The offseason is where it’s at.

I know that we’re in basketball season, so all of you basketball players can hold on to this column until after the season. However, for all of you other student-athletes, you may want to read what I have written, now.

I’ll start off by stressing the importance of going through an offseason program. To be honest, offseason is a time to get faster, bigger and stronger. Also it’s a time to slim up, if you’re an athlete who needs to drop a few pounds so that you can play to the best of your abilities. 

Before I go any further, I want to make a note. If you are a multiple sport athlete, then your offseason is in between sports. For instance, in high school, I played football and ran track. So, immediately after football season, I went into the offseason program. About the middle of January, is when track started up, so I went into that program. After track, I went back to offseason.

The way I looked at was that track was part of my offseason program. Since I was able to improve on many of my skills in track, including speed and stamina, it was a no brainer for me to incorporate that training into my offseason program. Even though I couldn’t physically be in the football offseason program in the spring because of track, I was still able to get what I needed to get accomplished because I was using a college offseason plan, along with my track training.

Since I’ve been around sports all of my life, I figure that I’m going to sound like a coach when I say this, but, the offseason is where you improve. I’ve talked to many of you student-athletes in the past couple of weeks and hopefully all of you remember what I’ve said.

Improving in the offseason is vital to your success on the playing surface.

It’s hard to work on the things you do in offseason during the season. During the playing season, student-athletes have to concentrate on game plans, staying healthy, winning games, but most importantly school work. If you can’t make the grades, then you can’t play. So you don’t have to worry about offseason. Hopefully, all of you are taking care of your business in the classroom, but realistically, I know that’s not the case.

Many of you who play junior high, high school and college sports on right on the verge of earning a starting spot. What you do in the offseason will determine if you’re going to start next season. Starting positions are not given away. You have to earn them. All of you starters, can be all-conference, all-state, all-tournament, all-world, if you want to. You just have to step up what you do in the offseason program. 

Make sure that you do the necessary things in the offseason to improve. I’ll go ahead and tell that all of your coaches are watching. If you don’t think they notice what you’re doing in offseason, then you’re wrong.  The coaches know when kids are giving their all in offseason, and they notice the ones who are just trying to get by. I promise you, if you can commit yourself to having an excellent offseason, then you’ll see a big pay off during the season.

(Michael Allen is a freelance multi-media journalist. To reach him for comments, or for interesting feature ideas, please send an email to mallen105@gmail.com.)