Youth: 9 Tips to Speed Up Your Recovery After a Soccer Game
Feb 5, 2021
*This article is part of an educational series for soccer parents and players new to soccer*
Whether you are young or old, a long practice or strenuous game can really take it out of you. Learning how to recover quickly from soccer games and training sessions can benefit every athlete. In this post, we’ll look at some techniques that players of all ages can use to help recover faster and more efficiently.
Why is Recovery Important?
It happens to every soccer player, from beginners learning proper technique to professionals with years of experience; you push yourself that extra lap, that last five minutes and now your legs and lungs are screaming in pain and exhaustion. Learning how to maximize your recovery time will help you feel less sore and reduce your risks of overexertion and burnout. For many players, it is as essential as training.
Think of recovery as the work you do to get ready for your next training session or game. Not only is recovery necessary for injury prevention, but it also is actually where your body gets stronger, grows muscles, improves endurance, helps you learn new skills and techniques and will overall improve your game.
It helps to treat mild fatigue in the same way you would treat a mild injury. You wouldn’t keep playing on a sore ankle; that could make your injury much worse and do long-term damage. The same thing goes for fatigue. To play your best, you need to give your body time to rest and recover. Otherwise, you put yourself at serious risk of sprains, tears and injuries from overuse.
Tips For Recovery
While rest is crucial, there are other things you can do along with rest to give your body what it needs to recover well. Here are some tips to help improve your recovery after soccer:
Be sure you drink enough water after a game or practice. When you play, you sweat, and when you sweat, you lose water and minerals from your body. These minerals are called electrolytes, they are the ones that make sweat taste salty, and it is crucial to replace them as soon as possible. Water also helps your body recover from injuries, repair damaged muscles, and keep your body temperature regulated.
Eat healthy and fresh foods to help replenish your energy. Eat a Protein-Rich, Mineral-Rich Meal after your practice session or game or drink a protein/amino-acid rich shake.
Healthy carbs are also essential to help rebuild damaged muscles and make sure your body has the fuel it needs. Stay away from processed foods and choose lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to stay healthy and strong.
Practice Dynamic Stretching After a Session
Your body needs a chance to flush fresh blood to your overworked muscles. If you just sit down at the end of a practice or game, you could be doing yourself some damage. A short walk along with some dynamic stretching right after a practice or game can help flush healing fluids to your muscles and take away waste products.
Engage in a Yoga Session
Yoga is another excellent way to improve your flexibility and help strengthen and heal muscles. Yoga mobilizes your stretched muscle tissue and allows it to recover more quickly.
Take Ice Baths
Though admittedly not as relaxing as a nice warm bath, Ice baths are great for helping reduce inflammation in the body. They are recommended if you need to keep training later in the day. They’ll also help with any joint swelling and improve your circulation.
Take a Hot Bath
Warm baths with Epsom Salts are great for promoting muscle healing and relaxation. Epsom salts are magnesium-rich, and when added to water, they break down into magnesium and sulphate. These minerals help relax your muscles and loosen stiff joints. So do yourself a favour, help relax your body and mind in a nice warm Epsom salt bath.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Many people don’t know that most muscle recovery happens during sleep, making sleep an essential part of your recovery routine. Be sure to get a full night’s sleep to make it most effective. Research shows that athletes that sleep a full 8-10 hours every night are less likely to get injured, and sleep can help repair damaged muscles. Sleep also helps build stronger muscles and helps with muscle recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormones released during sleep.
Use a Percussion Massage Gun
If you have sore muscles after a workout or game, a technique that can help is to use a percussion massage gun to massage the pain away. The massage gun can help reduce your pain, relax tight muscles, help with circulation, and even help you get warmed up before your next practice or game. This technique is very effective immediately after a session to help reset muscle tissue.
Wear the Right Protective Gear
Sometimes, the best recovery technique is prevention. Soccer protective gear like The BodyShield GK leggings or training jerseys like the BodyShield GK goalkeeper jersey has protective padding that absorbs the impact from hard kicks and hits. This padding softens the blow, which can prevent severe harm and help you recover from injury faster.At Storelli, we carry a product line to help you play your best and keep you playing for years to come. Take a look at our line of soccer protective gear for men and women today.