Its the Off-Season, Now What? Dos and Don'ts for Roller Derby Athletes
After playing sports myself and training other athletes I can tell you that how you treat your off season can greatly effect your success in your sport. Athletes need to see the off season as part of their training cycle. This is especially important for derby skaters. I have seen athletes both lose focus, and over train. Here are some tips to keep your off season on track for peak performance:
1: Do Rest! Good God, take a break! Especially if you are playing a full contact sport like derby. Your body needs time to recover. Let the injuries heal and your mind. Throughout the season your brain and your body are working hard to over come the stress of training and performing. Your off season is the only time you get to take time off. Competitive runners tend to take 1 - 3 weeks off. I recommend at least 1 week with no training.
Don't get lazy though! I know I just said take a break but that doesn't mean snuggle into the couch for binge watching Netflix for your whole off season. Now is the time to develop a plan for your off season. Set obtainable goals and write them down (e.g.: back squat 225 lbs, clean 150 lbs, run a mile in under 8min; or even set roller derby specific goals: such as sprint a 7 second lap or lateral tracking for timed distance.
2: Do Cross train: It's time to hit the gym y'all! Like I said above set yourself some obtainable goals and start lifting! Lifting weights helps to gain power and speed as well as protect your body from injuries. I highly recommend hiring a personal trainer to help you set and meet your off season goals.
Don't over train. I know you want to meet your goals but don't train so hard that you plateau or even worse injure yourself before your season even begins. This article has a good break down of off season training programming.
3: Don't ignore injuries or assume that they will heal themselves. During the competitive season athletes are often pushing through injuries and pain to keep performing. Now is the time to accept that you need help. Do see a health care practitioner to help with your injuries. Go to a doctor and get that nagging knee/ankle/shoulder/whatever pain checked out. Your reoccurring injury and ongoing pain isn't in your head it's real and you need to have it examined. See an acupuncturist or massage therapist. Do what it takes to increase your recovery time so that you are ready for next season and your body is pain free and ready to go.
At Sportland Acupuncture and Personal Training I offer both acupuncture and personal training services (plus I have 13+ years of roller derby experience). Hit me up if you are looking for a trainer that can help you meet both your off and on skate goals for your off season, or if you are need help with injury recovery. Please feel free to reach out to get an assessment so we can create a custom plan to maximize your off season. firstname.lastname@example.org www.sportlandacupuncture.com 503.679.3972