As a Strength and Conditioning Coach, I’ve always liken my job to that of a structural engineer: Drawing up the frame work, designing the structure from the grounds up while tackling the environmental and human variables, and ensuring functionality. Often, it is a simple and quick process that yields spectacular results. Other times, it can be a long and strenuous process of trial and error before the desired results ar e achieved. In either case, achieving top athletic performance requires a plan. Here is a simple and easy-to-follow plan to get you started.
Phase 1 – Planning (Post Season)
Length: 2-3 Weeks
Take time off to recharge your body. This is the time to get proper therapy and rest. Plan out your nutritional and training strategies and set performance goals for the entire year. This is also a good time to reflect on the previous season in a positive and constructive manner.
Phase 2 – The Foundation (Early Off-Season)
Length: 6-8 Weeks
Time to execute. Assess yourself physically to establish a baseline, find any imbalances in your body and locate performance gaps. Commit to 4-5 training sessions per week focusing on imbalances, mobilization, base strength, hypertrophy and core training.
Phase 3 – The Structure (Late Off-Season)
Length: 6-8 Weeks
Reassess yourself to identify any gaps in your training routine. Review your goals and make any necessary changes to your nutritional and training strategy. Continue to commit 4-5 training sessions per week focusing on power development, sport specific skills, and conditioning.
Phase 4 – Fine-Tuning (Pre-Season)
Length: 4-6 Weeks
Think Synergy! Everything that you’ve accomplish is coming together. This is the ultimate time to convert power to SAQ (Speed, Agility, Quickness) Commit to 3-4 training sessions per week focusing on skill execution, power, speed and agility development.
Phase 5 – Maintenance (In Season)
In order to maintain off-season gains, you must commit to at least two training sessions per week. Not only will you reduce potential injuries, but you will head into the next offseason ready to build on top of your previous gains. Athletes that stop training WILL lose strength, power and speed within 6 weeks of their season and increasing their chances for injury. In-season training is an integral part of elite athletics.
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