The off-season is a time to recover from any injuries that were sustained during the regular season, take care of any asymmetries that were developed from the specific sport played and increase strength, power and speed so that you are ready to dominate during the regular season! The off-season is usually broken down into three sub categories, which include the early, general and late off-season training program. The off-season ranges from sport to sport so when putting together a performance training program the actual length must be considered to program accordingly.
The early off-season is in most cases the first two weeks where there can be complete rest or light physical activity. This is the time to recover both physically and mentally from the regular season. There should be nothing strenuous done during this period. The general off season is the time to focus on cleaning up any asymmetries that might have been acquired during the regular season along with any loss of proper biomechanical efficiency. Once those situations are addressed it is time to begin increasing strength, power and speed components. This should comprise the majority of your off-season. The late off-season is when we should be peaking and focusing on any additional conditioning that is required of the specific sport. This varies from sport to sport and athlete to athlete. For sports that are more aerobically based such as field hockey, aerobic conditioning will be increased earlier in the late off-season then other more anaerobically focused sports. Some athletes also take different amount of time to gain the aerobic level of conditioning that is needed for their sport.
The off-season (which encompasses the first day after the regular season ends until the first day it begins) is the time to get stronger, faster and more powerful. You should not start your off-season training a few weeks or even months before the beginning of the regular season. If being your best on the field is important to you, then taking your off-season performance training seriously is required. This is the time to put in the work so you can reap the benefits during the season.