Matias Raymaekers – „feeling it“
Matias is a professional volleyball player. We met when he was playing 1. Bundesliga in Unterhaching. Staying in touch and discussing all aspects of professional sports with him is very valuable and makes a big difference to my approach as a coach. I’m very happy to have him share his experience about what it takes to perform as an athlete and what recovery has to do with it. Thank you Mati!
Enjoy the reading…
As sport science developed at a staggering pace the past few decades a lot of interesting findings have surfaced. And although every human being is unique and reacts differently to certain inputs a couple of general truths are not to be denied.
I really don’t want to bother to act like a scientist and bore you with asterisks, bookmarks and references. So I ‘ll do it like this. I’ll write down how I, myself, strive to get to the best ‘feeling’. I want to call it ‘feeling’, because that’s what everybody asks you before a game ‘how do you feel today?’, ‘you feel good?’, ‘yeah brother, stop asking me these lame questions though.’ 😉
As with all walks of life one should continue to study throughout, to develop yourself. With the availability and abundance of information out there, there isn’t a reason you shouldn’t. Google is your friend, be smart enough to filter it out a bit. Start on this site. ^^
Following are my things I don’t want to mess with.
Sleep is undeniably absolute number 1 when it comes to EVERYTHING. A good night’s rest guarantees to get your hormones back into check, aid your metabolism, restores everything and anything. The most important thing for me is to have a routine, go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time. I want to hit 8 hours always. When training twice a day a 20-40 minute nap does miracles also. Getting into an irregular sleep pattern wreaks havoc on your recovery.
Food, not supplements, cliché and fashionable, but nothing beats investing in some great, fresh, organic food. Some days I treat food as fuel, other days I really want to enjoy my food and hit every taste palate. Eat accordingly, adjust your macronutrient intake around your activity levels and your goals. Trying to hit your protein requirement shouldn’t be a struggle. Embrace the healthy fats and enjoy some sugary fruits while replenishing your glycogen stores after your workouts. Be accountable about your nutrition.
The 3rd factor I consider an important part of recovery is being able to put your physical efforts aside and relax. I don’t mean putting your ass down into the sofa and get on twimbler, facebreak or whatever the latest social network is called these days. Address some of your time to a broad array of interests, while maintaining the value of your athletic being. Read, study, plan your week, month, year. It’ll put you into a position where you’ll still maximize your performance and output, but also keep your ‘brain juices’ flowing. For sure it’ll help you be objective in your decision making on and off the court.
This is it, my personal 3 most important things necessary to perform – „to be feeling it on the court.“
I hear you thinking: ‘Well, what about fascia release, icing, cryotherapy chambers, stretching, light cardio etc.’ Yes, you’ll see me stretching after every team workout, I’ll be hitting the physiotherapist some days. I’m a big fan of cryotherapy and fascia release. But overall I believe in never missing the basics and adding the extras you have access to.
What is available to you and how easy is it to implement in your daily routine? Does it help you, does it help the team, is it worthwhile in the immediate future or in the long run? Well, honestly, if you are able to be consistent with the 3 points discussed above you have hit the basics on which you can start to build your personal routine.
Again we are all different. Try all of the techniques you can get your hands on, test them, evaluate them, trial and error. Pick the ones that resonate with you and be open minded to realize what gives enough benefits over the cost of effort, time and money. Don’t put a maximum amount of effort into something that doesn’t help to get you to your destination. Again, be accountable. This goes for everything, your diet, your job, your schoolwork and your athletic development.
Be fueled mentally and physically and ready to take on another day, a season and your lifetime filled with sports.