It is the time of year when the winter sports begin to wind up, finals series begin, major and minor premiers are decided, and the long awaited post season is just around the corner. The time for both parents and athletes to switch out of season mode and into the “off season”. Looking with anticipation toward the new schedule including weeknights without training, weekends without games, and a chance for everyone to look back and reflect on the season past.
What many athletes don’t recognize is that this is also the perfect time to begin looking toward the next season. Whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior in the sporting domain, there are numerous advantages to preparation in the off-season that can prevent those stubborn season hindering injuries.
- Firstly, look at training as a yearlong cycle. The off-season is a time to build the power and muscle lost throughout the season. A chance to be bigger, faster, and stronger coming into a new season.
- Start with the basics. Too often the athlete is focused on developing strength, and lifting too heavy, too quickly. Some basic questions must be asked; does the athlete qualify to perform the exercise? Is the athlete structurally sound? It is important to incorporate single side (unilateral) movements, (i.e. step ups and split squats), that ensure the athlete is structurally balanced and ultimately providing the best base for strength development.
- Focus on the compound movements, squatting, bench pressing, deadlifting; these are the movements that build the basis of our mass and power. Strength is our platform for all other movements we perform.
- Once the strength platform is developed, we can use it to build on the basic specific motor skills and develop athletically efficient movements. Movements such as jumping and landing, acceleration and deceleration, speed and agility, as these are the skills that express these strength measures during game time.
- Mobility and flexibility are just as important as strength. These are the areas we see causing problems in many athletes. Through habitual stretching and joint mobility work, injuries can be prevented before they happen, rather than after the 6 painful weeks sitting on the sidelines.
- “Preparation is key” We have heard this statement time after time, but in reality, that’s what it comes down to. If the body is prepared to handle the stresses of the season, the athlete will have the ability to recover faster and perform better.
At Performance Personal training, we understand what its like to perform at your best and what it takes to be bigger, faster and stronger. Contact us for short and long term sport specific programs, and be the one at the front of the pack as you enter your next pre season.
“The only time success comes before work, is in the dictionary”