There's No Such Thing as "Offseason"...

The number of parents who have expressed concerns that there is no guidance or support for their young athletes during their “offseason” absolutely appalls me. It is apparently a “goodbye, see you next year” when the end of their competitive season rolls around, and young athletes looking to better themselves are left alone and to their own devices

I remember it like it was yesterday…

“Well, what normally happens once the final game of the season is over?” I asked

“Nothing. He’s left to his own devices. If he wants to train, he will do it” they replied

“So what sort of training would be done, where is this plan coming from…”

“Some of the older guys who like the gym told him to do heaps of ‘a' and a little 'b’…”

And that’s how conversations with parents around post-season training generally go, which is a goddam shame

Firstly, when it comes to long-term development of a young athlete and building their optimal performance - there is no such thing as off-season. Whilst their goals and the “seasons” may change, there is one constant, which is keeping them growing, injury free, and progressing in aspects of sport and life. This is a lifestyle they’re creating, and if they desire so bad to achieve their goals, then during this non-competitive phase they should be building themselves up for the rigours of the next year

I wholeheartedly understand that many clubs don’t have capacity or the resources to cater to these young athlete’s during their non-competitive times, but that does not mean guidance should not exist

But without this guidance or support, many young athletes take months off to do limited activities, only to come back behind the eight ball and/or worse than when they finished last season. Or they will follow a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all program that isn’t specifically designed to give them what they as an individual require

This non-competitive time is perfect for growing oneself, solidifying strengths and bringing up weaknesses. It’s the time young athlete’s can focus solely on working to become the athlete and person they desire to become. And now, that doesn’t mean they won’t have a life - as if you saw THIS ARTICLE you’d know that the training only ever takes up 5-10% of our weekly time

As when their long-term development is at the heart of what we’re doing, their year as a whole needs to be looked at, and all aspects of their sport-specific periods need to be taken into consideration. As it is from here that you can begin to develop the work that will be done during the non-competitive season

And it’s why individualised programming should be at the crux of everything done for the young athlete. The only things that should be done have that athletes best interests at heart. And it’s why this non-competitive season shouldn’t be viewed as an “offseason” - but more as a chance to grow and develop as an athlete

And that's why The Academy exists for the young athlete's and adolescents - to offer the year-round guidance and support to build these next generation(s) into what they desire to become and give them the best chance to go on and achieve their goals in the sporting arena and life

TrainingNick Maier