Preseason training is the phase where athletes transition from off season to preseason training. Ideally this phase will last 10-14 weeks leading into preseason camps or practice. In this phase the athlete is taking strength, speed, and power gains from the offseason phase and starting to build a foundation for applying strength, speed, and power to more sport-like movements and demands. Pre-Season training should consist of prepping for the upcoming season.
We call this phase the application phase, the transition from offseason to preseason training. The goal in this phase is to maintain the strength, speed, and power built in the offseason and start to apply it to sport specific skills and demands. Just like any phase athletes need to build a foundation in the beginning to build work capacity and help reduce overuse injury. In this phase we will be adding in more plyometrics, speed, acceleration, max velocity, lateral change of direction, and linear change of direction work.
The goal in this phase is to maintain the strength, speed, and power built in the offseason and start to apply it to sport specific skills and demands.
Injury prevention should still be the focus and highest priority of an athlete. As coaches we always want to see our athletes making gains and progressing, but not at the expense of long term harm to an athletes body. With sports and coaches demanding more and more athletes with extra practices, games, open gyms, travel ball, camps, and strength and conditioning it is very easy for overuse injuries to creep in. Coaches should always be monitoring and listening to an athlete. Most, if not all overuse injuries can be avoided if consideration of the athletes well being is being considered and communicated across the proper channels of the team trainer, strength and conditioning coach, parents, and doctors. Please remember you are training high school athletes, yes we want them to be tough, but consider they have a whole life ahead of them and they trust you as a coach or trainer to have their best interest in mind.
Most, if not all overuses injuries can be avoided if consideration of the athletes well being is being considered and communicated across the proper channels of the team trainer, strength and conditioning coach, parents, and doctors.
As the season approaches and the closer an athlete is to the beginning of the season the priority should be sport skill and conditioning. At this point, hopefully the athlete has built a foundation and applied more strength, speed, and power to sport-like movements and demands. Now it is time to refine those higher skills based on sport, sport position, and building it into a team cohesiveness. At this point the athlete should be in or approaching a peak in their physical ability. If you have an annual plan for your athletes they will be scheduled to peak again as they transition into district or region play, and then scheduled to peak again going into the postseason. When properly executed an athlete will avoid overuse injuries, maintain strength, power, and speed, be able to maintain a high level of performance, and progress even further in the next offseason phase.
At this point the athlete should be in or approaching a peak in their physical ability.