When I visit the UNC men’s basketball team to teach yoga, we make a lot of jokes about napping. Players can fall asleep on a dime; last summer, one of the freshmen fell asleep in legs up the wall and stayed there all the way through the closing. Several former players, now professionals, come back to Chapel Hill to train in the summer, and a few of them sat in on yesterday’s yoga class. Sure enough, one of them, a ten-year NBA veteran, slept through the entire close of practice, much to everyone else’s delight.
After class, I told him that if he falls asleep in a three-minute savasana, he might want to focus on getting more sleep every day. “I work so hard,” he lamented.
Remember, friends: taking care of your recovery is a critical part of your work, and it grows more important the more serious you are about your sport. Getting sufficient sleep is probably the number 1 tool for recovery and better performance. It’s free, always available, and extremely powerful.