The signs of spring are ringing true here in the Chicagoland Area; opening night of baseball is coming up, march madness is underway, and snow is on the ground...
At HPI we have a ton of spring athletes, from baseball and softball, to lacrosse and soccer. So yesterday we began a new program for our High School athletes called In-season Elite Recovery. The whole purpose is to do our part to keep them healthy and competing.
Starting this program yesterday got me thinking in general about In-season training, and so I want to use the opportunity to start an educational series discussing the ins-and-outs of this type of training.
When done right, it goes a long way in not just helping athletes reduce their risk of injury and stay healthy, but also towards helping their overall performance. While teammates next to them might lose stuff, the athlete's that train appropriately during the season will minimize their losses in performance, and even make small gains.
However there are two big mistakes athlete's, trainers, coaches, and parents make with in-season training and that's what I want to briefly touch on.
Mistake 1: Not doing anything - Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that, because we're in-season, we're doing enough and we don't need to do anything else. Sometimes we feel "too busy" or "tired" to do anything outside of games and practice.
These are all huge mistakes. In the off-season our athletes make huge gains in movement, strength and conditioning. These are three qualities that need to be the foundation of an athletes career. When an athlete doesn't do anything to maintain them, they often come back to us with dismal numbers in their screens and test, and we have to virtually start all over.
Truth is it doesn't take much to maintain a level of fitness and performance. When training is approached correctly athlete's will find it doesn't take too much time or energy to maintain what they've achieved in the off season.
Mistake 2: Doing too much - To the extent of what I discussed in the above paragraph. An athlete's schedule is a lot busier and more demanding once the season starts. If you do too much or try to train like you did during the off-season then you're truly hindering your recovery. And recovery is of utmost importance when it comes to being in-season.
So as you can see, it's important to find a happy medium especially when coming to in-season training. And the next few blogs will discuss strategies and methods to achieve that balance.