As baseball and softball fall seasons are coming to an end here in the North East United States the off-season is upon us. How did your season go? Did you get injured? Did you accomplish or progress the way you wanted? If so, great. If not, then now is the time to start not only thinking but planning for next season. Either way, you need a plan. This post is an overview of a multi-faceted approach to address all of your training needs. So, if you’re interested in making your nest season the best season yet then please read on.
- As soon as you finish your last game of the season begins with a baseball/softball fast. Meaning do not throw a baseball or softball for at least one month. It is also advisable to not swing a bat more than maybe one session per week. Why avoid these activities for at least one month? Recovery! Baseball and softball like so many sports today have basically become year-round sports. A negative consequence of this is overuse injuries on the rise, muscle and flexibility imbalances, and burnout just to name a few. By taking a well-deserved break you allow your body to recover from overuse and can spend the time training in the weight room to fix the muscle and flexibility imbalances, improve physical qualities such as, strength, power, speed etc. which will improve performance and alleviate mental burn out.
- Begin off-season strength and conditioning with a General Preparation Phase (G.P.P.). The purpose of this phase is to correct strength and flexibility imbalances between muscle groups. Strengthen weak areas. Address any chronic or acute injuries. Improve mobility. Build a strong foundation for more advanced and sport specific training to come in the next few months before the season. This can not only help reduce the risk of potential injuries but lessen the severity and speed the recovery of an injury were to occur. It is important to realize that each athlete’s individual needs are different. Having a properly designed program that addresses and intelligently progresses the athlete is imperative.
- Nutrition/Body Composition. One of the most neglected areas in health, training, and sports is nutrition. Athletes push their body to the limits day after day yet fail to provide the quality nutrients their body needs to recover and excel by eating crap. The off-season is the perfect time to get your eating on track by establishing the habits necessary for long-term success. Make sure whichever coach you are working with can help you by providing nutrition guidelines or plan.