With the recent trend of playing year-round sports there are lots of things to consider related to training volume to help our athletes stay healthy and avoid injury. There are peak seasons for every sport, where practice and game volume is high, and other periods where practice volume decreases. These periods should be considered when deciding your speed/strength training volume, and we wanted to give you a few things to think about while making that decision.
Its is important to understand the difference between “conditioning” and speed/strength. Conditioning is related to cardiovascular endurance and will improve an athlete’s ability to resist fatigue and recover quickly after high intensity bouts of exercise (i.e competitions). Speed is how fast you run, and strength is your bodies ability to withstand external forces. An athlete can be slow with great conditioning, or can be extremely fast with poor conditioning.
During peak-season athletes will improve their conditioning from increased practice volume. Tactical knowledge and sport specific skills should improve, but it is also likely that they will experience decreases in speed and strength due to the increase in training volume and decrease in recovery time. Therefore our primary goal during periods of high practice and game volume is to maintain speed and strength, NOT IMPROVE IT. Improvements in speed and strength should be made during the off-season.
The goal for peak-season training is to keep athletes healthy, improve resilience to injury and maintain speed and strength. We recommend that our athletes:
- Keep speed/strength training for a maximum of once a week, more than that can create excessive overload.
- Focus not on conditioning but the quality and intensity of the moment, allowing for appropriate rest between reps.
- Maintain at least one day a week with no practice or training
These are general recommendations and can change slightly based on the athlete’s age, sport and profile. You can always approach us for specific recommendations.