Setting up a Great Offseason
Read Time: 5 minutes
Training the Berks Catholic Saints, Winners of 4 Consecutive PIAA District 3 Titles
So, you’re just finishing up your spring season and you need to figure out how to prepare for the upcoming football season. You are coming off a big peak and are feeling fatigued, and are looking at about 10 weeks of summer before 2-a-days start up again. Here’s a quick 2-week focus guide on how to best prepare yourself to smash your opponents in the fall!
The first focus should be technique in the olympic lifts. During this two week period, you won’t want to lift with too much intensity, so this is the perfect time to drill and improve technique. Perfectly coupled with that are improvements in mobility. If you want to improve your clean technique, work on your front rack mobility so that you can more consistently catch cleans in the hole. If you want to be able to catch snatches deeper, improve your hip and ankle mobility and you’ll move way better. Reintegrating these full range of motion movements will help you identify tightness in certain areas (lower back, hips, and upper back tightness are common) that you can start to stretch and mobilize to improve your movement as an athlete.
This focus on the olympic lifts will help improve your ability to absorb force. Most training for the spring season doesn’t involve a lot of force absorption, simply because you aren’t engaging in much physical contact during spring sports. To get your body ready to handle the repeated impacts of football, you’ll need to condition it to absorb and re-apply force--which is one of the primary benefits of olympic lifting.
Finally, you’ll want to isolate problem areas and improve them with movements outside of the realm of strict olympic lifting. Single leg squats, step ups and other unilateral movements can also be very beneficial to identifying and attacking any imbalances that you may have developed as you worked on your peak for whichever spring sport you participate in. Extra rehab work with DB External rotations, Y’s and other thoracic targeting exercises will help to improve the integrity of the shoulder girdle, which is huge for the physical impact of the football season.
All in all, the most important idea to remember is that we are looking to improve on the fundamentals of your training. You probably built a great base for yourself for your spring season, but you may have lost some of that just for the fact of needing to peak for championship season. This initial 2-week period after the end of your spring season is going to be very important for laying the groundwork of an effective summer of training.