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Sleeping on the job
5 December 2015
GYMNASTICS, Advanced Core workshop; 5 December 2015, DSR

story by Olivia Vivian, Gymnast, 2008 Olympics, 2014 Commonwealth Games, multiple World Championships

It’s always nice to athlete mentor younger athletes from your own sport, there’s a mutual understanding from all angles on all the obstacles that occur along the journey.

Like I tell the younger kids, I wish I had a program similar to this to influence the choices I made coming up through my own career.

In particular, ‘managing me’ has some great tips on how to understand what kind of person you are and what needs you have to reach your ideal performance state.

The ideal performance state is critical to each athlete because at the top level of competition, the attribute that separates the competitors is their mental game.

To help with this, we first identified the stress levels each athlete possesses leading up to competition, and then practiced methods to bring each person to the IPS.

A common problem amongst the group was recovery time via sleep and how their timetables had them finishing training so late that it makes it hard to fall straight to sleep soon after.

To relieve this sort of issue we all practiced some muscle relaxation techniques, which worked a little bit too well in this workshop.

It involved focusing on one body part at a time, tensing and relaxing until you’ve moved all the way from feet to head. By relaxing the whole body, it prepares you for sleep, which is crucial for brain and muscle recovery.

One other important tip to invite sleep is separation from any phone, tablet or TV devise before bed. The ultra light from these devices tricks the brain to think its still daytime. So give yourself a challenge this week and leave your smart device outside the bedroom and see if that helps with sleep.





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