In-Season Training, or the Lack of It

July 2, 2008

Coming into the gym to train in-season isn’t at the top of very many athletes’ priority list. This is something I really believe is a problem in the “journey towards improved athletic performance”.

Many athletes can work admirably during the off-season, however once the in-season rolls around, they stop coming to train. So basically what has happened is that any gains the athlete made in their off-season training will be subject to the law of reversibility! Strength gains, power gains, and endurance gains will all decrease eventually to what they were at the beginning of the off-season.

This of course will be reflected on the field, court, or ice. Pitchers may end up with a “dead arm”, basketball and hockey players will “lose their legs” late in the season.

Unfortunately, at the end of the season is the playoffs; when most teams and players want to/expect to play their best. How can this occur if the athlete isn’t as strong or fast as they were at the start of the season?

Now the important thing about in-season training is that it is an ADDITIONAL stress in an often busy in-season competitive schedule (especially at higher levels), so to maintain aspects of fitness gained in the off-season, volume must be limited and intensity kept high. This way the athlete can recover from the training sessions instead of causing the athlete to become overtrained!

Looking at this from both sides though, I must wonder if part of this lack of in-season training is due to us trainers?? Are we making the training environment in the off-season FUN and ENJOYABLE?? If we are, the athletes might be more inclined to continue training in-season. This is definitely an area I focus on for this very reason (amongst others)!

There’s always mroe than one piece to the puzzle.

CB

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