Use the off-season to build and to restore

Training during the season varies from training during the off-season.  What you’re able to do, or the type of training you should be doing should be different in the off-season.  Depending on your season you won’t have the time to allow your body to recover between games.  At the same time, you want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it, and putting your body at risk for overuse injuries.  The off-season is a great opportunity to give yourself a break and mix up your routine.

Ideally a team or individual should work with or at least consult with a personal trainer, or strength coach.  These professionals have the education and knowledge to help you and your team reach their max potential in time for the season.  The result of this training will hopefully allow you or your team the ability to show measurable increases in a variety of areas.  In many cases simply consulting with a certified strength professional will allow you to develop a plan to achieve your goals.

Most coaches will have a general idea of where their players stand regarding physical fitness.  However, it’s helpful to have a baseline in which to effectively track player development.  Within the fitness plan there should be check points along the way to evaluate the progress each player is making, and if needed make necessary adjustments to the plan to meet those goals.  In the off-season, it’s recommended that teams spend time away from the sport played.  In many cases it is encouraged that players spend time playing other sports to help develop different muscles.  This not only gives players a well needed break from playing their designated sport, but also helps to rejuvenate the player beyond the physical.

How a player or team chooses to develop during the off-season will vary based on many factors.  In some ways, the opportunity to give players rest is valuable at all ages; though a player looking to prepare for the next step in their playing career will likely need to seek out private instruction to meet the new demands.  While not everyone can afford this as an option with a litany of fitness programs available online the amount of resources available can help guide players in the direction they want to go.

After a long season, it’s important that players and coaches utilize the off-season to rest, restore, improve, and prepare for the next season.  What are you doing to prepare?

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