Work begins in the offseason
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For an athlete, the most important time period is the offseason. This is where all the preparation happens, leading up to success on the field. NFL Hall of Fame Coach George Allen said, “What you do during the offseason determines what you do during the regular season”. Coach Allen never had a losing season and he credits his off-season plans to his success.
The first step to any season is planning. Start by asking yourself, “What do I want to get out of my season and where do I start?” Next, create a plan for success by meeting with your coach and formulating your goals for the upcoming season. Coaches can give you the best advice when it comes to planning workouts for you to improve your skills.
The next step in the planning phase is to set up a work schedule. Make a schedule so that each week you know what you’re going to accomplish. Your schedule needs to consist of skill work, conditioning, and weightlifting.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play, weight training makes you a stronger, faster and a better conditioned athlete. Be sure to vary your workout with skill work and weight training using various intensity levels to improve on strength and endurance. This plan will deliver a huge pay-back. Also, it’s common knowledge that well conditioned athletes are less injury prone and also recover faster so proper conditioning is important.
Whether you choose to weight train in your basement, your local school, or an upscale fitness center, choose a place that is comfortable for you. Working out is advised 2 to 5 times per week, while strength training only 2 to 3 of those times. Plan your workouts focusing on strength and speed. Top trainers will tell you that “muscles have two fiber types – fast twitch for muscle speed and slow twitch for muscle strength”-Dr. Larry Van Such. It’s important to focus on both types of muscle training if you want to be a dynamic athlete on the field.
Smartphone Apps can be a great tool for helping out with your workout plan and scheduling. They even give pointers on proper form and technique. A great free app to use is Strong.
Another great motivator for the offseason is to form a workout group. You’ll be able to support and motivate each other to get out there and practice. As a leader, coaching is also a great personal motivator and very satisfying. Pulling younger athletes into the group will help to invigorate everyone and you’ll also be surprised by how much it will benefit your own skills as well, as you look to improve yourself and your team.
Off-season training improves skills, conditioning, recovery, attitude and overall enjoyment of your sport. Jack Byrne, senior athlete says, “Everyday, you wake up, and you have a choice: to better yourself, or not. And you better bet somebody else out there is gonna seize that chance”. Good words, if you plan to be a winner.