Importance of In-Season Training

In Season Key Points:

  • Focus on injury prevention exercises and therapies

  • Reduced lifting time and frequency

  • Prevent strength losses

  • Recovery for next competition

In-Season training is one of the most important components to a team’s success.  College programs and professional teams make it a priority because they acknowledge the importance of this training cycle.  Yet every year, it is one of the hardest things to convince amateur athletes to take on properly.  The benefits are numerous, the first and foremost being injury prevention.  Yet athletes are discouraged by old beliefs thinking that a session in the weight room will hurt performance, wear them out, and cause injuries.  Within this text, we wish to dispel this stale and outdated theory and highlight the many benefits you will receive by committing to an In Season program.

MYTH 1: “In-season weight training is dangerous” 

The practical approach to this question is to ask: why do we use weight lifting during the rehabilitation process?  Because it is an effective tool to recover from injury by strengthening the muscles that support healthy movement and assist our ligaments by absorbing force.  Yet when we are In Season, lifting becomes dangerous until we are injured.  This is not a logical path to follow.  In season training, when done right, for a baseball player, will continue to develop the major muscles in the legs and hips that supply most the power for throwing and hitting, while continue to keep the balance of stability and flexibility in the shoulder necessary to prevent shoulder impingements, a major injury to baseball players of all ages.  In fact a study published 2011 in The Journal of Athletic Training, found that upper extremity injuries accounted for 63.3% of all injuries to a group of softball and baseball athletes in South Carolina during the 2009 season.  A proper in season program will fight inflammation that can cause strains and impingements through massage, stretching, and strengthening muscles in the upper body, all important factors to keep you safe from injury.

MYTH 2: Lifting hurts performance during season or practice? 

This can be true or false depending on your understanding of what a proper exercise session entails.  A good in season program has less intensity and volume than off-season progressions, geared towards mobility and stability of the upper body and power in the hips and lower body.  Lifting in season also has appropriate considerations towards game volume.  As game volume increases, intensity decreases and the focus shifts towards mobility and massage, great tools to prevent overuse injuries.  When there is a decrease in action, focus is shifted back towards intensity.  This will keep you ahead of the competition lacking an in season development plan.  Many studies have even shown increases of throwing velocity tied directly to strength programming.  If done properly, training in season will only benefit performance.

I do not have time to lift during the season” 

This is a common issue raised towards every coach when dealing with in season lifting.  Our approach to this obstacle is asking how much time they would be able to spare in a week towards added effort if it could get them stronger and prevent injury. Often times, we get a number much larger than we need to get results.  In season lifting is generally a minimum commitment to receive a positive influence on performance.  As little as two to three hours a week in fact, that would be the same as explaining you do not have the time to watch television, see a movie, or write up the various text demands during a given week.  Often times, it is not that our athletes do not have time, but they do not make the time to program in season workouts.  This is especially disheartening towards our staff when we witness spectacular effort and commitment during an off-season, to see it drift away when it is most important.  Yoyo training is a mistake most young athletes go through that is an easy fix.

What to expect

            Our in season program only requires athletes spend at least two days a week one hour each training day to receive the many benefits in season training offers.  This program is focused towards myofascial release (self massage) and mobility exercise (focusing on stretching and stabilizing).  The compound lifts we do add weight to will be a small proportion of exercise each week, and is efficient towards maintaining and improving strength in our larger muscles.  We help arrange the workouts around your sport and social demands so performance will not be affected.  We critique movements during exercise so lifting error is kept to a minimum.  With all these guarantees in place, it is up to you to make the time to continue training smart and effectively so gains made this past year are in place and ready to be pushed further in the following off season. 

We thank you for taking the time to read and educate yourself around this important topic.  We are more than happy to continue answering any questions or concerns about this or any other topic concerning training.  Please direct such concerns to our email or ask us in person.  We look forward to our continued opportunity to working with you.