Athlete's Return to Campus Training Thoughts

As much as this COVid-19 nonsense, accompanied by scare tactics from the government sucks, it has certainly given rise to a plethora of thoughts about training.  Those thoughts are what I am going to share.  I would be interested to hear any thoughts that other coaches have.  We're obviously in uncharted territory and none of us have "the answer".  I can only speak for myself when I say I'm really drawing on my experience and a tremendous amount of common sense when it comes to training when I actually get my hands on these athletes again.

I have vacillated between a number of ideas.  Everything from 3, 4 and 5 days of training once a day to multiple training sessions a day.  A good amount of these ideas aren't feasible, so it was fun to think about, but won't be considered.

3 Day Thoughts

My thoughts on 3 days of training per week are that:

  1.  They've been "off" for 3 months or more.
  2.  Get "as much work" in as we can 3 days per week and let them rest for 4 days.
  3.  The thought is we can do full body lifts and run on the same day and then let them fully recover from this.

I'm not sure this is even a good idea because you would run into doing a tremendous amount of work each day.  Even if the overall workload is reduced, it's still a lot of work coming off of down time.

4 Day Thoughts

These are similar to the 3 Day thoughts, but with an extra day, obviously.

  1.  Lift and run on the same day.
  2.  Monday/Thursday Lifts - Olympic/Explosive lift and Speed Work (after 2 weeks or reconditioning)
  3.  Tuesday/Friday Lifts - Strength training/hypertrophy (Squat/Bench/Deadlift and accompanying Assistance Work)
  4.  4 full body lifts and run with 3 days to fully recover.

I like this idea more than the 3 Day.

5 Day Thoughts

This is the idea that I'm currently leaning towards.  The main reason is that everything we do would be in very short bouts.  For simplicity sake: 30 minutes of lifting/30 minutes of running each day.

  1. Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Speed Work (after 2 weeks of reconditioning), Lift and Sled Pushes.
  2. Tuesday/Thursday: Agility Work, Lift, Team Mobility/Stretch
  3. I like this idea because they will practice 5-6 days per week once that starts.  This way we can get them used to exercise everyday.
  4.  Allows the ability to focus on just a few things each day.  Do them well and move on to the next thing.  By the end of the week we can "check off all of our boxes".

As I mentioned, I like this one the best, at this point.  Luckily, I have time to iron out the details, talk to some other coaches and make a decision based on knowledge, experience and common sense.

Again, I don't think any of us have "the answer".  And if you're like me you're trying to find the answer that makes the most sense to you.  If it makes sense to me, I have a better chance of selling it to the coaches, the athletes and administration.  Unfortunately, they will probably have the final say in what we do, but if I (we as strength coaches) do my research and make sure what I'm proposing is the best course of action based on my knowledge and experience I might have a better say in what we do.

No matter what we end up doing I think everyone will be approaching this as if the athletes have done nothing.  Unfortunately, we need to plan for the lowest common denominator.  The kids that had gym access (home gyms or private places they could get into) will be ahead of the curve.  Most of the athletes will be in bad shape and not ready to train and that I who we have to plan around.

Dinner calls, but I'll resume the thought process tomorrow.  My poor assistants will be bombarded with my ideas when I walk in tomorrow.


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