Your season is over, but there isn’t time to rest on your laurels. Successful teams aren’t afforded the time to pat themselves on the back or wallow in self-pity about underperformance, unfair calls or injuries. There are only so many days until the next season. Make the most of this time by avoiding these common offseason strength and conditioning mistakes.
Letting your athletes pick their workout routine
Have a plan and a purpose every time your team steps in to the weight room. If you let your athletes choose their own routine, most will not venture outside of their comfort zone and peak results will not be attained. A common routine is to focus on upper body one day, lower body another day, and then a full body to end out the week. Be sure to include core muscles with each routine to create a strong foundation. Using a dry erase schedule board is a great way to lock in your weekly routines and keep your athletes on track.
Making training sessions too long
Short, intense workouts will benefit your team rather than overdoing it. Depending on the intensity, shoot for 45-75 minutes. As the length of the workout increases, quality decreases and you run the risk of their bodies breaking down muscle for energy. Rather than rush players through 8-10 exercises in a short window, narrow your focus to the 4 or 5 that matter most. 45 minutes of a few well-chosen exercises done properly is far more effective than a 90-minute marathon.
Not educating athletes about poor nutritional habits
Nutrition is the fuel your body uses and needs to grow. Your athletes should know this, but do not make that assumption. Talk to your athletes about starting their day with a quality breakfast, discuss lunch options offered by the school, explain the benefits of a pre-workout meal/snack, and finally emphasize the importance of a balanced dinner to fuel recovery.
Ignoring opportunities to keep you athletes competing
Just because it is the offseason, it does not mean that your athletes cannot continue to compete. Top programs across the country make sure to divide their athletes into smaller groups to encourage teamwork and competition. Create opportunities for the different groups to battle it out. Some simple competition ideas could be attendance, strength gains, strength testing, agility testing, or even academic performance. A dry erase weight room record board is an easy way to increase the level of inter-team competition while working to improve offseason training habits.
Not monitoring and tracking progress
Write strength results down and post them on the wall. Check in with your athletes and review their performance and growth. By keeping track of results, you can provide feedback and set goals for each individual athlete. If you put each athlete’s name on the wall, they will know exactly where they stand compared to their peers. Whether it’s for the football team, track and field, or your wrestling program, there are a number of different strength record boards that could benefit any program in the offseason.
Team Fitz Graphics is a top supplier of strength record boards, coaches goal boards and weight room graphics to high school and college programs across the nation. Contact us today for more information and for a custom quote.