For athletes and coaches, the off season is the time to refresh, recharge, and work hard to make the next season even better than the previous one. A big component of that is weight training and fitness. The stamina and strength that was used on the field in the fall needs to be nurtured in the off season now so athletes don’t back track. We’ve rounded up five tips for maintaining athlete endurance during the off season.
1. Establish athlete endurance-focused goals
The very first thing to do in starting an effective off season is to set personal, specific goals. The goals should come from a combination of coaches, staff, and the individual athlete. Goals can be anything from losing/gaining weight to improving certain techniques specific to the athlete’s position. Once goals are established, it provides a foundation on which to grow and a path to follow for maintaining athlete endurance over the course of the next six months.
2. Address injuries or weaknesses from the season and recover
After goals are set, it’s time to address any injuries or issues from the season. Whether it’s a torn ACL, a nagging hamstring issue, or muscle imbalances, spend the necessary time dealing with it. This will not only help build more strength in the off season, but it will help prevent further injuries from happening during the season. Also, remember that recovery is important! Allow the body to rest, if that’s what it needs.
3. Work on strength training
Now that goals are set and injuries are healed, it’s time to focus on continuing the strength from last season and building on it. Strength training provides a number of benefits to athletes. Primarily, it allows for growth and muscle development. Consider switching up various types of strength training throughout the off season to maximize the benefits and see specific physical changes in an athlete’s body.
4. Dive into speed and agility training
Speed and agility training goes hand in hand with strength training. When combined, you will see the strongest benefits in terms of athlete endurance. Speed training can help with both endurance on the field and ability to change directions quickly, make cuts, and more. Agility training is more specific to positions played. This includes all elements of movement that a player might perform in a game. Together, speed and agility training helps athletes function at a fast speed while still exerting force and making plays.
5. Nutrition plays an important role in athlete endurance
It might seem easy to slack off on nutrition in the off season, but that will only do the body a disservice and make it that much harder to see results. Continue incorporating a high protein diet with the necessary vitamins, nutrients, carbs and fats, but allow for a little bit of wiggle room to enjoy more of the foods that might slow a player down during the season. The 80/20 is a good rule of thumb here, unless goals are to gain or lose weight – then do something specific to that goal.
The next few months will determine the level of success that will be seen on the football field this fall. Follow these guidelines for a productive off season and come back stronger than ever. If you are looking for new additions to your team’s weight room, check out our products.