When you look at all of the things your coach tells you that you need to improve on to help the team next year, you may be overwhelmed. Even coaches struggle with where to fit it all in. Developing athletes and teams takes patience and persistence. Two qualities successful athletes, coaches, and programs hold in high regard. Use the template below to help you develop your off-season, pre-season, and in-season programming.

Foam Roller:
Foam rolling may help relax the fascia and musculature of the body. By providing pressure to the myofascial restricted regions of the body, it is believed that you can increase the chance of eliminating pain and restoring motion.

Dynamic Warm-Up:
Before starting any workout, please remember to warm up and stretch properly. Take five to ten minutes to get your heart rate and breathing rate up.

Ab/Low Back and Weak Link Program:
Make time to work on your areas that need improvement. After “breaking a sweat”, spend ten to fifteen minutes focused on training what is commonly referred to as the “core”; head, neck and upper back; rotator cuff; hips; grip; and ankles.

Agility and Jump/Landing:
Focus on the ability to change body position or direction of the body rapidly. This will require the athlete to turn or start and stop. Agility is also influenced by balance, coordination, position of center of gravity, running speed and skill. Agility can be improved by practicing specifically for a sport but also by improving the specific individual elements of speed, balance, power and co-ordination. Throughout an agility program, be sure to include both jumping and landing drills to enhance your athleticism.

The demands of running a series of sprints are different from running in a game situation. The running you do in the off-season is designed to get you in good enough shape to start practice. The only way to get into shape for the game is to actually experience the demands on the body in a game situation. The more closely the conditioning can replicate the demands of practice or games, the more likely the transfer.

Strength Training:
Begin with the largest muscles of the body and focus on quality versus quantity. The intensity of the muscular contraction is critical for your strength training success. Use progression to motivate you to achieve your own greatness.

Static/PNF Flexibility:
The use of a static stretching, stretch band, or PNF program after a workout should not be taken lightly. Stretching for fifteen minutes each day will increase the resting length of muscles, restore normal range of movement, encourage proper blood flow and permit increase of power with strengthening exercises.

Exercise depletes the stored sugars in your muscles. A high carbohydrate diet will allow more glycogen to be stored in your muscles. After exercise your body’s ability to store glycogen in the muscle is at its greatest.

Massage/Trigger Point Therapy:
Immediately following or even in front of the TV after practice, spend 15 minutes massaging the muscles of the body to help keep them limber and “ready to go” for the next training session.

Get on a schedule. Make sure you are in bed early enough to get seven to ten hours of sleep per night. And never underestimate the benefits of a “power nap.” Take a nap whenever you can fit them in during the day.

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