Whether you’re going into a high school event or a professional event, a common question we receive is how you should change your training schedule leading up to the event. There are a number of things that, if we were to design a custom program for you, we would ask, including how well-trained you are in the first place, how sore you get playing, and if you particularly mind being sore when you play.
What we would always recommend looking at, however, is what you do to recover after your workout. If you feel stiff a day or two after a workout, are you doing soft tissue and myofascial work? How is your nutrition post-exercise? If you work out very hard and then sit around doing nothing until the next morning, you probably will be somewhat tight, but if you implement some recovery strategies, you might be able to play just fine the next day.
Your workouts in the off-season should be different than your workouts during the time you’re playing a lot. If you’re doing a lot of heavy eccentric training in the middle of the season when you’re playing a lot, that will likely lead to more soreness and fatigue, which won’t give you your best performance. If we instead prioritize plyometric and power conversion work during the season, that can help you be at your peak at the actual time of competition. Everyone is a little different, so the specifics will vary from person to person, and it’s best to experiment with a coach to figure out exactly what is best for you.