Frankly it seems that recovery is so en vogue that one needs recovery programs for the regeneration program! We are worried to the point that REM sleep is causing HRV stress (sleep is now considered stress?), and some claim they are creating recovery workouts to aid in this problem. The real issue is that off seasons are composed of making rap albums or participating in reality TV series instead of getting in shape for the season, especially in team sports. The vicious cycle starts when one starts up out of shape and overtrains for an entire season, making the athlete not wanting to train during the most important part of the year, the transition phase. You are not overtrained, you are undertrained and out of shape.
Stress is real, but I think it’s cultural. Don’t worry about what you can’t control, and focus on things that make you happy. Babying athletes is why they overtrain, as everyone wants to be their pal instead of the tough love of begin a good friend. Coaches do what’s best for the athlete, and make sure that honesty is shared. Nobody wants to be the bad cop but down the road relationships are built on trust, not on looking the other way on important factors such as work ethic and focus. What I am seeing is a culture of the coddle, and athletes need to raise the bar more and more because work ethic is being killed off by the massage and recovery people.
Each year as science learns more and more about sport, we need to step back and realize that it’s still running, jumping, throwing, and lifting. Our body adapts, and cracking the code is about the combination of training and recovery, and seeing improvements in the aforementioned activities. Zebras don’t get ulcers because they are not researching on google scholar the ANS every day, they are frolicking in Africa and we need relax more about training. Keep digging, but remember not to dump too much information to the athlete. As the information age continues to the point of the minority report, let’s reboot and keep it healthy and stress free.