They say all good things must come to an end, but that is the last thing any athlete ever wants to hear. However every year all student-athletes have to deal with the closure of their seasons and finish that chapter of their athletic career. No matter how well you team did or did not preform there are always some mixed emotions about a season coming to an end. As off season begins athletes often find themselves as deer in the headlights. The reason I say this is because between all the practices, games, workouts, and school work that needs to be done rarely do you ever have any free time. When season ends, so does the routine you built and all of a sudden you have all this time on your hands that you don’t know how to occupy.
Don’t get me wrong having free time to yourself is an amazing thing but you need to remember that as a student-athlete you still have a job to do for not only your school but also your team and that is being prepared when season rolls around next year. So when that last buzzer goes off, here are three things to remember when you begin your off-season.
1) Take Time Off
When your season ends do yourself and your body a favor and take some time off. By the time season is over you are so mentally and physically drained that it is all going to catch up with you and you will feel completely exhausted. This is the time where you can eat all the ice cream your heart desires, see how many Netflix episodes you can watch in one night, sleep till noon, and just be lazy.
You will notice that some of your teammates might take a different approach and immediately jump back into training mode. That could be their way of dealing with their end of season depression but by taking time off you give yourself the opportunity to regroup. You can sit back and evaluate your own personal experience of your season. Think about the pros and cons and what you want to get better at for next year. After figuring all of this out you can set new goals for yourself that you will benefit from.
2) Find A Hobby
When season ends new door opens for you to follow your other passions and you have the chance to participate in clubs and organizations on campus. Find what you are interested in and go after it. It is crazy how many people I know that have benefited from finding a hobby in their off season. From landing an awesome internship, to kicking butt in intramural sports, to getting involved in the community, the opportunities are endless.
A teammate of mine loves music and in the off season she taught herself how to mix music together. Now she is our team’s resident DJ and has landed some job opportunities out of it. She did all of this by finding a hobby she enjoyed. If you are having trouble trying to figure out what to do grab your teammates and start an intramural team, do a fundraiser or simply just hang out.
*Our warm-up mix this year made by our resident DJ Jayme “Jay-Birdy” McCreary. Give it a listen and check out her other mixes*
3) Get Back To Work
Once you have regroup and took some well deserved time off, it is time to get back to work. A student-athlete’s job is never done and championships are won in the off season. Like I said earlier make goals for yourself and set your standards high to achieve those goals. Even if you only have time for just a 30 minute workout you still striving to get better. Push yourself physically in the off-season and the results will come.
So grab a teammate and get after it! You only have 4 years in your athletic career so make the most of it and leave no regrets when it comes to doing what it takes to be successful.