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What Does In Season Training Look Like?


Without fail, every year, athletes & parents ask what in season training looks like or why they need to continue training while in season.


At The College & Pro level teams, athletes, & coaches all take their in season training as serious as off-season training; In most programs you will see athletes still training 2-3 times per week in the weight room or out on the field or court.. Imagine this.. you've just spent the past six months or more working to build strength, speed, and explosiveness; With that you most likely were able to gain lean muscle mass, see increases in all your lifts, and have seen increases in your speed & power in hopes to show it on the field or court and perform at a higher level on film for coaches at the next level. Suddenly the season starts, and training becomes a lost thought in your mind, and you are left wondering why you are feeling slower and less explosive midway through the season, or worse, you are dealing with injuries..


When athletes are training in the off-season the body experiences changes that impact their return to the field when the season rolls around.. These changes include improved neuromuscular function, improved conditioning and ability to handle more work load, and improved body composition. All of the aforementioned improvements can lead to a higher level of performance on the field, which every athlete is chasing each season!


When the season rolls around, practices are often less intense and physically demanding as coaches and teams are now focussed on performing at their highest level week to week or game to game, which leaves little time for additional conditioning work, and can lead to de-conditioning which leads to athletes losing the gains they made in the off-season (speed, strength, and power).


Something to think about for athletes & parents; Off season training is like slowly filling a bucket over the course of each training session so the athletes have a full bucket going into the season. When the season starts, each game & practice is a slow drip from that bucket. The only way to combat the slow drip and keep the bucket full is training in season.

When the bucket empties, an athlete can experience fatigue and injuries.



So how do we attack in season training?

In season training may look a little different from what you would typically see in the off-season, the goal is to still train hard & train heavy, but reduce the volume.

In most situations, athletes & coaches don't see the need to train with heavier weights or do sprint work 1-2 times per week during the season, which ultimately can lead to in-optimal training during the season, if any training is happening at all.


The main issue that can arise from not training optimally, or not training with heavier loads during the season is it can lead to athletes not maintaining what they gained in the off-season, or worse, detraining all together which means when the off-season rolls around again, the athlete will be starting from square one.


During the season, expect athletes strength work to see a reduced volume, meaning they will be taking some weight off the bar (not going over 85% of a max effort lift) and reduced volume on sprint work (doing less max effort sprint work) and focussing more in on basic technique to stay efficient during the season. Following these small adjustments, athletes will still be able to train hard, but not train to a point they are sore & taking away from being able to compete in games or practice.


Mobility & Recovery

Athletes experience a lot of stress during the season, from practice, to games & adding school on top of it the body can take quite a beating.

Over the course of the season, an athletes body can experience micro-trauma to soft tissues, muscle soreness, and dehydration which can all lead to a decreased ability to perform on and off the field.


During the season it is vital that an athlete takes charge of their sleep schedule, proper fueling of the body, and hydration. Focussing on these three areas can decrease recovery time, increase the bodies ability to recover, and help an athlete perform at their highest on the field, but also in the classroom.



Addressing soreness: soreness can come from multiple areas, and addressing it can be as simple as rest, nutrition, and hydration (see above). In addition to the aforementioned, proper mobility training on off days can be a key factor in alleviating soreness and allowing the body to gain back lost ranges of motion that naturally happen with the rigors of the in season schedule.


Addressing pain as it arises and not ignoring it; during a long season an athlete can experience many different forms of soreness or injury, the one thing we want to avoid and address right away is pain. If an athlete is experiencing pain it is important to get the issue looked at sooner rather than later in case there is an injury that needs to be addressed.


Listen to your body! When your body is feeling tired, or you don't feel you can put in full effort in a training session, it is safer to call it, and focus on recovery.


6 Takeaways To Focus On With In Season Training
  • Maintain Power & Performance With Proper In Season Strength Training.

  • One To Two Training Sessions Per Week Can Go A Long Way

  • Don't Exceed 85% Of Max Effort On Lifts When Training.

  • Maintain Mobility & Flexibility.

  • If You Experience Pain, Do Not Ignore It!

  • Recovery (sleep) & Nutrition Are Key In Avoiding Soreness.





Velocity Sports Performance. “The Importance of in-Season Training: Part 3.” Velocity Sports Performance, 2 Sept. 2019, https://velocityspusa.com/the-importance-of-in-season-training-part-3/.


Statuti, Mike. “The Overlooked Importance of in-Season Training.” Bobby Valentines Sport Academy, 17 June 2022, https://bvacademy.com/the-overlooked-importance-of-in-season-training/.


Decker, Kyle. “Is in-Season Training Important? - Fast-Training.” FAST, 12 Dec. 2016, https://fast-training.com/sports-specific-training/importance-of-in-season-training#:~:text=An%20appropriate%20in%2Dseason%20training,while%20controlling%20volume%20and%20frequency.


Gies, Nicholas. “Why Is in-Season Training Important?” Coach Nick Gies, Coach Nick Gies, 7 Jan. 2022, https://www.coachnickgies.com/articles/inseason.









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