While Olympic athletes are far from average, they still undergo body pain and injury. Each Olympic team is allowed a certain number of medical staff and said medical staff were hired to help maintain the wellbeing of the athlete. So we’ve put together a list of tips for your own recovery and success during competition based off the strategies of our talented athletes.
1. Sleep is vital
In order to be the best you can be, your body needs have time to relax and recover. Other than the obvious health benefits of sleeping, it also helps with the production of glycerin and carbohydrates, necessities for professional athletes. In an interview with USA Today, Ryan Lochte explains the only way to get through the early morning training sessions is with an hour and half nap in the middle of the day. “For how much I beat up my body, I could sleep for days.”
2. Nothing comes easy
For the top athletes in the world, the Olympics are the most prestigious competition. In order to have the opportunity to compete, athletes go through years of training. Most Olympic hopefuls started their athletic career at the young age of 6 or 7. Take Katie Ledecky for example. She began swimming at the age of 6. By the age of 16, she achieved two world records, four world championships and one Olympic gold, something an average teenager doesn’t get to experience. The only way she achieved this success is by committing her free time to being the fastest and strongest swimmer. Even though she makes it seem like a breeze with her swift strokes, she has put a lot of hard work into making it seem that easy. For your own success and your own recovery, the key is to remain motivated and not give up on your body.
3. It is important to find your own technique to remain calm before a race
Each athlete has a different pre and post race routine. Matt McLean, an Olympic swimmer, listens to Metallica to help him ignore any distractions and focus on what is ahead. Katie Ledecky says it is very important to remain positive and remember that they are in Rio because they love the sport. So naturally, she takes selfies with her teammates, Allison Schmitt, Maya DiRaddo and Leah Smith.
4. Teammates can push you to be the best you can be
Phelps and Lochte have been competing against and with each other since the 2004 Olympics. They have learned from each other, and challenged each other. In a recent interview at the Olympic trails Phelps said they “bring each other to a different level.” As any athlete knows, your rivals can bring out the competitive side and challenge you to be the best athlete you can be. You may despise them at times, but you wouldn’t be the athlete you are today without them pushing you to be strong and faster.
5. There are various techniques to aid recovery
If you didn’t know what cupping was, I’m sure you do now. After Phelps was seen with purple circles all over his shoulders and back, the internet went crazy trying to figure out what these circles were. Little did everyone know, cupping has been around for hundreds of years and is quite effective for muscle recovery. Cupping isn’t the only technique, massage therapy, compression garments, stretching, sleep, and nutrition are just some of the methods professional and non professional athletes use to make sure their body has a full recovery to ensure top performance.