Whether you reside in Massachusetts or any other part of the globe, being an athlete is all about maintaining your body’s fitness and constantly pushing yourself to new heights. The off-season is a time when athletes tend to stray away from sports activities and workout sessions. This may get you out of shape and prevent you from performing your best when the time comes to get back out there. Like the saying “health is wealth” suggests, staying in good shape is key to achieving peak self-confidence and peace of mind. This article will act as a guide to help you reach your peak self both physically and mentally before the new season arrives. Now let’s get started.
Rest Comes First
Regardless of whatever sports-like activity you take part in, the first thing you need to do, come the off-season, is to give your body the proper rest it needs after a hard season of grueling practice, workouts, and matches.
What to Do While Resting
During this time, drop the dumbbells and get off the treadmill. Just sit down at home and watch those TV shows/movies that you’ve missed out on. Doing nothing is essential for at least two to four weeks to let your body heal from all the torture you put it through before. Furthermore, if you experience any sort of injuries, going near anything physically challenging is completely off the table except for the training you are advised to do by your doctor to recover from the damage.
If you are persistent in staying active, try out cross-training after two weeks of rest to avoid any harmful effects on your body. One key thing to keep in mind throughout the off-season is to watch what you eat. Make sure you don’t go overboard on unhealthy foods as maintaining a healthy diet will help in keeping you fit even when you are not working out.
Reflect and Move Forward
After you feel well-rested and ready to go back out into the world, the first thing to do to get the best results from your efforts is to look back on your previous play season. This will help you determine what your strengths are and in what fields you are currently lacking. You’re ready to return and shower yourself in sweat puddles once you’ve thoroughly assessed your current good and bad points.
Get Some Professional Help
Massachusetts is a place filled with athletes in different sports such as basketball, baseball, and ice hockey, and there are plenty of opportunities to receive the training you require. However, it is easy to get stuck sometimes with no idea of how to improve further.
This is why a gym with professional coaches is your best option. You’ll find many gyms in and around Massachusetts. The Arkitect Fitness Gym is one of the most renowned gyms in Tyngsboro, MA and it can help you achieve an athletic physique. This gym also has a branch in New Hampshire.
Set Your Goals
Once you have decided on where to torture yourself once again, the next step is to challenge yourself in improving the parts of your game that may be weaker than the rest. Here are some of the potential goals most athletes tend to target
When playing sports such as football or basketball, strength is one of the most crucial factors that players need to take into account. This is why you can find many dedicated athletes putting in hours of effort at the weight bench so that they can gain enough muscles to power through the new season and lead their teams to victory. Some players may want to bulk up to give themselves a powerful edge, so a high-calorie diet and strength training can be the way to develop a powerful physique.
Being faster than your opponents in any sport is an instant advantage for you and your teammates. While your speed has a direct and visible impact on sports such as track running, it may be a bit more subtle in other sports, and it might not be a priority. However, even if it is not noticeable at first glance, the audience and especially your rival teams will notice that they have a difficult time keeping up with you.
You can consult your coach or personal trainer about your form and train your body to be faster and more agile. Sprint workouts are also worth getting into. You may also consider getting your body into a leaner shape as being too heavy will slow you down. It’s a hassle to guard a player when you can’t keep up with him.
Working on Your Stamina
Since we talked about getting stronger and faster, it is worth noting that pushing yourself like this will put a toll on your stamina. Most sports require you to stay on the court/field for long and tiring periods. This can exhaust players if they have not put in the necessary hours into training themselves beforehand. Cardio exercises with interval workouts have proven to be one of the best ways of improving endurance and stamina.
Swimming, cycling, and running are great ways to improve your stamina. Cardio workouts can work as warm-ups too. Simply running to the gym will add a lot to your training and allow you to keep playing without pooping out midgame. After all, the worst kind of opponent in any sport are the ones who don’t tire out easily.
Work on Your Mental Game
Although it may not seem to be a big part of sports to casual viewers, having a strong mentality is crucial as it is constantly challenged when you are on the field. You may have noticed that you get stressed and feel frustrated because of other players, even your teammates. Your own mistakes may also wear you down. This can highly affect your efficiency during matches, and you might be benched if you can’t bounce back.
The off-season is a great time to prepare yourself not just physically but also mentally for future games. One of the best ways to get into the zone is to create a ritual. Whether you do stretches or listen to music, anything that makes you motivated and focused on winning will serve as a very effective ritual. In addition to this, try to stay positive and self-confident about your next moves before you do them, and no one will be able to get inside your head.
Practice Makes Perfect
Last but most certainly not least, you need to keep practicing, even after you’ve changed your physique and reached your highest level in terms of fitness. What you need to do now is get adjusted to your new body, and there is no better way to do that than getting back in the game. Usually, practice kicks off around the final half of the off-season. In that time, prioritizing on getting adjusted and perfecting your existing move set, as well as adding new skills to it, will be highly beneficial.
Perfecting that cross-over you’ve been holding out on and catching those long passes that you used to drop will make you a strong athlete with a lot of versatility. Following your coach’s advice, improving teamwork, and finding out the best plays while pushing each other to be better overall will help your team get closer to your goals.
Although being an athlete does require you to push yourself to new limits, be sure not to push yourself too far, as that will dull your edge. Resting is a must; otherwise, injuries will force you off the field, leaving you with nothing but regret in the end. Every athlete has the same amount of time, and what they do with it is completely up to them and no one else.
As the late five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant once said, “Hard work outweighs talent every time.” There is no reason to believe that your efforts will be in vain. We hope that this article helped you in realizing what you need to do in the off-season to be a better player for the coming season and we wish you good luck in reaching your goals.