The Thought Process Behind an In Season and
Off-Season Training Program
Example 1 –
The In Season athlete that practices and plays games 5-6 days/week.
The purpose of this athletes program is on recovery and restoration 1 to 2 days/week. Many athletes and parents feel that because the athlete is In-Season they don’t want to get wore out with more training. This is NOT the purpose of In-Season training and is actually totally opposite to what one thinks. The training is much different than what was done in the Off-Season and Pre-Season phases. The wear and tear of daily practices can breakdown muscle tissue causing soreness and mental and physical fatigue. The goal with In-Season training during the week is to reduce soreness, speed muscle recovery, maintain the gains made in the Off-Season and Pre-Season and enable the athlete to perform at a higher level towards the end of the season when it counts the most. Educating athletes on proper nutritional intake during this time is essential to speed muscle recovery, keep energy levels high and reduce injury risks.
Example 2 –
The Off-Season athlete that lifts weights 3 to 4 days/week and does general conditioning.
Strength training is one branch on the big tree of performance and too many athletes get hung up on strength training to become a better athlete. Strength is very important to the overall development of the athlete but it needs to be complimented with the right speed, power, agility, movement mechanics and core training program in order to flourish the gains onto the playing field. Being “weight room” strong and “sport strong” are very different. About 40% of our program is strength training and the other 60% is spent breaking down movement patterns, working on running/agility mechanics, acceleration, power, dynamic balance specific to the individual needs of the athlete. We recently worked with a team that had some great strength numbers on paper………..300lb squat, 250 lb power clean, 250lb bench press but they couldn’t translate that strength into explosive speed because their joints were so restricted from poor strength training form, poor exercise selection and too much weight too soon. These athletes were never taught proper movement mechanics, how to transfer their weight and how to strength train properly during the Off-Season, In Season, and Preseason. All of these variables need to be “modified” and “tailored” to the individual needs of the athlete in order to develop into a true athlete.