new year brings with it new resolutions and new goals, as athletes
look forward to their next season. A preparation plan starts to take
shape as knowledge gained from the last season and a timeline for
pre-season training is established. The NCAA recommends, “a
progressive comprehensive conditioning program at least four weeks
before pre-season work-outs begin.” Meanwhile, Endurance athletes
use the pre-season training block to build strength and stability so
they may handle the rigors of their training program. Coaches and
experienced athletes recognize that injury risk increases if an
athlete has not achieved a high-level of fitness before the first day
of practice, so most coaches encourage a pre-season training plan
that builds training volume and intensity in a systematic and
the past 26 years, Athletic Republic training centers have helped
more than one million athletes achieve their goals. Throughout the
training process, we document each athlete’s progress and have
identified five elements that will help athletes make next season
their best season.
elements are: increase speed, build power, improve stability,
maintain an effective approach to recovery, and establish a
year-round training plan.
is a defining attribute of athleticism, and developing it requires a
focus on training. No longer considered a genetic gift, speed can be
improved by training stride length, stride frequency, power output,
symmetry, and stamina. Speed training should improve running
mechanics and running economy while developing acceleration, top-end
speed and endurance to help players create separation, and play with
a sustained form when fatigued.
is not strength.
Science says Power = Force x Velocity. In other words, being strong
is only half the equation. The ability to produce more force more
quickly than an opponent is what ultimately separates an athlete
from the competition. If you want to jump higher, accelerate
quicker, deliver a crushing blow, or win a finish line sprint, you
need power. The key is to combine a wide range of movement
velocities, with a variety of age-appropriate loads, to safely
expose muscles to training that will improve power at the speed of
reduces the risk of injury.
Agility hinges on an athlete’s ability to control his or her
center of gravity in all situations, including making quicker cuts
and turns, maneuvering in traffic and maintaining position during a
double team. Stability means maintaining control of the body in all
directions and in all situations. It’s developed by building
strength through a progression of plyometric movements to improve
foot-speed and balance while training the core and hip girdle for
the safe transfer of power to the turf, trail, floor, ice or road.
Preparing for the next workout begins when an athlete completes the
current workout. Fluid hydration and mobility exercises begin the
process as range of motion is increased while the muscles are warm
and supple. Compression helps flush lactate and soreness, while
protein helps rebuild muscles. Getting enough sleep and sufficient
rest are also critical elements on the recovery process.
a year-round plan.
In addition to training with the a team or coach, the athlete needs
to make time during the year for a training season. Dedicating time
prior to the start of a season to build on athletic strengths and
concentrate on areas that require improvement will improve game-day
or race-day performance. Establish a big-picture plan that includes
dedicated time to improve speed, power, and stability.
these five elements into your training and make next season your best