Maintaining Skill Levels in the Offseason

| Posted inWeekly Blog

Off season can be a time to have a complete break and charge those batteries although if athletes take too long a break remember there is an opposition player out there that isn’t.

As coaches we can assist athletes who are keen to maintain a level of skill and fitness during the off season.
What should players be doing when there is a break in the season?

  • Ball work – passing with someone or against a wall
  • Foot work – short, sharp changing of direction and can include a ball
  • Running – fartleks
  • Strength and Conditioning – using body or weights
  • Position specific individuals – working with a buddy or coach
  • Shooting (only if they do shoot)
  • Healthy lifestyle – sleep, nutrition and balance

Work out a diary that includes at least 12 hours per week of fitness and skill maintenance.  In the off season try to make athletes fitness and skill work enjoyable by experiencing such activities as hiking, surfing, swimming, horse riding, skiing etc.  Many other sports and activities assist with co-ordination, endurance, strength and conditioning as well as focusing on the athlete’s wellbeing.
Also some athletes may enjoy a change in sport for example touch football or basketball.  They could choose a sport that has similar skills and endurance to Netball.  Squash is a great sport for Netballers to have a go at as it is all lunging and changing direction as well as hand/eye co-ordination.
What are fartleks:
Fartlek Workouts are not only fun to say out loud, but they’re fun to run. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is exactly what it’s all about. Unlike tempo and interval work, fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. After a warmup, you play with speed by running at faster efforts for short periods of time (to that tree, to the sign) followed by easy-effort running to recover. It’s fun in a group setting as you can alternate the leader and mix up the pace and time. And in doing so, you reap the mental benefits of being pushed by your buddies through an unpredictable workout. The goal is to keep it free-flowing so you’re untethered to the watch or a plan, and to run at harder efforts but not a specific pace.
Benefits: Stress-free workout that improves mind-body awareness, mental strength, and stamina.  Information (Runner’s World)
Give your team an advantage and get them active well before the season begins.

Written by

Melissa O’Brien