Off-season sport training for youth is important in order to prepare young athletes for the upcoming season. It is important for youth to focus on proper training to ensure that they are physically and mentally prepared for the upcoming season.
Components Of Off-Season Sports Training
1. Strength and Conditioning
Strength and conditioning should focus on developing a strong foundation of core and lower body strength. This will help youth to move more efficiently and remain injury free.
Weight training exercises should be tailored to the athlete’s age and developmental level. Plyometrics, medicine ball exercises, and bodyweight movements can all be used to develop strength and power.
2. Flexibility and Agility
Flexibility and agility work will help to improve body control and reduce the risk of injury. Stretching and foam rolling should be done to help improve range of motion and flexibility.
Agility drills can also be included to help improve speed, coordination, and balance.
3. Sport-Specific Skills
Finally, sport-specific work allows youth to focus on the skills required to excel at their sport. This can include drills that focus on shooting, passing, catching, kicking, dribbling, and footwork.
The off-season is a critical time for the development of youth athletes. However, this is a missed opportunity if young players don't take advantage of this time, as the lack of structure that inherently comes with the off-season can lead to reduced abilities for those who lack the self-discipline to adhere to a regular schedule. What these athletes are failing to understand is that you can absolutely lose games in the off-season by failing to prepare, as not only will your progress stall by neglecting to stack days of improvement on top of each other, you will almost certainly be getting outworked by your competition.
Build An Off-Season Sports Training Program
You can do any of the off-season sports training with weights, resistance, or just your body weight, but using VertiMax can help achieve results faster. It's incredible functionality allows users to perform almost any exercise and use movements just like when you play sports. The ability to transport and use VertiMax V8 Platforms or the Raptor equipment in the gym, on a field, or even at home makes working out convenient, especially for athletes who may not have access to high-level facilities.
There’s a reason that VertiMax equipment is used by countless trainers, coaches and athletic programs around the world across a variety of sports.. Whether you are training for football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, or track, VertiMax gives athletes the ability to focus their workouts with sport-specific exercises to help them prepare during the off-season. VertiMax can also help players no matter what their individual goal is, whether they are looking to improve their functional strength, increase their explosive ability, or develop their quickness. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the different ways VertiMax can support youth athletes during the off-season so that their performance stands out once the season gets started.
1. Upper Body Strength Workouts
- Upper Body Drills With Resistance - Here is an excellent video showcasing some of the ways you can use the VertiMax to build upper body strength that would be beneficial for an athlete playing any sport. Mike Evans, Wide Receiver for Tampa Bay Bucs, is able to do a few different exercises with the VertiMax Raptor to work the muscles in his chest, shoulders, back, and triceps. The great thing about the Raptor is you can adjust the angle of the cable, which will allow you to really focus on different muscles or even different areas of the same muscle.
- Arm Swings With Resistance - In this video, we have a great exercise that is sure to help any athlete with their running technique. As you can see in this second drill, the athlete has the resistance from the VertiMax strapped to their wrist and is replicating their upper body movement when running. This drill not only will build strength in your biceps and shoulders, but will increase your running speed by improving the efficiency of your running motion.
2. Lower Body Strength Workout
- Step-Up Drill - The VertiMax is excellent for developing any athlete’s lower body no matter which sport they play. In the video below, the simple single leg step up exercise performed by the trainer is a great way for athletes to increase the strength in their quads and hips. It also allows you to isolate each leg and train them individually, which can help prevent strength imbalances from occurring which could lead to injuries down the line.
- Sled Push With Resistance - This video shows how you can use VertiMax in addition to traditional strength exercises to enhance your workout. As you can see, the athlete is pushing a weight sled, which is already great for increasing lower body strength. But he also has added the resistance to his waist from the VertiMax V8 in an effort to really maximize his workout. Any athlete could benefit by using the VertiMax’s resistance with this exercise, as it will allow you to generate much more power from your lower body, which will help increase speed when running.
3. Core Strength Workouts
Having a strong core is essential for maintaining balance in any sport. With the VertiMax, developing a strong core is easy with versatility it offers.
