Remember Goldilocks… the search for a bed not too hard, not too soft, but juuuuuust right! This is a principle we need to take to our training…
Overtraining is pronouncedly worse for a developing athlete, or anyone for that matter, than under training. Sadly, lazy people still win sometimes, whereas over trained and over motivated people frequently don’t even make it to the event…. so, how do I know if I’m doing too much.
Well unfortunately it’s not that simple to diagnose over training, however there are some general symptoms, that when put together, let us know that we’re over reaching. Please keep in mind that you need four, probably five of these symptoms before you should be concerned.
You may be overtrained if you:
Are performing poorly, losing to players you normally beat or badly missing targets with your strokes If your off court training feels harder than usual, or you fail to make standard lifts and cardio training Excessive soreness is a marker you should be aware of… Loss of appetite Fatigue during the day, or moodiness generally Poor sleep Frequent infections, colds or coughs Elevated waking heart rates
Now, if you are experiencing four or more of the above, it is possible that you’re doing too much. The next obvious question is, what do we do about it…
Long story short, you need a training diary. Record essentially all of those factors in succinct fashion over time and you’ll begin to get a picture. Similarly devices such as Whoop (which I use) can be invaluable and at the very least get athletes more interested in recovery and less fixated by “beating up on themselves”. Get interested in prevention, rather than cure and internalize the idea that quality minutes training are always better than bulk logging of hours!
Finally, remember, lazy players might not always win, but at least they get to play. Train yourself too hard for too long and you don’t even make it on court… so be careful out there and listen to your body!