One of the most overlooked aspects of training is sleep. Not just any kind of sleep, but a solid, restful, refreshing sleep.
If you think that portion of your progressive training is minor, think again. For example, have you ever been near or watched a baby or very young child whose overtired, needs a nap, or has been up all night for one reason or another. Cranky, irritable, won’t listen, no attention span whatsoever, and moody, are just some of the signs of a lack of sleep.
Fast forward the same experience into the adult world and things get real dicey. I’ve known ball players who, while on the road, tossed and turned in the rack, then went on to have the worse game of their life - not to mention serious appraisals which questioned that player’s ability to compete and be paid for it to boot.
Sleep impacts us in so many ways. Our attention span, our learning curve, even apatite, digestion, our immune system, the ability to fall asleep again, and even how we interact with others.
In fact, how we interact with others, after going without quality sleep, is worth commenting on a little further. Our bus broke down in the middle of hey-seed USA, middle of August, not a breeze in sight. I, and thirty others, stuck to everything on that old bus, mosquitoes everywhere and the constant smell of manure permeated everything - right down to our skives. After eleven hours on hot sticky brown vinyl, shoulder to shoulder, we finally made it to our motel at 2am, no desk clerk. A little mom-n-pop motel, air conditioners hanging out of hole punched in the back wall of every room - plastered up with motor mix, brown water from the shower head and tap, and a coke machine near every room that ran constantly, and just one bath towel and a sliver of soap per room. Needless to say, that very evening our game was crash and burn.
Watch your sleep habits closely - don’t let your youth fool you into a attitude of invincibility.