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6 Signs that Two-a-Day Practices Are Too Much

Although two-a-day practices remain a standard in many clubs and high school sports, they have been discontinued by a number of college and professional sports programs because the downsides often outweigh the benefits. Pair practices with school, games, extracurricular activities, work, and social obligations, and it’s amazing that any high school athlete can handle two training sessions per day.

The goal for two-a-day practices is usually to get athletes ready for the season, but if not done correctly, they can actually increase your risk for injury and leave you broken down before the season even begins. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone, and it might be time to talk to your coach.

Here, Michele LaBotz, TrueSport Expert and sports medicine physician, shares a few simple ways to tell if two-a-day practices are becoming too much.

1. Performance decreases

Are you struggling to do workouts that used to feel easy? Has your performance plateaued or gotten worse? Several hard practices in a row may lead to short-term performance decreases, but LaBotz notes that any time you notice a steady decline in performance and do not recover after a couple days off, it’s a sign that something is amiss.

2. Fatigue increases

If you can’t shake feelings of fatigue, even after a good night’s sleep, that may be a sign of over-working and taking on too much in sport. It’s normal to occasionally feel tired, but if you wake up every morning feeling like you’d rather bury back into the covers, you might be pushing yourself too hard. And if you feel tired but are struggling to sleep, that’s an even more urgent signal that something has to change.

3. Frequent illness or injury

Can’t shake that head cold? Is your nose constantly running? Has your throat been scratchy on and off all semester? Prolonged or frequent minor illnesses are often signals that you’ve been pushing too hard, and not giving your body a chance to recover. The same is true for persistent or frequent injuries; if that ankle sprain early in the season keeps flaring up, or your knee pain has not gone away, you likely haven’t given your body enough time or resources to recover properly.

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