There is much truth in the saying by the Roman poet Ovid:
Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
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Skaters often return refreshed and stronger after their rink closes for a week or so or their coach schedules an end-of-the-season break. What is too easy to forget is the rest our athletes need on a daily basis.
The book NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman has some startling new findings about children, including new findings about children and sleep. The importance of sleep is stressed for everything from brain development to obesity prevention to emotional well-being. For athletes who tend to be high achievers anyway, it can be difficult for them to find enough time to get adequate sleep with their busy schedules. The book has an important message about sleep, a message which can only help our children if we pay attention to it.
If rest was necessary in Ovid’s time from 43 B.C. to A.D. 17 or 18, just think how much more it’s needed today. As parents, we’re used to helping our children with the essentials needed for their training. Let’s not forget about rest.