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LIFESTYLE  TIPS & TOOLS

NUTRITION, RECOVERY, SLEEP, MENTAL TRAINING

Circular fitness involves making small changes to your lifestyle everyday.

By doing this you will put yourself in the best position to improve your performances by training like a "smart athlete".

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NUTRITION

"you cannot out-train a bad diet"

As seen in her blog, Caroline Tarnowski stated,

'Netball consists of repetitive high intensity

movements which makes it very demanding on

the body.

Nutrition can have a big impact on netball

performance, especially if you are training/ playing

several times a week, and therefore is it important

to get it right.' See the blog on Caroline’s 5 Top Tips

for the nutrition of a netballer by following this link.

MENTAL WELL-BEING

"physical strength will get you to the start line, but mental strength will take you to the finish line."

This is so important as athletes, especially in a team sport where you can often feel like you’re carrying both a responsibility to yourself to perform well, but also a responsibility to your teammates and coach.
We are really keen on helping netballers manage the pressures of the game in a variety of ways that suit them. 

 

  • Growth mindset - this is key to improving your performance, not getting stuck and treating failures as learning curves rather than disappointments.

    1. Check out The ‘Mindset’ book by Carol Dwek gives a brilliant explanation of transitioning into a ‘growth mindset’

    2. ‘Daring Greatly’ book by Brene Brown. 

 

  • Meditation - famous athletes are now swearing by meditation as a way to quiet their minds, help them focus and manage pressure, including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson, who introduced a “one team, one breath” concept whereby the entire team would practice meditation before heading out on court.

    1. The Ten Percent Happier podcast and App is a great place to start.

    2. Wim Hoff (The Ice Man) Method - Download App. It builds psychological and physiological awareness to the body through breathing and cold exposure therapy - it is AMAZING!

    3. The Calm App - which is another easy starting point, there are some great meditation series on there, such as ‘How to meditate’ by Jeff Warren and LeBron James's take of performance mindset. IV. The Headspace App.
      V. The Mindful Athlete book, by George Mumford. 

 

  • Self-care - it is so important to be kind to yourself, whether that’s kind self-talk, taking a rest day, getting outside in the sun or making contact with friends. Everyone needs time to relax and reboot or performances will suffer.

    I. Feel Goods: Table Manners Podcast & The Deliciously Ella’s Podcast

 

  • Habits - using your mind to your advantage by creating habits every day will allow you to develop a healthy routine where you won’t have to expend much energy to motivate yourself to train. This can help you become a “smart athlete” without having to think twice! 

SLEEP

“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day -- Mother Nature's best effort yet at contra-death.” Dr. Matthew Walker

Building recovery into any training program is extremely important. This is the time the body is able to adapt to the stress of exercise, and when the real 'effect' of training takes place. 

Exercise or any other physical work causes, fluid loss, muscle tissue break down and the depletion of energy stores (muscle glycogen). 

When athletes allow for recovery it replenishes the energy stores, repairs damaged tissues and allows you to mentally reboot as well. Without this recovery time, the body will continue to break down from intensive exercise, leading to over training and burn out (not fun!!!). 

Quantity of Sleep:

For athletes sleep is one of the best recovery strategies. Sleep is arguably one of the most undervalued elements of health, fitness and wellbeing.  

Sleep affects an athletes level of cognitive functioning, mood and motivation. In netball we require the ability to process information very quickly and react to that incoming stimulus, so getting enough sleep is especially important. 

If you routinely get less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night, it can also demolish your immune system (particularly important in the current climate), increase your risk of serious illnesses like cancer and be a key factor in developing Alzheimer’s disease (Mathew Walker - Why We Sleep), so not only important for athlete performance, but also for life and longevity. 

 

Quality of Sleep:

Caffeine has a full life of 5 hours and half life of 10 hours, so if you have a coffee at 3pm you can still be affected by it at 1am!! So it is advisable that you don’t have coffee past noon. 

Alcohol also greatly affects quality of sleep. It can make us spend more time in deep sleep and less time in extremely important REM Sleep, which is vital for our bodies restoration. The REM sleep stage accounts for 50% more blood flow to the brain, enhancing cardiovascular, emotional and mental health. 

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