This tough run comes off the back of four away games in two weeks (3 of them nationally ranked), so to say things have been busy would be an understatement. This is why this subject has come to mind.
I am a sport scientist. You may be a strength and conditioning coach. You may be a sport scientist. You may be an athletic trainer or physiotherapist. Dr. Craig Duncan has said it well on Twitter that the team does not revolve around us. We are all support staff for our coaches and athletes. Our role is to help these guys and girls do their job to the best of their ability. They are the talented ones.
The support role wasn't enough for this guy...
Our roles require constant monitoring, record taking, and observation. Often we are the ones that have to be there at every session, even when the majority of the squad is "off". Our roles take a LOT of time and effort from our part, publicly appreciated or otherwise.
We like reinforce good lifestyle habits in our playing squad. Sleep, nutrition, and of course good training is vital to their success, but how much time and effort do we put into these aspects of our own lives?
Since the recent stretch of away games, I have been able to get 7-9 hours sleep a number of times and I truly feel fantastic. It had been so long since I felt like this that I had forgotten what a healthy human being is supposed to feel like! Efficient work and interpersonal relationships come so much easily in this more rested state, just like performance and success in the athlete.
All common sense right? Yes, but easily forgotten in our role.
As well as the philosophical message of this blog, there are are some things that may need to be implemented in order for us to get time away to recharge our batteries.
The working/training week needs to be arranged so that there is one day off where you don't need to come into work. This requires communication with other staff members. Perhaps you can take over a colleagues duties one day a week so he/she can have that day off and then they do that for you on another day. Perhaps you need more help and/or need to train or trust your interns or assistants more. This may require extra work initially to put the time into training them up so that they can do this, but it could help you maintain your work-rate or level of energy during those tough times of the season. Lastly, work your arse off when you are at work and try to leave it there, go home and rest - get some sleep, then come back and do this again. Having a working day that trickles on at a distracted pace late until the late hours is good for no one nor no task.
Jerry Springer knew how to take care of himself!
I am the number one person guilty of many of the above statements, but feel more aware of it now following this mini epiphany (realizing how good I can feel). We still need to be workhorses - putting in extra time researching and implementing best practice is what this is all about. At the same time we like to practice what we preach in many other aspects so should do it in this regard also. We need recovery following "over-reaching" just like an athlete. Whether we "super-compensate" like they might is another story, but let's take care of ourselves, eh?!?