Due to us simulating a meet at practice yesterday we decided to follow through on our original plans and have a recovery day.
Our main focus was to "flush out" the hard work (and lactic acid buildup) from yesterday and "reset" ourselves using RPR.
When RPR was done I met with the female long jumpers and had a long discussion about the upcoming end to our season. Here are a few of the focuses of that discussion:
1.) EVERY athlete on our team is exceptionally lucky that yesterday's cancelled meet was rescheduled for the week after conference. It is rare that we compete at conference and athletes still have an opportunity to show their abilities before the regional meet lineup is created. In this specific instance, a kid could pop a huge jump at the meet after conference and change the conversation regarding who should jump moving forward - it's happened before!
2.) The jumps coaching staff has taught them pretty much everything there is to know this season. It is up to them to finish their season the right way. There are no late-season magical fixes that are going to make them all PR - much of it is mental fortitude/strength. Too often athletes allow the end of the season to be a stressful/fearful/sad event. They take their focuses off of competing and only focus on the things they can't change. How they compete is something that is fully within their control, and I wanted to make sure they understand their part in our shared journey.
3.) I'm already looking forward to next season. I told them this because I wanted them to fully understand the importance of offseason training and preparation. I told them that I am very much still present in this season and will be here for anything they need, but I wanted to make it clear that their time away from the program is extremely important. High school athletes don't see the larger picture. They generally don't workout during the offseason unless in multiple sports. This leaves them unprepared and unable to compete at the levels they are capable of.
I also discussed an idea I have that I feel could have some serious merit for helping jumpers moving forward. This isn't something I'd like to "put out there" just yet. I hope to create a group of jumpers that would be willing to be my "test party" to start gathering data on this coming offseason (into next season). If things go well I will definitely share the results with you!
4.) Just because the end of the season is looming GOALS aren't any less important. Whether they make a postseason roster or not, all athletes need to understand that finishing as strongly as possible is important. It's a way to carry momentum into future seasons. It's a way to finish their high school career on the highest of notes. It's a way to prove how capable they truly are. Finishing strong can change everything if you let it.
To help them get more "in touch" with those goals I had them spread out, lay down, close their eyes, and think about how their season has gone thus far and how they'd like their season to end. I told them "shut off the world" and focus solely on themselves and the desires they have moving forward. They did this for roughly 10 minutes.
While they did this I started going over my offseason conditioning thoughts with one of the other jumps coaches (Coach Cross) to get her ideas on how it looked thus far. We went over the various lifts and plyometric movements I feel should become a staple moving forward, and told her that I've connected with a well-established physical trainer to discuss making a year long plan (which I hope to either include in my book or make available to interested jumpers).
We agreed on a large number of things and are really excited at the evolution to an already-established offseason plan (getting even better).
After the girls were done visualizing I brought them back together and we discussed various small focuses and finished out time together.
Meet in Waterloo, WI - really looking forward to it!!