Yes, it’s coming up to the holidays and now is the time when you are least likely to be outside (or inside) putting in the hard work on your goalie skills. But i’m here to tell you that’s not always a bad thing as many people would have you believe.
I can hear them now all over Instagram:
“No days off” “Three-sixty-five, twenty-four seven”, etc, etc.
The truth is that for most athletes, this simply isn’t the right advice. Rest can be a good thing. It can be an amazing thing actually. Let me explain:
You NEED rest
It’s been proven time and time again that resting is actually beneficial to your progress. This is especially true when your body takes a beating as much as it does when you’re a goalkeeper. Resting allows your body to regenerate muscle fibers, which helps you see the benefit of all the hard work you’ve been putting in.
This is why most people won’t train the same muscle groups day after day when they go to the gym, they switch onto different areas.
You can catch up on your sleep
You should already be maintaining a good sleep habit but taking a week or two to rest your body will allow you to reset your body clock. You can finally catch up on your sleep and get back into a good routine if you’ve been struggling to find a balance lately.
This in turn will affect your reaction times, mental attitude, make you more relaxed as well as lowering your resting heart rate.
Get that mental advantage
An incredibly important factor for goalkeepers is the ability to keep their head in the game. If you’re training yourself into oblivion then it’s likely that you will suffer for this when it comes to mental fortitude.
Having a break from training will allow you to get your head right and this will have a massively positive impact for you when it comes to match day. This is also a great opportunity to assess your goals and redefine them if need be as well as adapting your training schedule for the future.
As I mentioned above, taking a rest allows your body to regenerate and rebuild the muscle fibers and strengthen bones and tendons. But the benefit of this is that you will also become less likely to suffer an injury because your body will be fit for action by the time you return to your training and match schedule. Don’t underestimate how important this can be to a player - it can mean the difference between a great career and a ruined dream.
You won’t lose performance
It generally takes around two weeks for your body to start losing the performance that you have built up. Bear in mind this is from complete inactivity. You can avoid this by doing some light training for one or two days over the holidays. This will allow you to avoid a noticeable dip in your progress and you won’t lose all the hard work you’ve put in.