Athletes commit to off-seasons

Being an athlete is more than just knowing how to play a sport. It’s more than just being good during the season.

Being an athlete means using certain tactics in the off-season.

Off-season training is one area where athletes can get a tremendous bang for their buck. In the off-season, athletes tend to focus on improving foundational movement patterns and general strength and conditioning.

Football coach Brad Remmert said, “Most work should be done in the off-season to build up strength and intensity coming into the season better than before.  Athletes use the off-season to get work done that can not be focused on during the season as much because of games and practices.”

Most off-seasons allow athletes to compete at a high level of training to stay in shape. The improvement of general strength creates the potential to sprint faster, jump higher and throw harder during the competitive season.

Athletes simply cannot build these qualities in the middle of a competitive season. Instead, they must build these qualities in the off-season so they can be expressed during the competitive season.

Senior ice hockey player Beau Cook spends most of his time at Key West Fitness on the off-season. He said, “I usually lift a lot to build more muscle and increase my strength. It is important to stay in shape in order to be successful next season. I like to improve my hockey skills by shooting and stickhandling pucks in my basement as well.”

In the off-season, recovering physically and mentally is a huge factor. To prevent injuries, most athletes take care of their bodies by not over lifting and by eating right. Having an important diet is key to staying in shape and setting the balance to a healthy lifestyle. Sticking to a routine workout and diet could help the body’s process of developing muscle mass.

Many college coaches provide their athletes with pre-season workouts in order to come into the season prepared and in shape. A senior on his way to play Division 1 collegiate football, Rayce Willett, has already started preparing for his next season. “I have been to camps where I am able to develop skills over fundamentals by coaches that are very experienced. Staying in shape is especially important. In my junior year I was not in shape at all, but then I started training more and losing weight in order to come into my senior season in shape.”

When taking time to train in the off-season, it is not only about lifting and getting stronger, it is also the mental aspect of training. Junior Megan Bradford trains for a purpose, not only for the physical aspect, but for the mental drive as well. “I don’t work out only to stay in shape. I work out to mentally feel better and to start my day off in the right way. The key to staying committed to working out is having an end goal and a motivating support system around you to push you even further than you thought you could go,” she said.

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