Getting stronger has to be one of the most common, overstated goals for young athletes during the off-season. Something about the bragging rights of saying “I hit XXX on my ________(insert lift/exercise)” can be very satisfying in the short term.
But at what cost?
Is it worth losing mobility, speed, power or quality of movement in pursuit of increasing your PR?
During a recent conversation with an athlete, shared that they had gained 30+ pounds during the offseason and their 40-meter time increased by 0.5 seconds in the process. The following season they felt slower, out of position and, no surprise, out of shape.
Now, if you’re thinking “What kind of strength coach does not want you to get stronger?”, that’s not the case at all. It’s more about building that strength on a solid foundation of maintaining a healthy body weight, good/full range of motion and still keeping the speed, power and acceleration you need to compete.
Being able to work with experienced veterans is something I am extremely grateful for in my coaching journey. Talk to most of them about their off-season goals and they’re focused on recovery, overcoming small tweaks and getting back to smooth pain-free movement. Rather than being in the weight room 4-5 days a week, they may incorporate more yoga, pilates, cross training (swimming, cycling, etc) as a way to open up their body for more free movement.
Here’s a few tips on how to increase your availability to play (reduced injuries) and improve the quality of your overall movement/performance:
* Make mobility and recovery a regular thing, not just a “when I’m hurt” thing
* Add strength to a solid foundation of smooth, safe technique
* Keep up good habits with nutrition, sleep and mindset
* Remember, being an athlete is a lifestyle not a goal. Play the long game to make sure you have as much of that time as possible enjoying the game as pain-free as possible.
Curious how to make that work for you? Send me an email and I’ll be more than happy to chat about ways to maximize your training to fit within your annual calendar.
Yours in Health & Performance,