When I was at University I played on the varsity men’s soccer team. The training was vigorous, the preparation immense and the attention to details were hugely important. All of these elements played into the overall performance of each individual athlete. Yet despite dealing with nutritionists, a coaching staff or trainers on a daily basis, very little attention was made to the recovery process and mental preparation of athletes.
But should this be the case? I mean, competitive athletes will schedule upwards of 20 hours a week to training and competition, and change their entire diets and weekly routines to give themselves every advantage possible. Why is this same attention not taken for recovery or mental preparation? Let’s look at both of these issues further.
First off, flotation therapy has been around for since the 1950’s, but it is a relatively new phenomenon for use in a mainstream-manner of speaking. But, float tanks are popping up all over North America and Cloud 9 Float Spa is leading the way in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. I only wish this innovative therapy was at my disposal when I was still competing at a high level.
Float tanks are renowned for their innate ability to rapidly relax an individual. Research has indicated that floatation therapy provides a healing state for many conditions such as:
– jet lag
First lets examine the physical issues mentioned. Pain and swelling are common among all athletes who train vigorously on a daily basis. Floating will help reduce swelling in joints and ligaments (knees, ankles, hips, back, shoulders) by removing any, and all, pressures from this portion of one’s body. Because when you float your body is essentially weightless inside the tank due to the thousands of pounds of Epson Salts that are dissolved in the water. This removes any pressures and weight that you would normally feel while resting on the couch or napping in a bed. There are also studies that shows floatation therapy to be an effective way to quickly remove lactic acid from muscles. Your body will float atop the water like cork would in a glass of wine. This means the time spent resting at Cloud 9 Float Spa, offers a significantly more focused and beneficial use of your time.
Next are the metal awareness issues that hinder every athlete’s performance: stress, anxiety, exhaustion and jet lag. Imagine spending the night before your championship game or annual competition, stressing, nervous, anxious and unable to sleep. For most people the nerves get the best of them and they have trouble staying conscious, staying focused, in the 24 hours leading up to a major competition. Now, imagine instead of loosing sleep you began that 24-hour period with one hour in a float tank, taking an internal inventory of every element that you need to focus on. Imagine being at a float centre, specifically dedicating time to training you mind and consciously dedicating time to rest. Mentally identifying your own areas of weakness is of huge importance in athletic growth.
The changes will be immense. You will become energized, focused and most importantly, pain free. How much better will you perform without mental distractions, or chronic physical ailments? There’s only one way to find out!