I’m a big believer in in-season training. If you have read any of my stuff, you know I think it is crucial to the success of your sport team.
Let me be clear, I believe in-season lifting is a must. In-season lifting though is probably geared for your older athletes. Definitely high school and maybe 8th grade if they have had prior experience.
I do feel that in-season plyos and acceleration work is important, but for the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to talk about in-season lifting.
The main problem that coaches or parents have about in-season training is not the philosophy of it, but the lack of time. They all feel that it would be beneficial, but they can’t figure out how to get the extra time in to do it.
First, let’s explore what happens when you stop doing all that awesome training you were doing up until your season started.
You were lifting hard, doing your plyos, and agility work, then the season started. Coach said you would continue that, but ultimately you don’t. You just completely stop lifting and shift into practices. Have to work on your game right?
The problem that happens is that you start getting weaker and maybe a little slower. You don’t really notice it because the majority of other teams have also stopped lifting, but what could be an advantage to you just slips away.
After about 4 weeks of not lifting, you start losing strength fast. Is that what you want as you move into the heart of your season?
Now that we’ve laid the groundwork that you need to keep lifting to keep your strength and speed at its highest point for as long as you can, let’s attack the problem. My solution would be not to try and find extra time, but how to carve out time out of your existing practice weekly schedule.
At the minimum, you need to lift once a week and to be most effective, twice. You need to focus on quality not quantity. So, the workout should be short and sweet and to the point.
That being said, find the time in your practices and carve the lifting out of your normal practice time. Consequently, you will be making practice shorter so you have to be more efficient with your practices. Get to the point and then get them out of there to recover.
With the extra time you carve out of practice, either get them lifting at the school weight room or allow them to go see their personal strength coach. But, use that newfound time for keeping the strength and speed you gained in the off-season.
It might not be the most popular opinion, but kids these days have shorter attention spans. Keep them focused in practice for a shorter duration. Move on to the lifting, keeping that short and sweet, then get them home.
If you lose, lose because of a better, more talented team, not because you have become a weaker and slower team and can’t execute properly.