• Lehan Ajish

OVERTRAINING IN FOOTBALL AND HOW TO DEAL WITH IT



Are you feeling like you are losing your interest in playing football? Are you easily getting tired after a regular training session? You may be facing a situation called overtraining.

What is overtraining?

Lets first give you the definition of overtraining:-

“Over training is the general term for any short-term or long-term condition in which there is an imbalance between exercise and recovery resulting in fatigue.”

Basically it is a situation where you start losing interest and start feeling tired easily during training sessions as a result of prolonged training periods for days with little recovery.

I feel like this is a dreadful situation as the player starts to enter a loop of depression and anxiety. Think of this, if a football player is training day and night with little rest so that he can see some beneficial results. But instead, his game starts becoming worse. This may very much put him in a state of lower self esteem and depression.

When going through overtraining, the player is also basically wasting his time which can be used for effective training and improving his/her game.

What causes overtraining?

As we mentioned above overtraining happens when a player trains/plays for prolonged period of time with less time of recovery. What happens is when you train too much, your body starts to look for more sources of energy. When the body cannot find energy rich food the glycogen stored in the muscles start depleting. In such case the body might start to break down muscles so that it can provide energy.

This is what you call as overtraining. players may react to worsening performance by increasing their training periods and games. But they may not know that they are unknowingly causing themselves harm.

Some prominent symptoms of football overtraining are:-


1.Worsening of performance

  1. Longer recovery time

  2. You are unable to meet previous performance standards

  3. Less concentration

  4. Less muscle strength

  5. less self esteem

  6. depression like feeling

  7. fear of competition


How to prevent overtraining?

Preventing overtraining is very important. There is only one way how you can prevent overtraining. And that is taking proper rest periods between training. I have seen that(especially in India) people consider rest as a waste of time. But it is not like that. Rest is as important as training. Players and coaches should be educated regarding this matter. All person related to football should be educated about the “science” behind football training. Here are a few tips which you should follow to prevent overtraining.

  1. you should always begin with a structured warm-up and stretching before every match and training sessions. This helps your muscles to get accustomed to the changes in exertion that would take place subsequently.

  2. Training plans should be planned according to the players physical and skill levels.

  3. Player should always stay hydrated. Dehydration should never take place.

  4. All players should wear appropriate gear, shoes and shin pad.

  5. One should train in a variety of surfaces.

  6. Any player feeling any discomfort or if he/she feels like they are going through overtraining, they should report to a sports physiotherapist as soon as possible.

  7. Taking Proper relaxation methods like massage and hydrotherapy.

How to recover from overtraining?

You feel like you are overtrained. Now what? There is only one way you can cure from overtraining and that is taking proper rest. Take rest for a few days with very little physical exertion. Now the number of days of rest depends on how much overtrained you are. If you feel like you have a short history of overtraining, rest for 1-2 days would be sufficient. But even after these two days of rest if you feel like your situation has not become better, consulting a sports physiotherapist is the best option It may take weeks or even months to get back to pitch.

The treatment varies from player to player depending on the seriousness of the situation and the level the player is at.

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