Generally, one of two things can happen when an athlete heads off for spring break or vacation:
Scenario 1: He or she parties all week with friends; drinking alcohol excessively each day, eating terribly and sleeping poorly. These athletes return in rough shape, exhausted and dehydrated.
Scenario 2: He or she vacations with family, thus eating and sleeping reasonably well and likely not binge drinking daily. This athlete returns refreshed and recovered.
This can be problematic when working in a team environment as some athletes will be ready (both physically and mentally) to continue with the training program while the others certainly will not be. Oftentimes, a coach or trainer will schedule these vacation breaks as planned unloading periods, marking the transition from one phase to another.
Below is some HRV data from a hockey player I was working with prior to my relocation to Alabama. Preceding his departure for…
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