If you’re an athlete, your life is divided into two parts: sports season … and everything else. But just because you’re not competing doesn’t mean you forget about athletics altogether. The off-season is not just a time for trying not to lose your conditioning, it’s actually an opportunity to become a fitter, better competitor overall. Here are four ways to accomplish that.
1. Get some much needed rest.
At the top of a list of ways to stay in shape is rest? Absolutely. If you’ve been injured or in pain during the competitive season, this is your chance to back off on the intensity a bit and give your body a chance to heal.
Depending on the type of injury, lower impact activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga might be just what the doctor ordered. And if you’ve been avoiding a trip to a specialist for an orthopedic evaluation or physical therapy, this is the perfect time to take that step.
2. Bring the joy back with a different sport.
By the end of the season, working out can sometimes feel like a drag. Picking up a new sport on a casual basis can put the fun back into physical activity. Instead of tennis, give judo a try. Just finished up your last hockey game? Join an ultimate frisbee group.
Feeling the hits from football season? Maybe picking up a salsa dance class with your significant other is exactly what the doctor ordered. If a hiking or ski trip makes your heart sing, see if you can’t get some family or friends to go with you. The best exercise is the exercise that you’ll enjoy, and go back to again and again.
3. Think holistically.
Training for a sport can leave your routine a little lopsided. Weightlifters may neglect cardio, while sprinters may leave their upper body strength continually for another day. Unless you’re a gymnast, there’s an excellent chance your flexibility is not what it could be, and swimmers almost never address their sense of balance out of the water.
The off-season is the time to address your fitness from a whole-body perspective through cross training, not just as it relates to particular athletic skills. In addition to finding a more coherent workout, this is also your chance to address your health in general. How is your diet? Your mental health? How are your habits? Your relationships? Taking care of these issues now will allow you to focus better during the competitive season, and help you to thrive outside of it.
4. Fix that form.
Form is one of those things every athlete knows is important, but might neglect in the heat of the moment. After all, form takes time, patience, and regular expert feedback, all of which can be in short supply during the competitive season. For sport-specific skills you’ll want to find an appropriate coach to help you with form. For conditioning, you’re looking for a highly qualified personal trainer.
A trainer can not only help you to exercise more efficiently and with less risk of injury, they can also put together an exercise program designed specifically with your needs in mind, helping you address recovery, motivation, and general health at the same time as keeping you in competitive shape.
Thinking about how to be more productive in the off-season?
Elite Training Tulsa has the experts you’re looking for. Schedule a free customized 60 minute session to find out how you can take your off-season to the next level.