“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” was really meant to describe the luxury of regeneration weeks during training. And trust me, I don’t take Christmas lightly.
Many typically ask, “So, when is your season?” It is a valid question with every other sports model, from recreation to professional leagues, because they train and compete for 3-4 months and are “off” the rest of the year. I use “off” lightly because there are always post season commitments and physical demands. However, the pressure to perform for competitive factors such as a spot on the field, or a team ranking, are given a small mental and physical break.
Somehow that model missed the National Team training structures. We decided to take the format of a typical preseason and extend that 2-session a day, 6 days a week training structure into roughly 293 days out of the year. To put that in perspective, the duration of the NFL season is 124 days.
However those 72 days of “off-season” aren’t clumped together into a long rest and relaxation time; They come in the form of regeneration weeks. This is a term coined by our strength and conditioning coach, Dave Hamilton, who artfully crafts our physical outputs and demands for every day of the year. Typically (not including our travel schedule), we train for a certain block of time and slowly inch towards “Regeneration Week.” Like any off-season, there is a work-out packet, but we have the ability and freedom to complete the runs or lifts at any time during the day, and for the most part, anywhere we want! While our muscles don’t always get to feel the “restoration and renewal,” our minds have at least a moment to shut down from the constant “ON” switch during season.
It really is a wonderful time of the year.
The top image is my snowy backyard in Mount Joy, Pa. The bottom picture is my Regeneration Week escape to Satellite Beach, Fl.