Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Soccer on the brain...Mental prep for conditioning

The post-Christmas soccer buzz is in full swing for me.  Usually in the first couple weeks of the new year, I start to get the itch to play my favorite sport again (after some much needed time off in the fall/winter for hockey).  It's this time of year where I start thinking about my upcoming off-season conditioning.

With thinking about this more and more as February moves closer, I thought I'd throw out a few tips for my readers regarding their off-season workouts.  Just a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Plan. Set your targets for this off-season. Perhaps you need to be stronger, faster, more agile... Regardless, planning will set up for success.  Once you have your goals set, get a plan in place including; number of days per week, training phases etc. 
  2. Keep focused on your season.  For myself, as I'm into my routine, the more I think about my season the better. Mentally you have to be in the right place in order to get the most out of your program.  Don't just go through the motions;  feel it, want it, live it! 
  3. Prepare for obstacles. I may be a Fitness Professional and athlete, but I am also a father, husband, and friend.  I have a job to do, I have people to take care of, and friends to see.  Things will get in the way sometimes. That's the life of an amateur athlete. We don't have the luxury of being paid to play our favorite sport, train for it and eat for performance 24/7. We have to train and eat around our daily life.  Just remember, obstacles are just bumps in the road. Be prepared, and stay on track! 
  4. Find your motivation. This goes along with being focused.  Find what motivates you to achieve your targets you set for this season.  For me, just thinking of the sport is motivation enough. But also thinking about the positives from last year... that pumps me up and gets me ready to make this season even better! 
  5. Keep a log/journal. Don't do what I did when I first got into the fitness industry;  "I'm just not one of those people who log everything...."  Do it!  It works! Log your workouts, log how you felt that day, during the workout etc. Be specific.  It keeps you accountable, and allows you to see your progress in another way.