Tapering is an important component of the training process. It involves the systematic reduction of training frequency, duration, and intensity combined with an increased emphasis on sport-specific skill development and nutritional intervention. The objective of tapering the training regimen is to attain peak performance during the competition season.
As a general rule, your strength and conditioning activity (frequency, duration, etc.) should be at its highest level during your off-season, when sport specific activity (practices, games, etc.) is typically at its lowest level. As you progress toward the pre-season phase (usually 4-8 weeks prior to the beginning of the season), your strength training should gradually taper down until the season begins. At that point, your strength training activity should be at its lowest level, relative to your yearly cycle. At Athletic Performance Training Center we typically observe three phases: Off-season, pre-season, and in-season. That being said, it’s not quite that simple — in reality — when you factor in multiple sports and “off-season” activities like AAU basketball and JO volleyball. Nevertheless, your goal should be to build strength during the off- and pre-season phases, and (at least) maintain strength during the in-season phase.
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