A Look Into Off-Season Training

Student-athletes go through rigorous training throughout their season and during off-season when they are not on the field, court or course. Many students and faculty don’t know what happens behind the scenes during the sports teams’ practices or their training during the off-season.

During the offseason of a sport at Point Loma Nazarene University, critical training and practice happens. Student-athletes are expected to perform to the best of their abilities during their sport’s season, which is reflected by their off-season training. Head coaches for PLNU’s sports teams have different expectations for their athletes during the off-season and require different training for each sport. 

Head women’s basketball coach Charity Elliot has high expectations for her athletes during the season and off-season, which she outlined in an interview with The Point.

TP: What do you expect from your athletes during the season?

Elliot: They do intense training and specific drills in order to have the women prepared for any scenario that could happen during a game. When the season is over and off-season training begins, they are limited by the NCAA to eight hours per week of basketball, weight training and conditioning. 

TP: When training during the off-season, what expectations do you have for your athletes? 

Elliot:  We are given certain hours we are allowed to train during the off-season. We use those eight hours, and the athletes are required to attend the eight hours of training. ​​It’s split up into four hours of basketball related activities, either team practice or small group skill work, and four hours of weight lifting/conditioning.

TP: During off-season, is the training more or less strenuous on the athletes? 

Elliot: I think it’s a very different type of training. During the off-season, the weight lifting and conditioning is more intense and challenging, but we don’t have the two or three hour practices that we might have during the season. So, harder for shorter amounts of time.

Fourth-year communication major and member of the women’s basketball team Tavia Rowel agrees with Elliot.

TP: Are the workouts during your off-season more strenuous than in-season? 

Rowel: During workouts in the off-season, it is more strenuous and it needs our best in order to improve. We focus more on conditioning, shooting and skill work with ball handling and weight training rather than game strategy. I would say at times during the season we do lighter practices and make sure we perfect how the other team is playing during practices.

Head cross-country coach Landon Bright has off-season expectations for his athletes to stay consistent and set themselves up well for when competition rolls around. 

TP: What are your expectations for your athletes during the off-season?

Bright: Treat it like they are in-season. The off-season is really our building block phase, so it helps transition when we need to hit harder workouts later on in the season.

TP: What are some things you train your athletes to watch out for during the off-season to prepare for competition? 

Bright: Make sure they keep a structure​​ to their training. When they are not with the team, sometimes it’s easy to let your daily schedule slip. So, during the off-season I like to remind them to plan ahead and make sure you keep some formal schedule that helps you workout on a more consistent basis.

For student-athletes at PLNU, off-season training is important for athletes to rest, develop and improve on their skills that affect their performance. This time is also where they can focus on flaws and little things that need improvement for future games. The outcome of their performance on and off the court, field or course depends on how they train during their off-season. 

Written By: Brooke Marx