Preparation begins when you develop patterns that connect your mind and body and allow you to focus on training and competition.

Recovery begins immediately after competition, and for best results, the athlete should include a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, electrolytes, and water in the diet.  

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Preparation & Recovery: Quick-Hitters

A pre-game routine increases opportunities for success and builds confidence.
A plan for post-competition recovery includes rest, nutrition, and hydration.
Positive self-talk and mind-sets will often guarantee good results.

Preparation & Recovery: The Basics

Preparation is not just laying out your uniform the night before a big competition. It begins months before, when you develop patterns that connect your mind and body and allow you to focus on training and competition. There are three main components to preparation, all of which give you the tools to stay focused, achieve the best possible outcome, and link the body and mind together.

  1. A Pre-Game Routine

Prior to competition, you should have a consistent, reliable routine that gets you ready to focus and be in the moment. You should repeat it during practice so that you are almost on autopilot when game time comes. A pre-game routine can have multiple elements, ranging from smaller rituals like always putting your left shoe on before your right, to longer ones like breathing exercises, meditation, or eating a healthy meal. You can also use rituals during competition, like before a serve in tennis or a pitch in baseball.

  1. Visualize the Outcome

This technique is an effective way to practice your sport without taxing your body. You run through a successful game/race/inning/shot in your mind, using your senses: How do you feel? What do you see? Hear? It’s important that the visualization always ends with the desired outcome, and calling up the same positive images repeatedly actually enhances your physical skills.

  1. Recovery

Athletes need a recovery plan to allow the body to recover and replenish itself. Recovery begins immediately after competition and for best results the athlete should include a mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, electrolytes, and water in the diet. A day of rest is also recommended following an intense competition.

Preparation & Recovery: Ambassador Story

Watch this Ambassador Story with Chellsie Memmel or read the lesson aloud.

Chellsie Memmel headshot

Gymnast Chellsie Memmel, a silver medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, knows what it means to be an athlete with a demanding schedule. Throughout Chellsie’s career, her recovery plan changed with her training locations and as she learned more about her body. Eventually, she learned the importance of having a plan for post-competition recovery and what her body needed to feel its best every week. Chellsie would go on walks or read books to give her body and mind a break, knowing that a rested mind and body often guaranteed good results. She learned her recovery plan needed to also include rest, nutrition, and hydration.

The habits Chellsie developed over time allowed her to recover and replenish her body, which in turn, helped her maximize her performance and feel more prepared in practice and competition. Feeling her best allowed her to increase her opportunities for success and built confidence. Chellsie believes that both preparation and recovery are crucial elements of athletic success. She knows from experience the habits take time to develop, but the benefits of practicing both are absolutely worth the investment.

TrueSport athletes understand the importance of preparing for competition, recovering their mind, and listening to their body before and after competition.

Ambassador Story Questions

1. What was the main point you took away from the ambassador story?

2. What was interested about this story and how the athlete prepared for competition?

3. How can you practice better preparation habits during your athletic season?

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