For any athlete they will tell you that they have four favorite seasons. Preseason, season, post season, and the holiday season. Especially being a winter athlete you get the double whammy of having your season coincide with the holiday season, which just makes for constant excitement around every corner. I mean you get to play games one week and then the next week you are on holiday break stuffing your face with an abundance of holiday treats without a care in the world, right?!
Holiday breaks which include, Thanksgiving, winter break, spring break, and summer break are crucial in terms of preparation and discipline for any athlete. Yes, it is a time to regroup and rest up your body and mind but the tricky thing about these types of breaks is that it can lull you into a state of laziness. This happens because we start to make up excuses for ourselves. I know that when I have had a long break, I would plan on giving myself two days of rest before I started training again. The thing is once you break your normal routine and start sleeping in till noon, it makes things a lot harder to be motivated to start training again.
So how do we fix this? How do we make sure that we don’t spiral into a state of laziness, that can ultimately effect not only our individual play but your entire team play.
Here are a couple pointers:
- Make work out groups: Over breaks in order to make sure people are holding themselves accountable make workout groups that remain in constant communication with each other. Having a teammate being constantly in your ear to motivate (and annoy) you about staying in shape can make a difference. Support and encourage each other, it’s okay to guilt them into working out because in the long run it will help your team.
- Stay motivated: Staying motivated and keeping your eye on the end game is everything. At the beginning of each season everyone makes goals for themselves and their team in what they want to accomplish. Don’t lose sight of that. Tape up a picture of your rival team in your bathroom mirror, make a new workout playlist, or write down your personal goals.
- Balance work and play: As an athlete it is your job to perform, that’s a given, but when it comes to being on breaks you don’t need to be on the ball 24/7 training until you get back to school. That defeats the whole purpose of a break. Find time to go out with your friends, have family game night, eat dessert, stay up late, read a book, and find another hobby. Find the balance in what is going to make you happy while still making the strides to help your team.
- Have something fun planned for when you get back to school: Talk to your coach and see if you can come up with an event that incorporates, team bonding and competition for when you get back to school. Our team does an event called “The Holiday Extravaganza,” where there are three teams and each team dresses up in costumes and compete in a 3v3 tournament, shootout, fastest skater, accuracy shooting, and best dress competition. We find out what team we are on when we are on winter break. This allows the girls to start to talk to one another and form ideas. Ultimately “The Holiday Extravaganza” gets the team even more excited to come back.