You really CAN achieve anything, as long as you have the right tools.
The right physical tools, the right mindset, the right attitude and the right support. While we can help you with all of that, we’re going to focus on the right physical tools here.
No matter your sport, or combination of sports, there SHOULD be a method to your training schedule…this is called ‘periodization.’ In case you were wondering a little more about it, here’s a great article:
Essential to all athletes is an off-season program and year-round conditioning program. Athletes are often too late coming to the realization that they cannot expect to get in shape right before pre-season training without having a high risk of injury. Athletes should progress gradually in their conditioning so that they are not doing anything “too hard”, “too fast”, too far”, “too quickly”, predisposing themselves to injury.
Off-season conditioning programs should address conditioning, strength training and flexibility. During the off-season, the exercise program is at a lower level, thus allowing tissue healing; and the program should peak right before the competitive season. A structured program should be followed for the greatest benefit. A year-round program helps to prevent injury and a maintenance program helps to prevent recurrence. The training program should follow an interval fashion and should be formulated so that the athlete reaches peak fitness during the competitive season, or periodization.
Conditioning needs to be approached with the same motivation and organization as the competitive season. Without proper conditioning, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones are more likely to suffer injury. A lack of conditioning contributes to poor performance and inconsistency. Proper conditioning cannot, however, be obtained in the 4-5 weeks of preseason practice. A well-planned, year-round program is needed to minimize the risk of injury and prepare for peak performance during the competitive season.
A good program includes more than strength training, as muscle strength is only one requirement for performance. Flexibility, speed, power, muscle endurance, aerobic/anaerobic capacity, agility and coordination/skill training are also components of a good conditioning program. In addition, the athlete must pay attention to nutrition and mental preparation. Here are some good components to adhere to:
1. It is important that the core of the body—thighs, hips, trunk, shoulder—be strong to provide a stable base for movement and reduce stress on the body.
2. Train for muscular balance. Joint stability relies on the contradiction of muscles on both sides of the joint; therefore, a program which emphasizes only certain muscle groups leaves an athlete susceptible to injury. It is also important to train both sides of the body.
3. Train strength before power or endurance. A base level of strength must be achieved before power drills and muscle endurance exercises can be successfully initiated. Bodyweight exercises must be maximized before external focus is added.
4. Emphasize quality of exercise, not quantity. Few understand that the training stimulus must also be progressively and periodically varied. All programs have positive and negative aspects no matter how well designed or specific – too much time on one program and you’ll lose to the positive aspects and accumulate the negative aspects
5. Train for muscle endurance. Muscle endurance is critical for preventing injuries. Once muscles are fatigued, the stability of the joint is disturbed which may lead to a variety of injuries.
6. Although a conditioning program is used throughout the year, the concept of periodization should be implemented. Strength gains do not occur by muscle fibers becoming larger, instead, strength increases when the nervous system becomes more efficient at causing muscle fibers to contract.
We believe in dividing the sports year up into four different training phases. Our work begins depending on where we’ve acquired a team in relation to the competition season. Ideally, we like to begin work with a team during Phase I; however, we design our programs to encompass all four different training phases. Here is a periodization sample by phase:
Phase I Preparation Phase–Begins eight to twelve weeks before pre-season training begins. Focus is on strength conditioning, both in muscle development and in core to ensure an athlete’s body is strong enough to handle the ensuing pre-season and competition. A focus is also put on flexibility (a longer muscle is a stronger muscle) and balance to ensure minimal risk of injury and maximum output of muscle. Speed and agility becomes the focus towards the end of the preparation phase.
Phase II Pre-Season–Begins four to eight weeks before the competition season starts. Now that the athlete’s strength is up, focus is more on power; combining their muscular strength, their core strength and their flexibility and balance with speed and agility and skill drills to maximize power output. Strength conditioning and flexibility is still emphasized along with their skill. At the end of this phase, athletes should have reached periodization, or their peak to take them right into the competition phase.
Phase II Competition Season–Focus now becomes on keeping their skill sharp, and their flexibility and mental focus high. Strength conditioning is still prevalent, but more focused in their core. Drills such as plyometrics and endurance training are decreased to ensure optimal energy levels for competition.
Phase IV Off-Season—The athletes are now given a ‘rest.’ Conditioning is dramatically scaled back and the emphasis is split between strength and endurance. The main focus is put on flexibility to reduce the risk of injury during the off-season, as well as core training to ensure their core muscles stay strong, producing good power output once preparation season starts.
Now you know a little more about periodization. Want to put it to good use?
Are you a basketball player? Is your kiddo a basketball player…Or wondering if they want to become a basketball player? Then we have the perfect camp for you or them!
And tomorrow only (Saturday, June 23rd), we have the perfect special to register for the camp.
The 3-day camp, which focuses on physical performance, basketball skills and life off the court is regularly $249 ($199 if you’re a College Bound or i9 Athlete). But tomorrow ONLY (Saturday, June 23rd), we’re registering athletes, regardless of original cost at ONLY $99.
But hurry! There are limited spots in each age group – they are partly filled and will go fast tomorrow. So call (614-735-9890) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) immediately with registration details (we accept cash, check and/or credit card).
For more details, check out the blog page. Register today…Stay Healthy & Active!! Greg (614-746-9185)
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