Thursday, March 27, 2008

Off Season 102

Hello Everyone!

This is part 2 of the Off Season mini-series, click here for part one.

Off Season 102
Move Forward, by Planning Backwards
Once your goals are defined, its important that you plan with the end in mind. If you're a basketball player, you know that you need to me in near "game ready" shape when October and Pre-Season roll around, and that being in "game-ready" shape in May will not win you a Conference Championship in March. That is why it is important to plan your off season backwards, starting with the end (in this case October).

Here's an example:
Collegiate Basketball Player (Main Goals: Increase Strength, Power, Speed, & Agility)
October: END Near "game-ready" shape.
September: 55% Strength & Power Work. 25% Speed & Agility Work. 20% Basketball Skill Work.
August: 80% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 10% Basketball Skill Work.
July: 85% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 5% Basketball Skill Work.
June: 85% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 5% Basketball Skill Work.
May: 90% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 0% Basketball Skill Work.
April: 90% Strength & Power Work. 10% Speed & Agility Work. 0% Basketball Skill Work.

Now I am sure most of you are reading that and thinking, "she's crazy!". Let me explain, if your main goals are to improve Strength, Power, Speed & Agility (meaning your basketball skills are up to par) then you need to make those the focus of your off season.

You may also wonder why Speed & Agility work is so low, the reason being that one of the best ways to improve your speed is by becoming stronger & more powerful. There are many research articles you can read on that subject if you have your doubts.

It is also worth noting that Speed, Agility, and Basketball Skill Work mainly increase only a month before the END. The main reasons for this are 1) it takes a lot longer to develop and improve strength and power. Basic exercise physiology states that the first 6-8 weeks of training lead to mainly neuromuscular adaptations (more nerves firing in more muscles, this is really important for power development), only after that does the body start making muscular changes (increase in size which assists in increases in strength) and 2) it does not take long for the body to adapt into better levels of cardiovascular conditioning. In fact, many suggest it takes only about 4 weeks to greatly improve one's level.

Stay tuned for more Off Season info!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Off Season 101

Hello Everyone!

For the athletes out there, I want to provide a few quick tips that could go a long way into making your off-season an exceptional time to grow, improve, and most importantly help you reach your athletic goals.

Off Season 101
1.) Get Healthy
If you have some type of injury your first and most important goal is to get healthy! Take advantage of your resources; athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, doctors, strength & conditioning coaches, etc. and let them help you heal. Ignoring an injury will not make it go away, take advantage of your off-season (when you are not playing competitively) and get your body balanced and healthy.

2.) Set, Write, & Plan Your Goals
Everyone has heard the old saying, "Failure to plan, is planning to fail." Before your first off-season training session you should have all of your athletic goals defined and written out.
Personal Playing Career Goals: more playing time, faster, stronger, more competitiveness, jump higher, quicker agility...
Team Goals: win conference championship, improve overall record...
Personal Goals: eat better, more sleep...

3.) Individualize Your Off Season
Building off of #2, take some time to find out what your weaknesses are. Look critically at yourself. What areas do you need to improve? Be honest. You do not want to spend your off season getting better at things you are already good at when you could be completing yourself as a player by improving your weaknesses. Also ask those around you what your weaknesses are. Ask your coaches, athletic trainers, teammates, and strength & conditioning coaches to honestly tell you where you need to improve. Once your weaknesses are defined you can then develop the best plan of action that will turn your weak points into your strengths!

Stay tuned for more Off Season 101!

Keep Training!
Coach Amanda Haren