The off-season is a make or break time for an athlete. On one hand, it presents an opportunity for a player to make vast improvements to their skill set. However, it can also doom those individuals who fail to maintain a practice routine. No matter the age or ability of a player, if you rest this off-season, you will rust.
Momentum plays a huge factor in athletics and in life, serving as a springboard from one day to the next. Those athletes who train on a regular basis, will find that things come easier to them. It is one of the distinct advantages of maintaining a consistent training regimen.
When successful individuals are described by their peers, they are often praised for their work ethic. This consistency to perform on a regular basis is celebrated because a person can be trusted and counted on by their friends, family and teammates. It’s difficult to maintain a consistent work ethic when an individual is a notorious procrastinator, because more times than not a task is rushed and lacks organization.
It’s hard to imagine Albert Einstein rushing through the theory of relativity. It’s unlikely that Herman Melville sprinted through his writing of Moby Dick. And, I doubt that Ludwig Van Beethoven was procrastinating before he wrote Symphony No. 5. Whether it be athletics or other skills that require hard work and dedication, it’s a universal truth that mastery takes an organized thought process and time.
Wayne Gretzky didn’t acquire his mastery on his ice skates overnight. Tony Gwynn didn’t develop his elite swing in a practice session or two. And, Jerry Rice didn’t become the greatest wide receiver of all-time by flipping a figurative switch. The great ones become just that, because they are dedicated to a lifestyle that promotes - greatness.
For the millions of young athletes out there who have dreams of becoming the next big thing in the world of sports, the reality of the situation is that it’s going to take a lot of work and sacrifice. WIth that being said, if the passion is there, the journey is going to be a lot of fun. If you haven’t made that internal decision to “go for it,” you won’t find a better time to do so than the off-season.
When an athlete makes a major breakthrough, most of the time it happens during their off-season training. The reason for this is because it’s difficult to make any major mechanical overhauls in the midst of a season, there just isn’t adequate practice time. Not to mention that often times things get worse before they get better. Some players are hesitant to even tinker with their fundamentals during the season, because it’s a mentally taxing experience and can be extremely counterproductive.
Athletes who treat the off-season like a precious opportunity, will be more likely to make major improvements and accomplish their respective goals. Individuals who fail to take advantage of their off-season will find themselves behind the eight ball when the next season arrives. This sedentary approach will inevitably have a negative impact on the players abilities and they will find themselves scrambling to get right. No matter how great any player is, in relation to the competition, it’s never a good idea to descend while your peers are ascending.
Don’t walk into that first practice of the season with a layer of rust corroding your game. Be prepared and make this year the start of something special. Individuals who fail to train in the off-season will experience a double whammy! They will fail to take advantage of an opportunity to improve and they will enter this year’s campaign on a bad note. Make no mistake, if you rest this off-season - you will rust!