Varsity Coaches

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Signs of Over-training for Sports Athletes

Many athletes today train harder then ever before, and often follow strict diets and workout regiments year round, leaving little time for their bodies to recover. Chronic over-training can both affect athletes performance and signal the storage of fat.

Physical training is a form of stress that is applied to the body. When your body experiences stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol from the adrenal gland. The primary function is to release glucose (insulin) into the blood at times of acute stress. The more stress you place on your body, the more cortisol released.

One of the effects of chronic over-training is an excess of cortisol in the body, resulting in higher baseline cortisol levels and insulin levels which can block fat metabolism, sending it to the waistline for storage. Excess cortisol also breaks down muscle tissue and suppresses immune defenses, which is the opposite effect the athlete and coaches desire.

What Can Coaches & Athletes Do?

  • Ensure athletes are getting adequate recovery and restoration time. Remember it is better to under-train than to over-train, and take that mentality into your program design planning.
  • Recognize the following signs of over-training in athletes:
    • Insomnia
    • Decrease in appetite
    • Decrease in performance
    • Loss of coordination
    • Prolonged recovery
    • Amenorrhea
    • Increase in muscle soreness
    • Loss of body weight
    • Elevated heart rate
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Decreased motivation
    • Weakened immune system

Expand the Reach is a web based resource for coaches, athletes of all levels, parents and community organizations to support Mental Wellness, and early intervention for better performance in sport & life. 

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