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Trying to train your players more efficiently? and help them deal better in match situations?
Then this is the place for you! Brain SPEC is the product of Mark Simpson. A table tennis player himself he is using his experiences and what he has learned from his sport psychology training to help you enhance your own or your players' performances!

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Struggles of a training athlete. Diagnosing Overtraining

Overtraining is a dangerous thing that people don't often talk about but is a big potential problem for those taking their training seriously.
People who are suffering from this are often worried about bringing it up as it is perhaps seen as a sign of weakness. It is definitely not a sign of weakness and it can have a lot of very important negative effects both mentally and physically!

Here are a few signs you may be suffering from overtraining
  • after/before each session you are feeling more stiff and tired than the last one. 
This is a sign that your energy resources and muscles are unable to keep up with the training schedule. They are not being given sufficient time to fully recover and get stronger (muscles getting stronger is often one of the main aims of training!)

  • you are losing motivation and enjoyment of training
your mind, just like your body, can get fatigued. Everybody has sessions where they don't 100% feel like going- their favourite programme is on TV, its too early/late in the day, you don't feel like putting 100% effort in today. Or they don't fully enjoy training (naturally there are parts of training that few people enjoy- who enjoys that feeling of oxygen debt?!)
But if the overall enthusiasm and enjoyment of training is consistently dwindling then this could be a sign you are overtraining

  • you are picking up lots of little injuries and perhaps a few big injuries
Is your wrist consistently swelling up after training sessions? Are your quadriceps consistently sore?Have you had a few muscle strains recently? Picking up injuries are sometimes a part of training and are difficult to be avoided, but if you are getting lots of them it is perhaps time to stop and think about why this could be! Swelling of joints and tightness of muscles is often a sign of muscle overuse, so if you are getting these a lot it is a sign you might be overtraining

  • do you find it more and more difficult to focus during training
you used to be able to focus for hours working hard on one specific exercise given in training. Now you're finding 5 minutes of one drill leaves you losing concentration, chatting, messing about, staring at the ceiling. Everybody is different with how easily they can concentrate and you may not find it as easy to focus for as long as your training partner. But, have you noticed that, compared to yourself, you seem to be a lot worse than normal. If the answer is consistently yes, then you could be overtraining!

These are just some of the symptoms of overtraining. One of the important things to note is that in all of these symptoms there is an emphasis on CONSISTENCY. Everybody has natural ups and downs in these things but if it is a consistent downward pattern then it could indicate overtraining.

They can be easily looked for and a number of things can be done to combat overtraining. These are discussed in part 2- Monitoring Overtraining and part 3 - Avoiding Overtraining


If you found this interesting and have comments then please comment below.
Implementing training structures to avoid overtraining is just one of the ways Brain-SPEC can work with you/your club. If you are interested in working with Brain-SPEC then get in touch via email.

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