Syracuse Area Health – Strasburger Orthopaedics

Off-Season Training During Social Distancing

During summer when school is out, or when other events such as mandated social distancing interrupt typical sports and athletic training for youth, finding ways for them to stay fit and active can be a challenge. The off-season is typically between post-season competition and pre-season training, but if meets and games are cancelled, your teen may feel at a loss and unmotivated.

Helping your teen athlete develop an effective off-season training plan during this time may mean shifting their perspective to focus on personal rather than team based goals. Instead of looking forward to winning the regional championship, they may need to figure out how to measure their own personal performance and train for strength, flexibility, and endurance.

In competition, most of a teen athlete’s energy goes to sport-specific practice and play. A regular or enforced off-season can give them time to dedicate resources to building muscle and mobility. Learning how to move and increasing power training will help them become a better athlete overall, and when things return to normal competitive play or trials, they will be ready.

Warmup & Cooldown

Breaking with routine can mean forgetting key steps in the safe workout process. Don’t let your teen skip proper warmup and cooldown processes. That last thing you want is a preventable trip to the doctor’s office, where exposure to pathogens is more likely.

Indoor Exercises

Encourage reps of standard sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups. Make things fun and entertaining. Perhaps a younger sibling can “train” alongside an older brother or sister. Encourage jumping jacks or skipping rope to get heart rates up. Find ways to allow weight training to build extra muscle using household items as hand or leg weights.

Outdoor Workouts

Map out good running courses in your neighborhood or at a nearby park. Make sure your teen wears the appropriate gear to keep them safe, understands social distancing rules for passing other runners or joggers, and takes along adequate hydration and a power bar. Reflective clothing should be worn at dawn, dusk, and night. If you have a dog, one or more workouts can include the family pet.

Nutritional Needs

Make sure your teen’s diet is supporting their workout regimen. If they aren’t getting the same amount of exercise, caloric intake might need to be reduced. Make sure they are getting plenty of protein, just the right amount of carbs, and plenty of fiber including fresh fruits and vegetables. If they take a daily vitamin or supplement, don’t let this fall by the side. You can help your teen stay motivated and active during social distancing by being creative and finding ways for them to track their progress. For advice on maintaining sports performance, contact our office.

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