of alcohol).


#14

OP sounds like a real winner. Can't recover from workouts, not enough time to party.

Cry me a damn river.


#15

if OP is clever and mature enough he'll do a few parties in the beginning just not to be considered a sociopath but he'll have to forget about being the coolest guy on campus if he wants sports success.

Professional sportsmen drink water and juices at night, save the few that are considered awesome because they drink AND perform on the pitch. But you'd better be a damn freak if you do that. And even those that who have this attitude often end up being injured more than they should