This is a seasonal piece. It is about the important differences between summer training and the rest of the year. From a coaching standpoint, summer is the time to teach every facet of an athletic development program. That seems like “duh,” but there are two very critical reasons to download these new regimes into players.
It is the athlete’s prime growing season and they can handle more physical stress and recover for longer during these months. The coach therefore can apply more advanced training techniques, schemes or gadgets to the practices.
By doing all of the elements in the summer, the coach and athletes are able to use selected pieces of the program throughout the preseason and regular season, which will minimize the loss of the summer gains.
The summer schedule is meticulously thought out and prepared. The following is an explanation of the summer schedule, which is built around an 8-week program, which is easy to adjust for shorter or longer time frames, according to specific association mandates.
June weeks 1-2
Emphasize speed and strength conditioning through our high-speed training protocol and change of direction workouts.
June weeks 3-4
Increase training loads periodically. Weight rep schemes get lower and running gets longer and faster. Explosive, Olympic, and plyometric sets are introduced through the end of the summer.
July weeks 5-6
Depending on the intensity of training and the 4th of July holiday, the 5th week can be an unloading period. If your summer only allows 5-6 weeks of training, don’t unload. Week 5 should see a continual increase in total load and volume. Keep in mind that as conditioning increases, speed and change of direction workouts are slightly reduced. Since the change of direction is the most stressful leg training, we use it as a conditioning tool. Week 6 has a leveling off of the weight work (less volume), and conditioning becomes more intense.
July weeks 7-8
The final push begins. Week 7 is the time to do the mile sprint– our universal conditioning test. Week 8 is a tapering and unloading week. The players need to get their legs back and begin to feel the residual training effects. You never want to go into Fall camp with dead legs from the Summer– that’s what makes this methodology so critical.