Very often, the Strength Coach Podcast produces an article idea. Anthony (Renna) usually emails me after we record and says “this would make a good article”.
This happened a few months ago during a conversation about in-season training.
I made the comment that in-season training is like going to the dentist.
You do it because 1) you have to, 2) you know it's good for you and 3) you know it will prevent future problems.
No one wants to see you. Everyone comes because they have too.
I'm not sure anyone likes in-season training, some athletes are just better at it than others. As a coach, selling in-season training is an art.
Every day you have to look at athletes and ask yourself what you think you can get. Even athletes that normally love training will drag themselves in after a practice and ask you what they need to do.
What they are really saying is “What is the bare minimum I need to do today?”
A few questions to ask yourself before you answer:
What was practice like?
Did we win or lose the last game?
Where are we in the season?
As the dentist, all of these questions will help to prepare your next move.
Off-season training is like going to get ice cream and we get to be the ice cream man. In the off-season, everyone can't wait to get started. Athletes are goal oriented and excited to be there. In the off-season we can worry about players doing too much. What a luxury.
The reality is that we have to able switch from dentist to ice cream man over the course of a season and, we have to be prepared in both scenarios.
Being the dentist is a long drawn out battle that needs to be fought every day. Being the ice cream man is the job we signed up for.
The dentist work is the harsh reality of the profession. The ice cream man is the fun part.
Sadly, in the professional world, your whole job might be just to be the dentist. At the pro level seasons get longer. Suddenly the off-season is short and off-season training seems a lot more like a job than something a player loves to do.
Worse yet, some other guy at home gets to be the ice cream man in the off-season.
We go into strength and conditioning thinking we are going to be the ice cream man, the guy everyone can't wait to see. Then someone else gets that job.
On top of that, you have to be concerned about who's providing the ice cream in the off-season and, do you like the flavor?
In the collegiate world, you might get to switch from ice cream man (pre-season), to dentist (in-season) and back to ice cream man.
In either case (pro or college) the habits you create and the job you do in-season will determine how much fun the off-season is for all parties.