Recovery self-regulation in sport: Theory, research, and practice

Balk, Yannick A; Englert, Chris (2020). Recovery self-regulation in sport: Theory, research, and practice. International journal of sports science & coaching, 15(2), pp. 273-281. Sage 10.1177/1747954119897528

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A large body of research has shown that self-regulation is an important aspect underlying athletes’ well-being and performance. However, self-regulation skills are equally important for post-performance situations, particularly with regard to the recovery process. This review highlights relevant self-regulation skills and provides a brief overview of theories, research findings, and practical recommendations regarding self-regulation and recovery in sport and exercise. Recovery self-regulation is defined as the act of identifying one's current state, one's desired future state and undertaking actions to minimize the discrepancy between both states during the recovery phase (e.g., between training sessions or competitions). Several self-regulation skills relevant to this process are discussed in the current review. First, self-monitoring is a central self-regulatory skill for successfully regulating post-performance states. Second, there is an important role for the regulation of cognition and emotion as complete recovery is only accomplished when both physical and mental resources are replenished. Specifically, detachment and mental rest (i.e., ceasing cognitive effort) enable athletes to restore depleted resources. Finally, self-control is often required to initiate appropriate, and sometimes effortful, recovery activities. That is, athletes may have to exert self-control to undertake activities, particularly when they are tired, stressed, or in a negative mood. Developing recovery self-regulation skills will likely benefit athletes’ physical and mental recovery from training and competition, which can have positive effects on long-term health, well-being, and performance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Englert, Christoph


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education








Christoph Englert

Date Deposited:

27 Feb 2020 16:28

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2020 03:42

Publisher DOI:





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