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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  1. Myofascial/Soft tissue management. Once of the most common causes of injuries is overuse. This is the action of repeating specific movements repeatedly, day after day, week after week etc. Over time this leads to the development of adhesion’s and scar tissue. This tissue becomes weak, loses texture and flexibility and eventually leads to injury. The other way scar tissue is developed is acutely. For e.g. Getting hit by a pitch. Diving for a ball and landing on your shoulder the wring way. Pulling a hamstring etc. While you are giving your body a rest during the off-season NOW is the perfect time to address and take care of your soft tissue. (muscles, ligaments, tendons etc. By doing this now you will not only be able to perform your best the coming season but decrease the risk of future injuries. To do this I recommend seeking out specialists in physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, etc. Mae sure they are fluent in modalities such as, Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, and one of the most effective modalities I have learned so far. Voila! (www.voilamethod.com) Other great modalities are the Cold Laser and frequency specific micro current.
  2. See a sports psychologist. So much of sport and everyday life is mental. If you have been having mental road blocks, been in a slump, burned out etc. a good sport psychologist could be just what you need. If you get your mind right, you will get your game right.
  3. In-season Maintenance. Once the season begins it is important to continue strength, conditioning, nutrition, soft tissue etc. One of the biggest mistakes (and most aggravating things I see) are athletes that work their asses off all off-season and make significant gains suddenly stop training all together once the season starts. Strength, speed, power, flexibility etc. are just like any other skill. You need to continually train them, or they will regress. What is the use of getting all strong, fast and powerful in the off-season only to lose most of those gains 1-2 months into the season. Then you will not have these skills when you need them most. In the playoffs and championships. In season maintenance can be done in one 60-90-minute training session per week. This is all it takes to maintain most results gained in the off-season.

So, there you have it. A comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to proper off-season training. If you approach your off-season on this way you will be amazed at the results you will see next season. Do your research before hiring a coach. If you would like our help give s a call 973-227-2873. We would love to help you.

 

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