Unlocking Peak Performance: Why not training in season is stunting your growth

Unlocking Peak Performance: Why not training in season is stunting your growth

No one ever argues whether or not an athlete needs to train during their offseason. However, once a competition season begins, training is often one of the first things neglected or omitted. A common misconception prevails that there isn't enough time to train during the season as one cannot follow the same routine as in the offseason. Contrary to this belief, every high-level athlete and program makes it a priority to train in-season, making adjustments in terms of intent, volume, and intensity of workouts.

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Adjusting Priorities for Varied Schedules

Your game and practice schedule may vary week to week, and your training schedule should, or will, change accordingly. The main priorities during the season include recovering from stress, reducing drop-offs of strength and power, and maintaining joint/tendon/ligament health. In this article, we aim to debunk the common misconception that in-season training is a luxury reserved for the offseason. Instead, we delve into why every high-level athlete and program prioritizes training even when the stakes are high.

Overcoming Time Constraints

One prevailing misconception that plagues the athletic community is the belief that time constraints during the competition season make consistent training impossible. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. While dedicating 90 minutes to training might not be feasible, athletes need to adopt the approach that doing something is always better than doing nothing. A 20-30 minute highly focused training session is ample time to create some level of adaptation. The goal is consistency, aiming for 3-4 workouts per week.

Strategic Adjustments for In-Season Success

In-season training isn't about replicating the intensity and volume of offseason workouts; it's about making strategic adjustments. High-level athletes and programs recognize the need to modify the intent, volume, and intensity of their workouts to align with the demands of the competition season. This involves a fluctuation of high and lower intensity training days to match the daily activity in the sport. Game days generally call for high intent and are matched with high-intensity workouts, while certain practices or off days are lower intensity and should be matched accordingly. If your schedule varies week to week, then your workouts need to be flexible to make the necessary adjustments.

Comprehensive Approach to Student-Athlete Well-being

Training during the season is essential for student-athletes, focusing on specific priorities vital for their overall performance. It goes beyond physical conditioning, understanding the various stresses that come with being a student-athlete, including sports, academics, and personal commitments. With a demanding schedule, a customized approach is necessary to prevent a decline in strength and power while also caring for joints and overall health. In this context, in-season training becomes a comprehensive effort, addressing not only physical conditioning but also the broader well-being of the athlete.