Recent research demonstrated how important an adequate amount of sleep is for learning, recovery and growth mechanisms and how a lack of it increases injury risk up to more than threefold (Walker, 2008; Milewski et al., 2014; Badr et al., 2015). Nevertheless, many junior athletes engage in early morning training sessions, beginning between 6am and 7am as prescribed by their coaches. If adequate sleep and early morning training are in conflict, should sleep be prioritized over potential training effects? In my opinion, it clearly should be.

Training early in the morning for adolescent athletes?

2 thoughts on “Training early in the morning for adolescent athletes?

  • August 10, 2019 at 6:28 am

    I fully agree with you! Nevertheless, we cannot forget that junior athletes usually are still in school, which sometimes only show limited flexibility towards athletes.
    My 12year old being a swimmer, I unfortunately don’t see any other time of the day that would coincide with school (assuming he has an afternoon practice as well, which he usually does).

    Thanks for the animation to discuss this issue

    • August 12, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Dear Karen,
      Thank you for your reply! I’m glad you mentioned this issue. Managing load for athletes who still have academic obligations is a challenge many coaches and also athletes face on a daily basis. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, there is not yet a gold-standard practice in this regard. However, I do believe that it is necessary to experiment with different strategies for each individual, as a one size fits all approach is neither effective, nor practical for all parties involved. Some athletes might respond better to less training and more sleep, whereas others might benefit from an increased training volume and find ways to reduce the reported negative effects of insufficient sleep. A good personal balance is key. I hope you found this reply helpful!
      Best wishes,


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