How much time do you have to spend training outside of what you do for your sport specifically? After practices, competitions and the other daily life activities how many hours are there left to train? This is a question that needs to be answered thoroughly and honestly to take full advantage of being on a training program that is best suited to your time availability. Everyone’s time is limited so the question is how can we be the most efficient with ours.
With limited time during certain parts of the sports calendar there has to be laser like focus on what the most important things are that need to be done. When an athlete is in season their time spend in the training facility will be decreased compared to the off season. This is a probably the time of the year where their time will be the most limited. There is no room to be adding things to the training program for the sake of more being better. For that matter, during any part of the sport year more being better is nearly never the case that should be taken with few exceptions.
This will be vastly different when comparing a younger athlete to a veteran. And when I say younger I am referring to a 12 yr old and a veteran would be 18 yrs old if he had been training since he was 12. A 12 yr old that has no time constraints and has never trained before would probably do great on three training sessions a week no matter if he is currently in season or off season. That would be the best case scenario. If three times a week is not in the cards I would not go below training twice a week. Training once a week, no matter the time constraints, will produce limited results.
For a more seasoned athlete, let’s say an 18 yr old baseball player that has been training for 6 years now and is in season and pitches twice in the upcoming week has to schedule their training volume for the week. Now it gets a little trickier. This week might only be 1-2 sessions depending on how he is feeling. It might involve more soft tissue work. Maybe he is feeling great and wants to get a few sets of heavy deadlifts in relative to an in season program. The next week he might pitch once or have an off week. What happens then? There are many variables when it comes to scheduling and coaching a higher caliber athlete that need to be accounted for. There is also no way to predict how an athlete is going to feel in the middle of a season or how much time they have to commit to training on a given week, but a coach with a good eye will make the best of both situations.
The point being, do not get obsessed with hitting a certain number of training sessions every week for the whole year. Take into consideration the time of the year as it relates to the sport being played, how experienced the athlete is as far as training experience and how recovered the athlete is for the training session. With all these things taken into consideration a proper training program can be put together.
SPU's Alex Drayson and Matt Migiano write the SPU Athletic Performance Blog.
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