BY CONNOR STEPHENS
Preseason is an essential part played in any sport. Without any preparation before your competitive season begins, you are destined to fail. Every individual is different when it comes to their preseason exercises and workouts, and how early they start. All teams are also different in when their preseason training starts, but one thing is for sure, and that is if you don't have a solid preseason and hone your skills and fitness, you and your team are setting yourselves up for failure.
Most coaches are supportive of beginning preseason as early as possible, and for good reason. An early preseason allows many factors, such as availability for more friendly matches before the official season begins, along with all of the extra training sessions you and your team get in, which provides you with the best opportunity to get ahead of your competition.
While beginning preseason early is easy enough to say, putting it into planning and actions is a whole new ball game. Even with all the planning in the world, you still need interest from enough players to begin preseason so early, and in my experience playing social sport, an early preseason training session is lucky to have half a dozen players on the track.
That begs the question, how do we get all of our teammates on board for an early preseason?
If your team is all united on what you want to achieve, set these goals out early, and put a post in your team's group chat, stating that in order to achieve this goal, everybody needs to buy in and put in the work. If someone isn't on board, then advise them to either buy in and join their team for preseason training, otherwise it might be more beneficial for them to find a new club.
In order for your team to succeed, everybody needs to be on a united front, from the players, to the coaching staff all the way up to the committee, and communication between all parties needs to be high, as there can be no confusion, and morale needs to be kept high at all times. If morale starts to dip, then skipping a training and switching it for a team bonding session is a good idea. Preseason isn't just about training and fitness, it's about ensuring all teammates are getting along, and team bonding sessions are one of the greatest ways to unite a team. Lets face it, after a couple beers, everybody becomes best mates!
Preseason doesn't need to start as soon as your previous season concludes, but this is when the planning should start. Everybody deserves a well earned rest after a long, enduring season, but preseason start dates for the next season should be confirmed within a week or 2 of the season concluding, in order to keep everybody together and not separated for a significant period of time.
My last point is probably the most important one: Preseason isn't just your team's training, it's your training more so. Coaches expect you to be at peak fitness once the season begins, and teams usually train only once or twice a week, so you need to make sure your exercising and working out whenever you have the time to ensure you make the most out of your preseason, and this will ultimately set you up for both individual and team success!
Everybody's individual training will be different, depending on what type of player you are. My advice is to consult a personal trainer, and let their expertise draft up a training plan that suits your needs, and will get you to perform at your absolute best!