What are the benefits of the offseason? (via Onrise)

Editor’s Note (Dec. 12, 2023): This article was submitted by Onrise, which US Club Soccer has partnered with for ongoing educational resources related to mental health.

The offseason is a time when athletes aren’t competing in regular season games or in playoff games. Why are there offseasons in every sport? What is the point?  

The offseason is the perfect time for athletes to practice balance. The number one rule for the offseason is that you know yourself best. Ask yourself what you need by following these steps:

Part 1:

  1. Set a timer for four minutes.   
  2. Reflect on the previous season.  
    • Parents: Was it a lot of travel? Were there a lot of rescheduled games this season? Did you have a hard time balancing multiple children playing sports? 
    • Coaches: Did the season turn out the way you expected or wanted it to? Did any conversations with parents or your players go sideways? Were you underprepared for a lot of practices? 
    • Athletes: How did you show up this season? Did you enjoy this season? Were you injured a lot? Were you able to practice balance in your life? 
  3. Allow yourself to sit with these feelings. 

Part 2:

  1. Set a timer for 10 minutes.  
  2. Turn your reflections into a proactive plan for the offseason. 
    • Parents: How can you plan to recharge at home despite potential holiday plans? How can you spend intentional time with your other children who did not come on all the travel trips? How can you spend quality time with your athlete in a way that does not involve soccer? Can you plan with another family to carpool next season? 
    • Coaches: How can you actively rest this offseason? How can you proactively plan for the season ahead without causing burnout? Are there beneficial conversations you can have with more seasoned coaches on strategies for balance?  
    • Athletes: This is a great goal-setting time. Ask your coaches if they model your style of play off any teams. This is also a great time to watch some games. If you found yourself injured a lot, this is a good time to consider cross-training. Challenge those different muscles, try swimming, yoga, or pilates.
  3. Create an intention for the following season.  

Part 3:

  1. Set a timer for a duration of your choice. 
  2. Journal about your reflections. When we write down our reflections, we allow them to live somewhere other than in our head.  
  3. Challenge yourself to share your goals or thoughts with someone you love and trust. When we share our goals, we are more likely to attain them.

Give yourself grace and enjoy the offseason.

ABOUT ONRISE

Onrise is a compassionate player care and mental health company. We are a place where retired athletes and clinicians unite to revolutionize athlete mental health care. At Onrise, we believe that everyone needs efficient strategies to cope with mental challenges both on and off the field. From game day to a big test day, our mission is to ensure that athletes have access to high-quality athlete to athlete support, therapy, and psychiatric care, regardless of their circumstances. Check out our website for more information.


ABOUT US CLUB SOCCER

A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer fosters the growth and development of soccer clubs in order to create the best possible environment for players of all ages.

Anchored by Players First and its five pillars of Club Development, Coaching Development, Player Development, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety, US Club Soccer offers registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms, player identification and a variety of other programming, resources and services.

US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike, DICK'S Sporting Goods and Gatorade.

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