Every coach is concerned with fatigue, vision and coordination. It is addressed through strength and conditioning and skill development, as well as countless hours of meetings and teachings.
We full well know that sleep regulates everything from alertness, to hormone levels, body temperature, the immune system, digestion, cognitive function and our response to physical activity. A strength and conditioning coach knows the value of sleep yet, once an athlete leaves their premise they have little control of their behavior and can only provide proper training advice. If a coach could get an athlete to go to bed exactly when they should and sleep exactly how long they should their performance and growth would be exemplary.
Myelin is a fatty substance that surrounds the signal transmitting tail of our neurons, it is often referred to as the brain’s insulating material. A deficiency of this substance leads to cognitive disorders and contributes to loss of coordination, fatigue, vision impairment and more. Oligodendrocytes are non neural cells whose main function are to provide support and insulation to these axons or tails.
When we sleep the activity increases in genes that are involved in producing oligodendrocytes, that is, coating neurons with myelin. Cellular repair is an ongoing process an occasional all-nighter does not disrupt the process, yet constantly disrupting what should be normal sleep patterns does and will without question have an adverse affect on performance.
To be an effective coach allow your athletes to get the most out of what you ask them to do by devising your program whereby the athlete has flexible training hours. Flexible training hours means an athlete can regulate their sleep patterns around the non-athletic activities that all student-athletes have.
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