In-Season Training: Maintenance vs Development

The Off-Season phase of training is now moving behind us with the season starting very shortly. We are excited to see how the gains you’ve made during the long off-season can be translated to the field during competition.

We understand that once March hits, your brain turns into “In-Season” or “baseball” mode until August. However, there is an In-Season training phase for a reason. Stopping training altogether will NOT benefit your body.

More likely than not, you’re actually hurting it. Here’s an analogy.

Imagine a sports car getting serviced. You spend all of this time putting the newest tires on, most upgraded engine in, high-efficient fueling in, and then you get it ready for the road. This “road” is your season.

Eventually, at some point, you’re going to need to get your car checked again to make sure everything is near 100%.

If you go the entire season without training, you’re going to slowly lose the athletic qualities that you spent all of this time developing even though you’re spending a lot of time on the diamond.

Athletic SKILLS will stay competent throughout the season for obvious reasons, but it’s important to maintain or further develop athletic QUALITIES.

To fully understand why we need to train during the season, let’s talk about training residuals, common misconceptions, and continuing your athletic development

Training Residuals

When training for sport, we are trying to develop specific athletic qualities: anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, strength, power, speed, force reduction, and visuomotor skills (to name a few).

These athletic qualities have “residual” training effects.

To put this into a simple analogy, think about a still pond of water. When you throw a rock into the water, you can clearly see the ripple effect taking place. This ripple starts off strong and then slowly starts to fade out until the pond returns back to baseline (its stillness).

Think of your body as this pond. The first ripple you see is energy system development. One throw of a rock will leave this ripple in the pond for the longest amount of time, and is the last one to “fade out”.

The next ripple you will see is strength development, and this is the ripple that “fades out” before energy system development.

The ripple that comes and goes the quickest is POWER.

Wait a second…

You’re telling me that if I stop training altogether, the first thing to go is my power output? Isn’t my sport HIGHLY dependent upon my power output?

The answer is yes, and this is the reason why In-Season training is not only for maintenance purposes, but it is for FURTHER athletic development!

Common Misconceptions

A lot of kids fear about in-season training because of 2 factors:

  1. “I don’t want to be sore when I play”

  2. “I don’t want to feel tired when I play”

To tackle misconception #1, I want to highlight repetition prescription.

If we tell you to perform an exercise for 15 repetitions, that will mostly likely induce soreness.