Is It OK for Athletes to Take a Break During the Holidays?

The holidays are upon us and if you’re like the majority of young athletes, you’re probably wondering whether this is the time to push yourself to the limit or take a break and rest. It is absolutely essential for young soccer players to rest during the holidays, or whenever the body calls for it.

The human body is the most impressive and efficient machine ever created. If you’re anything like me, you’re a young athlete who never wants to stop working in fear of losing fitness or your touch. What I learned through the years is that you can maintain a low-impact, less strenuous workout routine during the holidays that allows your body to rest and recover without jeopardizing your game. 

If you feel your body needs a more intensive break, but feel guilty about taking one, I say to you strongly: DON’T FEEL GUILTY.

There’s a reason your body is asking you for a break – it needs one. A holiday break allows you to focus more on family, your other interests and hobbies, and on yourself. When we choose to rest we are not only offering our body a break, but also allowing our mind a break. Allowing yourself to rest physically, mentally, and emotionally helps young Socceristas avoid burnout. It’s also the perfect time to step back from your crazy schedule and remember (or renew) your motivation.

If an athlete decides to push themselves hard through the holidays, they increase their risk of injuries from overuse. These injuries may be common, but they are also preventable. A phased-out workout program that includes rest periods is perfect for soccer players who want to keep working but also get that all-important rest.

It’s normal to enter the holiday season tired and fatigued, that’s why rest is so essential. Not listening to the tired signals though can lead to an inability to recover properly. Long periods of stress require equal periods of rest. Choosing to ignore this 1:1 ratio will inevitably cause something to give and performance to suffer. 

Taking a break during the holidays can be the most beneficial thing you do for yourself and your soccer career. Whether you choose to cut back slightly on your work load or decide to take a more intense rest, it’s important to listen to your body. This will make you healthier, happier, and more confident. Instead of focusing on how hard we can work during the holidays, let’s do ourselves a favor and focus more on working smart and enjoying our break, however we see fit.

Photo via Adobe Stock @pongsakorn_jun26



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