At Techne, we are intentional about every aspect of soccer training. That includes recovery.
If you’re an elite soccer player, you might be wondering: What are the best soccer recovery methods? How much recovery is enough? When do I need to recover?
Playing and training a lot is great, but recovery is when you allow the work you’ve done to “sink in” and for your body to absorb it in order to get to the next level. A good recovery strategy is crucial for improvement and performance. Here are 3 tips for your soccer recovery:
1. Be proactive - know when you’ll need to recover.
A good rule of thumb is to consider setting aside one day off each week, when you can let your body and mind refresh. You’ll want to make sure that day falls after a game or hard training session. And if you’ve had an intense period with a lot of play and travel, you may need more time off. You should look to plan your recovery days in advance, but also be flexible depending on how you feel.
Part of being a great athlete is learning to listen to your body. Don’t let yourself get to the point of risking injury, illness or burnout before you slow down or stop! Over-playing or over-training can put your body at risk and also slow your rate of improvement. It’s also possible to develop bad habits from playing while you’re too fatigued. By scheduling your recovery ahead of time, you can avoid getting to that critical point, and you can be sure to allow yourself the time to regenerate and come back fresh.
2. Recovery can be active.
Recovering from hard work doesn’t mean just taking time off. Sometimes it might, but there are a lot of active ways you can speed up the process. And if you do need time to totally physically decompress, you can always watch soccer to keep your mind sharp. If you are eager to keep improving but know your body needs a break, consider watching games and doing some Mental Training sessions in the Techne App. Check out these 10 Best Recovery Methods for Soccer Players.
Active soccer recovery methods: Post-play meal, cross training, meditation, stretching/yoga, foam rolling.
Passive soccer recovery methods: Sleep, hydration, time off, watching soccer, massage.
3. Get the balance right.
You might be wondering, “How much recovery do I actually need?” Every individual will have a different answer, and how you recover will vary throughout your playing career. For example, some people simply need more sleep than others. Younger players can do a greater volume of work because their physical output is less intense. Older players may train more intensely and therefore need more recovery. Some players enjoy staying active while recovering by doing a light technical session or some cross training. Others need time completely away from the game. You should expect that your recovery strategy - just like your training - will need to change and adapt over time. Remember: While hard work is important, more isn’t always better!
There is no one right answer when it comes to your recovery. It’s about learning what your body needs and continuing to fine-tune. The most important thing is that you’re intentional about your recovery, just like you are with your training.