In sports you may have heard a comment like “they look like they’re getting stronger as the season goes on!” As we all know sports take a toll on the body and it’s pretty difficult to get stronger during the season. What you notice by those who appear stronger late in the year is a better ability to maintain their off season form.
These athletes aren’t getting stronger as the season goes on, they are just breaking down slower than their opponents, giving the appearance that they are getting stronger. I highly doubt anyone adds 20 pounds to their bench press during the season. The question coaches need to answer is; how do you keep your athletes performing at a high level throughout an entire season? The answer is a proper in season strength training program. Notice I said a proper program because a bad program will do more harm than good. Here are some reasons why coaches need to install a proper in season strength program.
1) Injury Prevention – You have the most talented players with the best coaches with an elite game plan but if you’re athletes are always injured, you won’t have a great team. A common theme with championships teams is that they usually are the healthiest team left. A solid in season strength program can ensure that proper muscles are being worked and activated to prevent many common injuries. I’m a firm believer in corrective exercise, especially during in season training. When muscles get out of balance, an injury is likely to occur. By working on getting the proper muscles firing when they’re supposed to and the kinetic chain working as one, you decrease the risk of injuries.
2) Strength and Conditioning Maintenance – Once again, you can have a great off season, filled with great strides made in the off season but all that will go away half way through the season if you don’t have an in season program established. A science based in season program will make sure that your team will maintain most of their off season gains. This is what you want and what will separate your team at the end of the season. You want to ensure that the brutality of a long season is having a minimal effect on your players. This is a great way to be a step ahead of your opponents late in the season for the late playoff push and extended run in the playoffs.
3) Improved Recovery From Games – One very overlooked component of training by coaches is the recovery aspect. Many coaches believe in pounding the mess out of their player with no regards to recovery. If you’re not recovered from the previous game, it will be very hard to perform at a high level for the next game. Strength training immediately after a game can actually improve the athlete’s recovery, priming him for the next game. If a player is constantly being beaten down by coaches and games, it’s only a matter of time where their performance drops or they become injured. The athletes who recovery faster will perform better late in games and late in the season as well.
Coaches these are 3 reasons why you need a good science based in season program for your athletes. I suggest consultating with a certified strength and conditioning coach or performance enhancement specialist to get a proper program established for your athletes. While in season training is very important, the wrong type of program will do more harm than good. For more information on off season training email us at JR@accelerationpro.com