Importance of off-season training
The off-season is an important time for athletes. In this time there are a lot of pressures put on athletes. Recovery from the season is important, along with preparation for the next season approaching. However, that doesn't always mean stop training! Strength training and exercise can help in recovery, improve imbalances and injuries endured from the season, and prepare your body for the next season's demands. While taking some time away from sporting activities after a sports season can be beneficial, proper training can actually help in the recovery process and keep you developing to your fullest potential!
Our off-season training program is focused on the main aspect of building strength with proper lifting technique, which is crucial for adolescent athletes to improve athletic performance and reduce potential of injury. The training program includes components of strength, plyometric, speed, agility, endurance, and flexibility training.
Athletes in grades 6-12 are encouraged to participate in Cardinal Strength and Conditioning. The program is devised to instruct age-appropriate exercises and training techniques to provide a safe and effective means of increasing their athletic performance.
The program consists of two different levels; with each level focused on building essential skills to progress the athlete through the program, while optimizing athletic skill enhancement. Every level of the program is made up of three phases, with each phase lasting approximately three weeks.
Cardinal Strength Program Level 1 (Summer Program)
The first level is focused on learning technique and building strength through proper form. The exercises in the program develop skills which will help the athlete's development and prepare them for the next level of the program. It is also a good program to follow to provide some change in an athlete's lifting routine and improve flaws in technique. Strength gains through each phase of the program are monitored in perspective to their technique and performance. At the end of the program the athletes will participate in performance tests to assess their current skill level.
Cardinal Strength Program Level 2 (Summer Program)
The second level is focused on strength gains, while maintaining proper technique. The strength portion of the program is focused around four main lifts; parallel squat, bench press, power clean, and deadlift. The weights and maxes of these lifts are tracked and recorded by the athletes, with the auxillary lifts complimenting the main lifts to provide optimal gains. The Level 2 program the phases allow for a linear increase of strength during the phase, meaning that the athlete will focus on making progressive gains through rep increases over the three week period. At the end of each phase the athlete will perform a "test set" to determine an estimated max, which will allow for exponential increases in their strength gains. At the end of the program the athletes will participate in performance tests to assess their current skill level.