The off season is important at all levels of sport, professional, junior and amateur for a multitude of reasons.
With playing schedules and structures changing all the while increasing the load on players, the off season and time away from the game becomes increasingly more important.
Rugby Union for example, has seen a lot of contention around proposed playing schedules amendments. Suggestions were to increase the season length while reducing player live game time exposure throughout it, look set to go ahead. There are still mixed feelings towards it amongst players and coaching staff and the international and domestic clashes, but the overall aim is to increase the sports profile.
All things considered, time off away from anything is important, especially sport. Generally, most off seasons follow a similar pattern:
· Complete Rest
· Active Rest
Take time off, disengage with your sport. Use the time to be inactive and let your body and mind rest after a long season.
Start to be active again. This time, hopefully without any niggles, after your complete rest period. Spend this time playing other sports or fulfilling other hobbies, most of which will likely contribute to improving your sport specific skills. All experiences are transferrable.
This is the opportunity and time to progress in sport specific skills. Whether that be fitness, speed, strength, coordination or specific skills. It is a prime time to progress these facets of your game without the burden of playing or competing. Allowing real gains to be made.
The purpose of this off-season structure is to put you in a better position than you were at the end of last season. To progress your performance and take your playing/competing standards to new heights.
Bearhug ambassadors Josh Navidi, Nick Williams and Josh Reed are all currently enjoying some downtime after their respective periods of intense activity - all following relatively similar off-season schedules.