I am only going to ask you one question. Why would you want to become weaker during sports season?
The answer if you’re a serious athlete is you don’t. You can’t afford to lose ground during sports season, especially if you are a young developing athlete in high school or junior high. I have heard tons of excuses such as “it will mess up my shot” or “I’ll be too tired”. You’re right, that’s how all of the College and Pro Athletes got to where they are by taking 3-4 month breaks out of there year to stop training, to stop building strength, WRONG. The main goal for young developing athletes especially in sports involving violent physical contact should always be to becoming stronger. until you are as strong as the collegiate and professional athletes you have work to do. Here’s what I can promise will happen if you decide not to train in season, you will lose strength, you may not be as effective of an athlete, and your risk of injury goes up.
Think about the main reason that you lift weights to train for sports, injury prevention. Why would we stop training our number one tool towards preventing injury? It would be no different than an athlete in a high impact sport not wearing their protective gear. The protective gear is an easy sell, but if you want to continue to be in shape, stay injury free (freak accidents do happen), and come out stronger towards the end of your season, you have to train with weights in season. If you happen to me a multi sport athlete this is even more important as your window of training in between sports seasons is limited if there is one at all. What can start to happen especially when playing multiple sports is that your body never gets time to recover or become stronger. At this point an athlete’s risk of injury goes way up.
In season training is not as complicated or as time consuming as it sounds. You should still be doing pretty much what you normally do. You have to perform the Olympic lifts meaning the snatch and clean and jerk. This is a must, if you could only pick two exercise to train in season it would be snatch and clean and jerk. They are explosive movements, full range of motion movements, over head movements, and full body strengthening movements, all stuff that is pretty important for playing sports. Besides the Olympic lifts squatting, pressing overhead, core work and TONS of mobility should be staples of an in season workout. If you can train twice a week you can maintain if not even improve during sports season. It is important to keep your training sessions as far away as possible from games. Also the intensity of the training sessions should be kept within the 75-80% range along with a lower rep count, 1-3 reps for 3-4 sets should be plenty. Warning you may be tired, exerting lots of effort towards a worthwhile goal is hard work. Remind yourself daily of what you are training for and why.
Don’t forget your helmet, don’t forget your mouthguard, and most importantly don’t forget your weight set!
USAW level 1
CFP Strength – Coach
Rochester Barbell Club – Coach