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Different Ways to Prepare for the Offseason


by Gwinn Nixon


Your school season is over and summer is fast approaching, the offseason for all high school athletics.  As you get ready for the sun and free time associated with having time off from school it’s also a good time to think about next year and what you can do to help prepare yourself for the increase in ability and responsibility on your team next year.  As you hear many people say, the season is where teams are made but the offseason is where individuals improve.  Here are a few of the ways that you can look at the offseason and get ready to take yourself to the next level.

1.  Rest your body: Your body is the only one you have and you need to take care of it.  While I am not saying that you should do nothing active at all, regular active activity is important, however you should take a short break from a rigorous athletic schedule to rest your body.  Let your body and mind rejuvenate and get refreshed.

2.  Pay attention to your nutrition: Especially when you are resting your body, it’s important to understand that your body weight is a function of calories taken in and calories expended.  When you stop intense training and competing, your calories expended will drop significantly and you cannot continue to slow down on your intake to account for this.  Know your body and your activity level to gauge what intake your body needs.

3.  Work on your weaknesses: Sit down and make a list on your abilities, strengths and weaknesses.  It’s important to know your game as well as your abilities.  Now that you have this list made you can prioritize where you concentrate your efforts when you train.  The offseason is incredibly important in helping make your weaknesses your strengths.  And when you come in next season with less or no weaknesses you will be that much better and prepared for next season.

4.  Play your sport: After your rest, you need to play your sport in some form.  Leagues, club team, and team camps are all good ways to keep playing and competing in your sport.  Continuing to play your sport is important so that you can stay in shape and keep the rust off of your team play while you are still training individual on skills.  It’s also a good chance for you to practice these skills in a game environment.

5.  Work on your Strength: The offseason is the perfect time to improve your strength as well.  This is where you need to concentrate on not only a proper weight training regimen, but also a proper nutrition intake.  To properly gain muscle you must intake more calories than you expend (generally around 500 more), a little extra protein is also important.  Another incredibly important aspect of your strength training is knowing what exercises are right for your body and sport as well as practicing the proper technique when lifting.  If you are using the improper technique when lifting you can end up injuring yourself unnecessarily, so knowing the proper techniques is an incredibly important part of your strength training.  http://www.stack.com/ is a good place to start that will help you in learning proper training techniques for your sport.  We also post a video every Wednesday highlighting videos from Stack for different sports.

Paying attention to these suggestions can help you in your goal to improve this offseason and come back more ready than ever to show off what you have done to better yourself as well as your game.  So get out there and have fun this offseason becoming a better player, and don’t forget to let us know how you have improved.

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