Unlocking Athletic Potential:  The Critical Role of In-Season Training for Sustained Peak Performance.

In-Season Training


As the spring sports season approaches, numerous athletes are gearing up for the competitive season that lies ahead.  Many of our athletes dedicated a significant amount of time to improving their strength, speed, power, agility, flexibility, and making themselves more injury-resilient so that they are fully prepared to showcase their skills on the field.  This period though marks an important transition from off-season training to in-season play.  For some, this poses significant challenges for maintaining peak performance and avoiding injuries. In this post, I want to share with you some thoughts on the importance of in-season training for athletes across various sports.

Peak Performance

Understanding the Oversight in Traditional Training Approaches

For many athletes, the off-season serves as a period of intense training aimed at building strength, power, speed, agility, changing body composition, and improving sports-specific skills.  Many of our athletes dedicate 4 to 6 months of intense training and calorie consumption to make the changes necessary to elevate their on-the-field performance.  However, once the season begins, a common misconception prevails: training takes a back seat, and athletes rely solely on games and practices to maintain their fitness levels. 

The reality is that the playing season wears athletes down and does more damage than they thought.  Inadequate focus on mobility, flexibility, and soft tissue work can exacerbate the risk of injuries.  Additionally, it can assist in allowing some of the little nagging soreness and aches and pains to linger longer than necessary.  Left to their own devices most athletes will opt just to leave practice or games and “take care of it tomorrow”.

We also cannot overlook the importance of maintaining confidence and a mental edge during the season. When our athletes are training in the offseason, they’re at their peak—feeling strong, fast, powerful, and ready to transition to stepping back onto the field. Many of us know from experience that once you halt your training or fitness regimen, there’s a notable letdown.

That psychological edge can diminish quickly with time away from the gym and negative emotions,  self-criticism finds it much easier to creep onto the forefront of an athlete’s thoughts.  These detrimental feelings can carry over to the field, the diamond, or the court, impacting performance more than we realize. That’s why athletes must step onto the field with overwhelming confidence.

In-Season Training Female Sprinting

The Power of In-Season Training in Elevating Athletic Performance

Recognizing these challenges we advocate for in-season training as a crucial component of athletic development. Unlike off-season regimens, in-season training emphasizes maintenance rather than aggressive gains.

In-season training offers several benefits that contribute to athletes’ long-term success:

  • Injury Prevention and Mobility Preservation:  As the body undergoes the rigors of competition, it tends to tighten and compensate, increasing the risk of injuries. In-season training prioritizes mobility exercises and soft-tissue work, keeping athletes healthy and resilient.
  • Strength and Power Retention:  Contrary to popular belief, regular strength training during the season is essential for maintaining muscle mass and power output.
  • Sustaining Confidence and Mental Edge:  In addition to physical benefits, in-season training helps athletes preserve their confidence and mental fortitude. By maintaining a consistent training regimen, athletes carry the same sense of strength and agility onto the field, enhancing their competitive edge.

Crafting an Effective In-Season Training Program

In-season training looks much different than off-season training.  The volume and intensity of the workouts are much less.  In-season workouts look more like what some would call “maintenance”.  Maintenance workouts focus on quality over quantity during this time.  2-3 workouts per week that have about 20 minutes of soft tissue, flexibility, and mobility work followed by about 20 minutes of strength work.  That’s more than enough during this time for most athletes. 

There are a variety of ways to tackle this approach whether you separate the mobility, flexibility, and soft tissue work at the beginning and end of the workout or you can blend it in with the strength element.  Regardless this training focus should predominate the workouts because these areas are the most impactful during the competitive season. 

Speed and agility training should not be part of the workouts as these elements are being handled on the field with practices and games.  The same goes for conditioning.  Power work should look much different as well since there is so much being expressed during games and practices. 

These changes result in significantly less time training in the gym so that the athlete can focus on the competitive season, feel recovered, and still leave plenty of room for their academics.

In-Season Training

The Ultimate Goal: Showcasing the Best Version of Yourself

The final thing I will remind you, spring athletes, of is that college coaches are not coming to see you in the early spring as they are out coaching their own teams.  They often don’t get the opportunity to see you until the end of the high school season or in the summer when you have already detrained 3 months or more.  So, if you’re not following an in-season program, you’re not showcasing the best version of you possible.  Stay in the weight room, ward off the nagging injuries, and weight loss, and keep building your potential.

Conclusion: Opting for Excellence with In-Season Training

In conclusion, the significance of in-season training cannot be overstated. By prioritizing mobility, strength, and mental resilience, athletes can navigate the demands of the competitive season while maximizing their potential. As spring athletes gear up for the challenges ahead, embracing an in-season training mindset is key to achieving success on and off the field.

Now you have a choice…

You can go it alone and can keep following the model of playing more games, more practices, and just working on skills in hopes of being noticed and getting to the next level. Trying to read articles and figure out the best way to do things, which in most cases costs more money over time and leads to inferior results…..

……..Or you can take a more proactive approach and seek out some professional guidance that will not only improve your body composition but will also drastically increase your strength, speed, power, and agility making you more injury-resilient and leading to a greater level of confidence on the field. All of which will have a major impact on your sports skill acquisition and on the field/court performance.

Which do you prefer?

Shoot us an email at info@skolfieldperformance.com. We offer a comprehensive sports performance program tailored to your individual needs, starting with a personalized evaluation. 

Discover how we can assist you in achieving your sports performance goals.  For more information and to embark on your journey toward peak athletic performance visit our website at www.skolfieldperformance.com or click HERE.

Skolfield Sports Performance