Athletes we have worked with have often commented on how quickly they can recover between plays during practices and games. This is a carry over from how we teach them to recover between intervals in their training. But sometimes we actually want to avoid this great recovery.
In training there will be sessions where we ask athletes not to follow their specific breath recovery practices. During the rest periods we want them to try breathing normally instead of using any specific method. This makes it harder for them to recover mentally as well.
During games there are going to be times where the situation seems almost overwhelming. If you don’t practice moments when recovery feels impossible when it is game time you will be totally thrown off. You are not truly preparing yourself for the stress of competition if all of your training is neat and orderly.
Avoiding recovery also increases your overall endurance. Veteran athletes using breath strategies to recover have a firm grasp on how their breath affects their body’s endurance. During training sessions that avoid recovery they understand how they can push themselves instead of making the workout easier. Simply changing how they breath between sets converts the workout from an easy day to one that pushes their cardiovascular system to new limits.
In every training cycle you have to understand how to use the tools that are available. It is never a matter of using one all the time as if trying to hammer in a screw. You must know when to use or not use strategies like breath recovery in order to make you as prepared as possible for competition.