Next season is the distant future for Fall athletes right now, but is close at hand for Spring sports.
How do you adjust your training in the last couple months before the season starts?
After your phases focusing on the basics and on building it is time to get even more specific for your sport.
If you are training yourself ask yourself what type of movements you have to do in each game or match. What is the pace of the game? Do you go in bursts or one long cardiovascular effort? Do you need to be able to hold constant tension in your muscles or explode periodically? What specific joints will soon take a beating?
These questions and many more should go into the phase immediately prior to your season’s start. Then as you adjust your workouts make them look like your practices and games while adding mobility to counter the possible injuries that may come your way.
One example for how to do this is by adding intervals to your normal lifting routine. Instead of performing sets of repetitions (i.e. 5 x 5) like you did during the build phase opt for 3 x :45sec with :15sec breaks. The time here is just an example, adjust it so it matches your sport’s time domains. In this way you can begin training “game speed” in ways other than just running on the track.
As you add mobility to combat injury don’t simply add stretches where you think you’re likely to get tight. Add specific strength work to bulletproof the joints that will take the most beating. In any swing sport the shoulders and elbows should be a top priority. For these athletes I would recommend exercises like Prone Swimmers or Weighted Elbow CARs.
Once you have built the strong base needed to be a better overall athlete adjust your sessions to mimic practices and games and you’ll be ready for that first whistle!