2020 has been a year like few others in recent memory, and for athletes, it’s been a tough one. Thanks to COVID-19, postponed seasons and some cancelled seasons are common at every level from youth to college and beyond. Team gatherings have been restricted or banned. In many parts of the country things have relaxed somewhat but if there is anything we know now, it’s that the situation can change again in a heartbeat. What’s a serious, goal-oriented athlete to do when their sports season is cancelled?
Managing these challenges takes a high degree of mental toughness. The most resilient athletes are the ones who put setbacks in their rear view mirror and focus on what’s ahead. For inspiration, think of all the Olympic athletes whose Games were postponed. You can be certain that they are not taking off a few months of training because their plans changed.
It's Time to Train
The important thing to recognize is that these cancellations create opportunities in the training center. Physiologically speaking, advances in overall athleticism take place during the off-season, when you’re not focusing on skill or teamwork development. There are many reasons that athletes would want to focus on training during this time. Enhancing your athleticism is always a great goal, but there are some situations in which it’s particularly important. They include:
- ACHIEVING BALANCE - If you’re an athlete who has been at risk of overspecialization by focusing on a single sport 12 months a year or only one position on the field, here’s a chance to round out your physical ‘tool set’ and develop complementary functional skills and strengths.
- INJURY PREVENTION - If you’ve been plagued by injuries, now is the perfect time to address the underlying causes of the injury (e.g. poor alignment, weak supporting musculature, etc.) and work on what is needed to reduce the chances of future injuries. Every minute on the field is now precious, and you don’t want to risk losing any more of them.
- LAYING THE FOUNDATION - Even if you haven’t suffered injuries in the past, you need to be wary of coming back to practices and competition without an adequate pre-season to prepare. Injury rates have been skyrocketing among athletes who have been returning after a layoff and did too much, too soon. Laying a strong athletic foundation is key.
- COMBINE PREPARATION - If you have big combines or tryouts coming up, now’s the time to take your athleticism to the next level and turn a few heads next spring. These performances could be especially important if you don’t have game tape to send out thanks to cancellations.
- BENCH TO STARTER - Above all, if you’re tired of watching games from the bench, tired of being called “too slow,” or you’re ready to make your dreams a reality, here’s the perfect opening to step up and commit to becoming better. Because if you commit, you WILL become better.
Your Partner in the new "Off Season"
Athletic Republic’s approach to athletic development is perfectly aligned with enabling you to take advantage of this unexpected “off season.” Our data-driven approach relies on a pre-training assessment to get an accurate picture of where you are physically, and to enable us to build a training program that’s right for you. Once your needs are established, we develop an individualized program that’s appropriate for your existing level of conditioning, and mixes speed work and plyometrics with complementary strength and stability training.
If there has been any upside to this COVID-19 crisis, it has been the gift of time. Athletes now have the time to fully exploit the potential of our sports performance training and come out ahead athletically. Studies of collegiate football players who completed our 8-week/24-session training program showed the following results:
- .20 second decrease in 40-yard dash time (that’s 6 feet of separation on the field)
- 2-4 inch increase in vertical jump
- 20% gain in leg strength (peak force and power)
- 33% improvement in agility and dynamic stability tests
What kind of difference will these results make in your next season? Give yourself a chance to find out. There are two kinds of athletes who will emerge from this cancellation situation: those who progressed and those who fell behind. Which will you be? Athletic Republic’s there to help you make your next season your best season. Find an Athletic Republic sports performance training center near you to find out how.