THE GREAT RESET - REBUILDING AFTER AN OFF SEASON – HOW WE ALL CAN LEARN FROM ATHLETES

2020 I’m sure is a year that most of us will want to put behind, and for most for more than one reason, but it has offered a reset and some essential learning’s that otherwise we may have missed and or failed to address.

I’ve been racing in one discipline or another for over 20 years, from my early Cross-Country running at 20 something to my more recent adventures in night alpine cross-country skiing… with all the variants in training, this year has been a challenge and I haven’t even competed.

 We are all in this together.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best athletes of all time, Olympians, veterans and humbling amateur athletes who commit to a level of discipline that would gain the attention any sponsored professional.

This year has been hard for all of us, but especially those who have committed many years in developing their physical and mental form in an industry that doesn’t wait. Sadly many Olympians face restrictions beyond that experienced within other sectors. Age being an irreversible factor that despite our best intentions we cannot beat.

Bankers, Accountants, Lawyers, Factory Workers aren’t subjected to the same small window of opportunity. 

Extended off seasons, cancelled events and unforeseen delays for athletes can be fraught with issues that go beyond just the psychological frustrations, an areas that I know all too well.

However there is a positive factor that should be considered and one that for us coaches/therapists often are criticised for suggesting.  

OVERTRAINING

Overtraining is more common than under-training and a factor that most coaches have to contend with on a daily basis. In my opinion, the off-season is the most important phase; it lays the foundation for the next phase of training and development, irrelevant of the discipline. 

THE MYTH - An off-season isn’t about not lowering the tempo, reducing the intensity or even the sessions, it is a phase added into the season/year where you take time off from a structured plan – a hard reset! Time off from the normal routine in order to create a sense of ‘need’ and desire to return.

So, why do we need off-seasons and why do coaches and therapists constantly promote it?

Going without an off-season is a little like going with too few hours sleep in your day, lets say 2hrs for arguments sake. You may not realise the consequences in the first few years, but if you continue to go without, it will eventually lead to a decrease in performance, mental burnout and, in many cases, frustrating aches and pains and worst off injury, and accumulating for example just 2hrs reduced sleep over 2 years is some 1460hrs or just under 2 months sleep missed as a result.

Simply put, we need time off to recover, reflect, readjust and just catch up on the elements that we have not given much attention. 

THE GREAT RESET. 

The off-season resets the mind and the body, essential to promoting the healing of micro muscular injuries and neurological pressures. It is a time to reflect on what went right, what requires attention and what modifications can be made, making the small adjustments based on the facts and performance data… from the outside in rather than on the hop and within.

A factor that many incorrectly identify as being important. 

SMALL ADJUSTMENTS, one at a time, record the data, adjust, record data, adjust etc. 

MOVING FORWARD 

The Great Reset, yes this year has offered frustrations for us all, however it should not be wasted, if you are yet to start, NOW couldn’t be a better time to look at the past few years, without bias analyse what didn’t work out, and adjust based on how 2021 may be improved.

If you are stuck or need some assistance in adjusting your plan then why not take advantage and book a session today with me Benjamin Bonetti.

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