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Looking for new thoughts/sessions on recovery training for ODP level/college level players? When players have 2-3 games a week, what's coaches ideas behind recovery sessions and what do coaches entail in those sessions?

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Laura,
What I teach all of my trainers is the following. Instead of just preaching it to you, I’ll copy in an excerpt from the Recovery Training progression I developed. I hope this helps you.

Billy Elias

…always remember that the recovery training after heavy tournaments or multiple matches a week, begins with the cool down following the last match. No matter the level of competition, follow this progression.

STEP 1 – Cool Down after Match
Make sure your cool down is dynamic in nature, and no more than 10 minutes. Static stretches for legs, lower back, and hips, holding no more than 8 - 10 seconds at a time (2 reps each hold). Light jog no more than 30 yards to start.
(no pulling the heel to butt, or laying back on the leg)

STEP 2 – Hydration
After the Match -
Hydration is step two for recovery. Make sure the player consumes 30 – 40 ounces of water or pedia lite after the match and before bed time. They want their urine to be clear! Gatorade is okay if the player drinks a half Gatorade half water mixture, but no more than 20 ounces. An ice bath of 5 – 10 minutes is recommended for those players who are bruised, or sore.
Day After Match(es)
The day after make sure the athlete gets between 60 – 80 ounces of water before training or during the day of training. During the session have frequent water breaks

STEP 3 – Rest
Sleep is not only necessary, but make sure your players get 8 – 10 hours (not always easy).

STEP 4 – Nutrition
Besides hydrating, make sure each player drinks up to 16 ounces of either apple or orange juice. High Carbohydrate foods will be helpful, as well as a banana.

STEP 5 – Low Intensity Warm Up
Without the ball -
Day after training CANNOT BE FOR FITNESS OR CONDITIONING. The built up lactic acid in the muscles needs to be worked out.
Follow this progression type to loosen up the athletes and stiffness/soreness.
(Laura, this is as basic as I can give you without taking up too much space)
1) forwards jog (40 yards) there and back (2x)
2) Backwards (40 yards) there and back (2x)
3) Lateral Shuffle (40 yards) there and back (2x) (facing both directions).
4) Knee High Skips (40 yards) there and back (2x)
5) Diagonals (40 yards) there and back (2x)
6) Other dynamic stretches (opening/closing the gates etc.)
7) Multiple angle strides (40 yards) there and back (3x) build to about ¾ speed, and no more.

With the ball
Personal skill work/juggling, and work with trapping and control on all 4 levels.
With partners and two cones work lateral movement (shuffle) passing ball back and forth using the same techniques.
Groups of 3 with constant movement (low intensity). Use one ball for two minutes x2, and then two balls for two minutes x2

STEP 6 – Light Technical/Tactical Sessions
Low intensity run through. 3 v 3, 4 v 4 scrimmages leading to technical objectives.
Focus on skill sets, movement (low intensity) and whatever else needs to be addressed. DO NOT GO GAME SPEED! Allow a medium intensity during this period, just enough to keep them focused, but relaxed.

STEP 7 – Mental Recovery
Be positive in your approach, as we also need to allow for mental recovery as well. Get your point across positively. No matter the age, all players will need to rest their minds as well as their bodies.
Allow some fooling around during the warm ups, keep the session flowing but with lighter intensity than normal. Be yourself (your coaching style) but recognize the signs of exhaustion both mental and physical.
Billy,
this is great information. Thanks for such a detailed and helpful reply to Laura's great question. On the Low intensity warm up list, I understand everything except "Diagonals". Can you provide more detail on what that activity is.

Cheers
Tim
Tim,
To better help understand I just drew up this diagram for you and attached it to this reply. Scroll down on the diagram and it has the following description.

"The players face in a diagonal position. On the command, they start a diagonal shuffle away from the cones to form “giant triangles”. If they start with the left foot, they will pivot on the left foot at the top of the triangle, swinging the hip to the right and the left at the bottom. Never cross over the cones."

It's late and I wasn't thinking. Sorry.

Cheers,
Billy
Attachments:
Billy -
Thank you for your response! I know the dynamic stretching, so no worries on that part. The other stuff is helpful as I am looking for other's ideas on recovery sessions. Thanks again!
Laura
Laura,
At the professional level they will do up to 45 minutes of light jogging, massaging and stretching. Lots of dynamic flexibility exercises also to maintain range of motion, especially around the hip areas.
You may consider using foam rollers, massage sticks and tennis balls to give the individuals self massage. Then have partners perform PNF stretching to keep the muscles in tact. Depending on the mental state of the players give them something fun but nothing too out of the ordinary as you don't want players getting tight or sore in areas they might not have used in a while. Team bonding exercises might be a possibility at this stage also.
I hope this helps.
Lee Powell

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