At T3, our athletes will make significant gains during the off-season. As they transition to a full practice schedule, it is imperative that they continue an in-season training program. Missing out on in-season training means that most of the gains made in the off-season will be lost. This leads to decreases in performance and a greater risk for injury. Training in-season can also bridge the gap before the next off-season. This way they are not starting from scratch and can make even greater gains in strength and performance the following off-season. Our in-season program is not just a maintenance program. It is designed to build strength so our athletes are peaking come tournament/playoff time. It includes higher volumes of recovery and flexibility work to combat the workload of in-season practices.
Reasons For In-Season Training:
1. Most Athletes Play Sports Year Round
Taking every in-season off and only training for 6 weeks between each season is not enough to develop sound movement mechanics. Proper movement mechanics is the bottom portion of the T3 Pyramid of Athleticism because it is essential to building speed, strength, explosive power, and ultimately to improve skill.
2. Playing Your Sport Will Not Maintain Your Strength, Speed, and Power
Many athletes and coaches think that playing their sport will develop or maintain the strength and speed that the athlete needs in order to perform at their optimal level. This theory has been tested by many researchers and proven false. Faigenbaum (1) found significant decreases in upper body strength, flexibility, lower body power, and agility when 28 college football players were studied during their 16 week competitive season. The same study showed strength decreases in 12 year old boys and girls averaging 19.3% in the upper body and 28.1% in the lower body after taking time off, following an 8 week strength program.
3. You Need To Actively Prevent Injuries
The volume of games and practices that an athlete encounters during their season can take a toll on the athlete's body. Training during the season can help to counter any muscle imbalances resulting from the repetitive motions that occur in many sports.
-Right and left leg strength differences that occur from kicking or jumping off of predominately one side.
-A weak posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) can occur when an athlete either isn't training or isn't focusing on the proper exercises. This can slow you down and lead to knee and hip injuries.
Athletes are also more likely to become injured in-season because they are not recovering properly. When recovery is not addressed in-season, athletes become fatigued during their practices or games and are more prone to injuries. A good in-season training program will include dynamic warmups, myo-fascial release, prehab exercises and rehab exercises to allow for adequate recovery and active injury prevention.
"Youth resistance training: updated position statement paper from the national strength and conditioning association." Faigenbaum AD1, Kraemer WJ, Blimkie CJ. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Aug;23(5 Suppl):S60-79
"The Influence of In-Season Injury Prevention Training on Lower-Extremity Kinematics during Landing in Female Soccer Players". Pollard, Christine D. PhD, PT; Sigward, Susan M. PhD, ATC, PT; Ota, Susumu PT; Langford, Karen DPT; Powers, Christopher M. PhD, PT
Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2006 - Volume 16 - Issue 3 - pp 223-227