There's nothing like the turn and burn of race season, but there's also something to be said for the slower-paced off-season. It's the time where you can take inventory of all that happened during the crazy season and take a few days or weeks to reflect. It's arguably the most important time in your athletic life, because what you do during the off-season ultimately reflects the success and outcomes of the next season. Here are a few tips from the SYNC staff to help you maximize the offseason to achieve success year over year:
1. Map out your workout plan.
Work with your trainers at school via video-chat to develop strength programs for the offseason and stick to it! Assess your body, take inventory of injuries, use the time to build the stability before getting into higher weight and volume workouts. The easiest chance to drop your points next season lies in your conditioning program. And be your own judge, the effort you put in now will create success down the road, even if no one is watching. The silver lining to race season getting cut short and resorts closing is that we can get a jump on strength and dryland training. Start today!
2. Plan summer camps with your coach.
Call your coach and decide what camps you should and go to and when. Due to the canceled race schedule, you may want to think about getting on snow earlier than you would normally.
3a. Assess your gear situation.
Do you plan on growing this summer? Or getting so jacked your pants won't fit? Assess the quality of all your gear and decide if it can make it through another season. Identify all the wear and tear, check the fit, and get a second opinion. Ask your parents, coaches for advice. They may see something you don't. Try everything on, even if it fit you all season long. Then watch for spring closeout sales (the best time to score on ski gear).
3b. Winterize gear you won't be using for months.
Pull everything out of your bag, check your pockets, see what smells..then wash using proper care instructions. Fend off the mice, and empty the pocket with the crushed up Nature Valley bar. You'll avoid showing up to summer camp with holes in the bottom of your bag.
4. Learn something new.
Learn to build a website, start a new social account, fly fish, try chalkboard art, start to draw or paint, read the book that's been sitting on your dresser all season. Now's the change to discover a new passion, that you can take with you all season long. The off-season can be slow if you let it. Take one day at a time, and each day do something that will better you down the road.
5. Set goals.
At SYNC, we use OKR's, or Objectives and Key Results, as a goal-setting process based on the book, Measure What Matters. Work with your parents, coaches, and teachers to develop a framework that will help you achieve your overall goal for next season. Once you've identified that overarching goal, break it into weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals so it doesn't become overwhelming. Chip away, the little things add up.
We hope these things help you get better use of your time this off-season. If you are serious about making that college team or getting your points down, take the time now, while it's slow, to identify the path to get there.