Long-term Athletic Development

Jason Milsap
October 4, 2023
Long-term Athletic Development

Long-term development occurs when an athlete continues to train despite whether they are in their preseason, in-season, off-season. During the off-season, if your athlete has that opportunity to get into the gym or a facility that provides the proper strength and conditioning program at least three time a week, they will notice improvements in their motor skills, mobility control, stability, and overall athletic performance. While this kind of improvement sounds appealing and is generally the time most parents think is ideal for training, it is important to remember, that your athletes also need in-season training as well. There are numerous studies that support this concept and can be proven by comparing results of an athlete that continued training during their in-season to an athlete that did not continue to train.

    It is recommended that you encourage your athlete to continue to increase their development by participating in a program at their facility during their in-season. To mitigate risk factors during this period, it would be best to reduce the training sessions down to once or twice a week. Some benefits your athlete may experience while continuing to train during their in-season include faster recovery during and after completion of their workout, maintenance of their strength gains, and sharpening their athletic abilities specific to their sport. While you may think that incorporating some strength and conditioning training may increase risks, it puts your athlete at a higher risk of injury to allow them to solely play their sport without continuous long-term development training. In addition to increased risk of injury, your athlete runs the risk of losing most of their gains and progress they have made during the off-season by ceasing additional training.

    As a Sports Performance Coach, I highly recommend and encourage our parents to build a schedule that allows their athlete the opportunity to continue training during their in-season, off-season, and even preseason periods to increase their long-term development. During the postseason is the best time to allow your athlete the opportunity to get away from the sport they love and train so hard to excel in and be a kid that plays other sports or games for fun.


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