- Low-To-High Wood Chop Drill - Here is a good example, where Sam Darnold (QB for Carolina Panthers) is able to use the resistance from the VertiMax to perform a low to high wood chop. This drill will really stabilize your core and aid with injury prevention during the season.
- Side-Shuffle Under Tension - This exercise is another good way for any athlete to improve their core strength and get themselves ready to play when the season comes. The athlete uses the VertiMax resistance created from a hip attachment and a cable to create tension in her core when side shuffling. This exercise is an easy way for anyone to increase the strength in their core to help facilitate quicker, faster movements when playing.
4. Speed Workouts
Increasing your speed is a huge advantage in any sport, whether you need to beat your opponent down the field/court or are competing directly against them in a race. With the VertiMax, you can leverage the resistance it creates to maximize your ability to generate power in your running motion.
- Running In Place Drill - This video below displays that, where the athlete is using hip and quad attachments while running in place to cause more of a strain on their lower body. By using the VertiMax resistance to train, the athlete will unquestionably enhance his speed and improve the efficiency of his running motion.
- Sprint Drill - Here is a simple exercise that players of all levels and ages can try, where the young athletes use the waist attachment from the VertiMax Raptor while doing sprints. The tension created by the resistance will develop the athlete’s ability to produce power from their lower body, while also improving their running motion over time.
5. Agility & Quickness Workouts
Most sports require more than just straight-line speed, but also the ability to move laterally or be quick in a short area. That’s where the VertiMax comes in, as there are numerous ways you can train to be more effective in these movements.
- Lateral Agility Cone Drill - In the video below, you can see the athletes are doing a standard cone drill to improve lateral quickness, while also using the resistance from the VertiMax V8. This is a great way to improve on the technique of the movement pattern, while also developing the quick twitch muscle fibers in your legs that lead to increased quickness.
- Lateral Agility & Quickness Drill - Here is another great exercise that young athletes can utilize to enhance their quickness. The player in the video does footwork drills while moving laterally on each side of a rope, with the VertiMax V8 attached to both his waist and ankles. This drill certainly improves the athlete’s ability to push off with either foot while moving laterally, which will improve his first step quickness and capacity to change directions quickly.
6. Jumping Workout For Explosiveness
Explosiveness might not be inherent to every position in every sport, but for those who do need to be able to elevate vertically, it can give them a huge advantage over their opponent. The VertiMax is a great tool for improving your vertical jump, with a resistance system that is built to allow free range of motion. This video shows one of the best ways to use the VertiMax to increase your vertical jump, with the athlete doing box jumps while attaching the VertiMax to his waist and knees. This allows the athlete to really develop the power he’s generating from his lower body, therefore improving his explosiveness.
The Science Behind Youth Sports Training
There was a time when it was ill-advised to encourage youth to strength train. It was a belief that strength training, especially weight-bearing programs (e.g., weightlifting), could affect a youth’s bone structure and growth plates. Recent studies show that you can do strength training and Free-Weight Resistance Training with youth. Resistance training can safely improve muscle and athleticism under supervision.
Another interesting fact is that most elite athletes were multi-sport athletes in their youth. A majority of the science shows that youth who played Multiple Sports were significantly more successful in their primary sport and were more athletic as adults.
Dominate Off-Season Sports Training
The off-season is the best time to make any major strength gains and develop your body, as in-season training is usually focused on maintenance. Not only will adhering to a training program during the off-season help to increase performance in-season, but it also is necessary to help load the body for the workload of the season and prevent injuries. The best way to get your off-season training done without the wear and tear that comes with traditional strength training is with VertiMax. The VertiMax Raptor and V8 Platform can give you the appropriate amount of resistance to help advance your strength training without worrying about putting too much stress on your body.
Stay steps ahead of your competition during the off-season and get off to a strong start today. Contact our support team with any questions or check out our sport specific or goal specific sections for more detailed drills and instructions on how you can train like the hundreds of elite athletes around the globe do on VertiMax.
For more specific youth athletic programs, check out some of our previous articles here:
- Best Youth Agility Training Workouts For Sports Athletics
- How Youth Coaches Utilize VertiMax For Their Athletes
- Parents: How To Use VertiMax To Train Youth Athletes