Between challenging academics and intense athletic schedules, burnout can be a serious problem for both high school and college athletes. When the season runs long or the wins aren’t stacking up, harder training is not always the answer. Sometimes the best way to get out of a slump is to diversify the day-to-day monotony with something fresh and new. Here are five ways to wake up a lethargic team.
1. KEEP IT FRESH DURING PRACTICE
After a long season, adding variety to the training plan is the best way to avoid lethargy. Skip the Saturday morning stadiums and 10k steady state and plan a practice at a local boxing gym, crossfit hotspot or even a yoga studio. Taking athletes out of their normal routines will help energize and refocus the team.
2. SCHEDULE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Team building activities can be extremely valuable for overall team morale. Plan an outing to a ropes course or host a volunteer event to inspire camaraderie and teamwork on and off the field. Make the most out of your outing by randomizing groups based on position and seniority to bring team members together who don't typically interact at practice.
3. WATCH FILMS OF INSPIRATIONAL WINS
When the championship feels far away, sometimes the athletes need to remember what it feels like to win. Reliving the glory days and learning from wins of the past can ignite the fire within each player.
Consider watching professional or olympic film to showcase exemplary form, technical expertise and strategic plays. Top off the day with a field trip through the school’s athletic hall of fame to remind the players of the rich heritage. Make a lasting impression with upgrades from our state-of-the-art hall of fame line up.
4. PROMOTE INTER-TEAM COMPETITION
Competition among team members is something that brings a spark back to training and energizes your team moving forward. One easy way to develop some friendly competition is to use a dry erase strength record board. Easily separate out the different lifts and start tracking the current leaders. This will motivate your athletes to work their hardest during every lifting session.
5. GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Ask the question. What’s causing the lack of energy? While exhaustion are part of athletics, it is important to note if the shift in energy is abnormal. If it’s a typical mid-season low, the activities above may be all they need to refresh and reset.
If the stress-levels are above average, set your athletes up for success by consulting with the sports psychologist or counseling resources. Just like physical injuries, symptoms of mental health ailments should not be ignored. Once you have identified the issue, get your team back on track and back to the energy that is required to succeed.