Why are athletes fatigued if they play two games in a single week?


I’ve heard teams saying the players were fatigued and couldn’t play the second game as well, but didn’t they have a two or 3 day break between the games? Why isn’t that enough time to recover? I’d think one night would be enough to sleep, eat, and re-energize.

In: Biology

Intense competition breaks your body down more than can usually be recovered in a day or two. That second or third day of rest helps them recover as close to fully as they can.

Just curious, have you played sports at a higher level? Speaking from experience (hockey and soccer) it can easily take 2-3 days to recover even with stretching, icy hot, ice baths, etc. it’s prob easier to understand when you’ve experienced it, and I can only imagine it’s much harder on the body once you get to the professional level

It’s not so much that they are _fatigued_, it’s that they are _injured_.

These aren’t major injuries, but athletes at the top levels are doing lots of little bits of damage to their bodies as they push limits. You need time to heal in order to be at the top of your game, or you risk actual “real” injury by not getting healed with sufficient rest between games.

Depends on the sport. Baseball teams will sometimes play two games in the same day. Meanwhile NFL teams only play once a week, and consider Sunday-Thursday a hardship. Notably, American Football is high-contact, so recuperation means healing, not just energy.

Depending on the level of competition, games also mean travel. A two-day break isn’t as restful if one of those days is a plane flight from New York to Texas.

In baseball, for example, most of the team plays about six days a week. Because unless they get hurt, you are right, a night of rest is plenty to recuperate from a bit of running, throwing, and bat swinging.

Pitchers though, they take multiple days off between games, at most pitching around once a week. Unless it’s post season, and you use your stars as much as possible, and they can rest over the winter. This is because throwing a ball at around 85-100mph a hundred times really works the arm, and it’s just not sustainable to do that every day, or even every few days. Try throwing a ball as hard as you can a few times. It will *hurt*. No try throwing it much harder than you ever could over and over for hours. You need to heal from that. Not just get a little sleep.

So basically, it depends on the sport/players, but it can definitely take days before an athlete is ready to compete again.