There is a love/hate relationship between the off-season and an athlete. Yes, off-seasons give you time to relax, recover, and improve, but at the same time, you’re waiting for your sport season to start again, which can feel like it takes forever.
It may not seem like it, but the off-season is so important when it comes to sports. It is a time to recover from a full season of work, and prepare for the season ahead, both physically and mentally. It is a vital time for athletes to focus on bettering their own strength, skills, and knowledge of the game.
As we are almost to the half-way mark of summer, athletes of all ages are preparing for a fall or winter sport. Here are some off-season training tips to ensure you’re ready once your season starts.
The first, and most important thing you can do to start your off-season is to take a week or two off, and use that time to establish some goals. These goals should shine towards things you want to improve on, and will help hold you accountable in achieving them. It is easier to work hard for something meaningful, so establishing goals that are not only going to benefit you, but are something you want or care a lot about, will be beneficial throughout your whole off-season.
It is also very important to make sure your body and mind gets the recovery it needs during the off-season. Sport seasons can be very long, and both physically and mentally exhausting. Taking a couple weeks off to start your off-season is not a bad idea, however, taking more time off than that could turn around to hurt you.
Once you find that off-season routine, it is still important that your body and mind are getting the recovery they need, this includes getting ample amount of sleep. Sleep not only allows your body to recover, but gain as well. You want to make sure your mind and body are in the best shape possible once your season starts, so it is important to make this a focus while you’re training during the off-season.
Training programs differ from sport to sport, and everyone’s training program is going to look a little different. A lot of teams and individuals do sport specific training, which is essential in developing and bettering skill sets. However, there are other things every athlete can look to improve that will be beneficial once your season rolls around.
Core Stability: Working to improve the strength and stability of your core is one of the best things you can do. This will help you prevent injuries, as a strong core limits the amount of stress to your central joints.
Dynamic Flexibility: Improving your dynamic flexibility is something every athlete should work on. Dynamic flexibility is the ability to relax non-working muscles when you perform a sport movement so the muscles don’t resist the movement. Performing dynamic stretches with sport specific movements that allow your joints a full range of motion is one way athletes can improve on this.
Aerobic Capacity: Every sport requires a high oxygen rate when playing, which makes it super important to have strong aerobic capacity in your muscles. This is important in all training, but is especially important during the off-season.
Balance: All three of the above will inevitably help with your balance. Balance is necessary in any sport, and improving your balance is vital in becoming a better player.
Sport Specific Training
Sport specific training is something every athlete should be doing during the off-season, however, is more important as the off-season is coming to an end. Sport specific training helps athletes in developing muscle-memory, learning more about the game, and just overall becoming a better player. At Warren Academy, our sport specific training program is designed to teach the proper technique and fundamental skills needed to make plays and improve your game.
Your off-season should be spent by you becoming a better athlete, player, and teammate, but should also be fun. It is a time to not only get bigger, faster, and stronger, but prepare mentally for your upcoming season. Contact Warren Academy today with any questions regarding our sport specific training programs, or any of our training programs.