In season workouts for sports
Do you train for the first game of the year or the last?
I know the question seems rhetorical, when it truth, I feel it’s a very valid statement.
How many athletes train with the intent of improving their performance across their competitive season? Taking a straw poll among the 100 or so High school athletes I have worked with over the summer, less than 25 have a program in place from their team or themselves during the season.
This begs the question – are coaches more concerned with the first game or the last game? It’s fair to say every single team in every single sport has the same goal week 1 day 1 of the pre-season or camp; win a championship.
If that’s the case, then why don’t we ensure that our athletes, players, competitors are prepared physically for the end of the year; especially when the end of the year is the most important part of the season?
If you think I am simply patronizing the competitive sports world, I promise I’m not. I am just trying to gain insight into the thought process of most competitive teams.
Let’s use the sport I am most familiar with as an example – football. The high school football season is 9 weeks long, or 12 weeks, if you include camp. Assuming you exercise regularly, how much progress do you think you would lose if you took 12 weeks off? Now accelerate that by beating yourself up on a regular basis through the demands of football games?
I could use several different sports as analogies to make this same argument, but the fact is, in-season training is just as important as off-season. I wouldn’t dare suggest it should be as aggressive, but I do think it’s equally as important.
Of course there will be some inevitable muscle soreness, which in my experience, is the number one reason that many coaches discourage in-season training. To the coaches that make this argument, ask yourself this – do you think your team has the same work capacity after a 12 week season as they did day 1? I suspect your answer would be no – but what if it could be no for the opposite reason – what if your team was stronger, faster, healthier and in better physical condition for the last week of the season? Would you trade it for some muscle soreness for Wednesday’s practice?
I promise it will be gone by game time on Friday.
Until next time,