So many athletes make the mistake of thinking GPP (General Physical Preparation), aka working on improving the force outputs of the body, is purely an “off-season” endeavor. Once they start their competitive season, they either eliminate or drastically reduce their GPP work.
The result is an athlete steadily losing power, speed, and velocity over the course of their season
What typically happens is this: take for example a pitcher
He puts in a strong offseason of GPP work, raising his levels of force outputs.
If he’s smart, he took a break from SSP (Specific Sport Preparation), as studies confirm throwing year round is the single greatest catalyst for arm injury.
Once the offseason begins to wrap up, he starts throwing again. Naturally the arm must build back its natural strength and stamina, specifically, restoring external rotation of the shoulder
While this process is happening, velocity is usually a bit lower. This is spring training, and the reason why spring training or “pre-season” is an institution in every major sport
It’s a healthy, natural process for the arm after an offseason
But as their arm restores external rotation and their velocity climbs back up from adaptations in their SSP (Specific Sport Performance), they often fail to maintain their higher GPP levels they earned in their offseason
The result is more or less flat velocity for the year and no PR’s.
While GPP for most athletes shouldn’t be performed at the same frequencies and intensities as the offseason, it’s not difficult to make necessary adjustments in season, and maintain an athletes hard fought for offseason progress.
The reason for this schism is athletes often get put on poor in season programs that only serve to induce unnecessary soreness, OR are put on de facto “babysitting” programs because their strength coaches are so worried that if the athlete gets hurt in-season, their program will catch some of the blame for being “too hard” in season.
When ironically, the athletes reduced strength from being babysat, and subsequent reduced durability, was one of the ACTUAL catalyst’s in the athlete breaking
This is why it’s important athletes set aside the old, antiquated, and outdated perception that GPP and SSP are separate entities for separate time periods.
Sport skill and strength training programming should always be constructed in unison, to complement one another.
Then athletes hard work in off- seasons won’t go for naught, and the typical athlete: the 99%, the “non freak”, that so desperately needs consistent smart GPP training to make it, can become the best they can be.