Mental Game Camp June 11-13

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How Much Sleep Do Athletes Need

Does sleep actually improve performance?

Everyone is always searching for mental game quick fixes. One mental performance tip that can help absolutely anyone compete better & something I share with athletes often is SLEEP!

Sports Psychology isn’t just about mindset training, it’s about mentally preparing your body to dig deep, react quickly, & be less irritable when stuff goes wrong.


Sleep is often overlooked when talking about performance, but it is one of the most important factors in the recovery process.

Recovery can’t be thought of as something extra, it has to be part of your training routine. 

When you don’t get enough sleep, your cells & muscle tissues are unable to fully recover from games played or training that day, which puts you at a disadvantage for the next day.

Sleep is part of your recovery. You want to schedule it to see massive impacts in how you perform. 

If you’re thinking, I already know this, so what? I got some insight that will blow you away a few lines down!

Knowledge is power. You need this knowledge!

Not enough sleep dramatically impairs:

  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Immune system
  • Increases stress hormones
  • Disrupts the body’s normal metabolism

Having better sleeping patterns allows you to improve:

  • Mental strength
  • Reaction time
  • Consistency
  • Highly reduces the risk of injuries

The recommended sleep time for teens is 9 hours each night.

Let that sink in for a second. Recommended sleep time for most adults is 7 to 8 hours. Uh who is actually getting that? Yikes!But… that’s just for “regular” people. If you’re an athlete, you’re constantly pushing your limits, you need different recovery to fully transfer your practice to competition.Experiments by psychologist David Dinges, estimate that, over the long haul:

1 person in a 1,000 can function effectively on 6 or fewer hours of sleep per night.

Are you thinking, shoot, that’s about how much I get? Let’s talk about what you can do to change that.

How much sleep is optimal for ATHLETES to achieve peak performance?


Researchers have found an athlete should have 10 hours of sleep on days of intense training

(especially near competition day for maximum benefits)

10 hours? Is that possible?

Here are some studies that show why 10 hours makes a difference. 

There’s been studies conducted with multiple sports to increase their sleeping time & every single athlete’s performance increased in terms of speed, accuracy, & reaction times.Stanford SWIMMER experiment – they had them increase sleep to 9-10 hrs per night over a 6 week period. Here are the swimmer’s results from extra sleep:

  • Their reaction time off block increased by .15 seconds
  • Turn times decreased by .10 seconds
  • 15m sprint times were over ½ second faster

Here’s another example: A recent MLB study had BASEBALL players increase their sleep each night by just 1 hour for 5 days. This actually improved their cognitive processing speed by 13% – which helped them react 122 milliseconds faster to different pitches.

Doesn’t seem like a lot, but let me tell you how many ball players I have that immedialtey go NO WAY as soon as they hear that, timing is everything!

That’s just with 5 days worth of extra sleep & that’s not 10 hours, it’s just more sleep than they were getting – so that’s DOABLE!

Need more evidence? I got ya. BASKETBALL study had players get 10 hours each night for 5-7 weeks. After every practice, they recorded a timed sprint & their shooting accuracy to get a baseline.

Every player demonstrated a faster sprint after the sleep extension period.

Shooting accuracy improved, with free throw percentage increasing by 9% & 3-point field goal percentage increasing by 9.2% DANG!


Those aren’t your sports? Well, every athlete should pay attention to strength training.

Studies show a large decrease in strength was noted in the bench press, leg press, & dead-lift exercises when there was significant sleep deprivation. So they tested POWER LIFTERS & strength went up when sleep went up!

More sleep makes you mentally tougher.

The more sleep you get, the more alert you tend to be which helps with reaction times especially in sports that require quick reflexes.

Sleeping actually helps in the process of forming memories & retaining the motor skills you just practiced.

Does this motivate you to pay attention to sleep or what?Here are a few good sleep tips: make the room super dark, cold, no screens, take naps to recover, & no snoozing – did you know early stages of sleep are deepest making it harder to get up after snoozing?I challenge to try to add a few more hours throughout next week. Start with adding 30 more minutes a night.

Upping your mental game is all about being open to making changes to your habits. Every athlete wants to feel more in control, compete more consistently, be able to trust their training, manage emotions in tough situations, & think clearly. Better sleep patterns are one way to help you improve performance.

Guess what? Maximize the Mind teaches athletes how to manage their time, create routines, and set priorities. 

Check out our ON DEMAND programs for easy to digest tools to compete with resilience! You can learn to bounce back from mistakes & be learn how to let go of frustration quicker!

Watch a 10 min lesson to stop overthinking. Each lesson is taught independently, no big time commitment, but BIG results!

Read more about a few of the programs we offer here

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