I will remember the first time it hit me. The time when I realized how important rest is. Vern Gambetta pointed out that it's not during the conditioning that we get better but during the rest after the conditioning where the adaptation takes place. This truth was HUGE for me to understand.
This week I've had to address the issue of rest and recovery in 2 completely different environments. The first environment is at the industrial facility where I work my full time job providing rehab and fitness programming. the individual is being seen post op shoulder debridement. Well on their own they have managed to turn a relatively simple rehab process into a much more complicated situation than it needed to be merely because they over worked the effected shoulder on the outside of rehab. I had to explain the reason why his RC is rebelling via spasm. Now that he has listened to me, the pain and spasm has decreased. Why? because of the appropriate rest.
In the second situation the DIII coach that I've been working with asked me, "My team looks like they are tired during practice and in games. What should I do?" My response, "Rest". I've made this mistake as an athlete myself. During the seaons isn't the time to get the players into game or tournament shape. This is why the off season is crucially important in developing those basic biomotor qualities of an athlete.