While softball season is typically in full-swing during this time of year, collegiate athletes are experiencing an unexpected off-season due to the spread of COVID-19. Although you aren’t currently competing, you shouldn’t stop training entirely. How you prepare during the off-season will greatly impact how well your season goes when games recommence. Those that train effectively before competition season will be more fit and have an advantage over their less dedicated competitors. Plus, proper off-season conditioning my even help prevent softball injuries as your muscles will be kept strong, loose, and limber. When you aren’t competing or training with your team, however, it can be easy to lose motivation to stay in shape during the off-season. For tips for staying motivated during the off-season, continue reading.
Set goals and create objectives
Setting goals and creating objectives will help you keep your off-season training on track. By focusing on the bigger picture and creating actionable steps to get there, your training will be more purposeful rather than just some tedious chore. For example, if your goal is to throw farther, develop a workout regime that incorporates plenty of arm exercises. Then, set attainable goals for yourself such as doing more reps or lifting more weight each week. Creating a goal-oriented plan will help you stay mentally focused and physically fit during the off-season.
Enlist the help of an accountability buddy
Without being held accountable by a coach or your team, it’s easy to shirk your off-season training duties. As such, enlisting the help of an accountability buddy—such as a teammate who is also trying to stay in shape—is often beneficial. Because social distancing is a world-wide priority to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you might not be able to physically train together. However, checking in with each other via text or video chat regularly to see if you’re staying on top of your training could help you avoid slacking off.
Try out different exercises
Doing the same drills and conditioning exercises during the off-season as you do during competition season can get repetitive and cause you to burn out. Instead, try to keep your off-season routine fresh by trying out different exercises. For example, if you usually get your cardio in by running during the season, consider biking instead. You’ll still keep your muscles in shape, but the change may make conditioning seem less tedious.