The season has ended. The stands are quiet. A freer slate has replaced the daily practice routine

True, the final game of the year has been played. But for athletes unwilling to settle, the beginning of the so-called dead period is merely the first step toward next year. The long months between games is the time when the biggest personal gains are made. So, if you’re looking to close the gap on the competition while becoming the best version of you, it all starts with winning the offseason.

Stay Fit

With the luxury of time and a well-rested body, the off-season is an ideal stretch to improve conditioning and measurables such as strength and speed. It’s important to locate your personal balance between resting taxed muscles and risking becoming out of shape. You’ll want to ease into the seasonal transition, starting slowly before ramping up intensity as the subsequent campaign approaches. This is the time on the calendar, when no one is watching, that champions are forged.

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Eat Right

Regardless of the sport, maintaining a proper diet works hand in hand with exercising. Ignor eone and the benefits of the other are diminished. The end of the season isn’t an open invite to abandon the sound dietary guidelines that helped you to this point. And there’s no complex formula for achieving goals, rather time-tested principles that have endured for years. Consume a variety of vegetables, fruits and lean protein, especially when muscle building. Hydrate liberally. And limit (or better yet eliminate) junk food, a roadblock to peak physical potential.

Repair the Body
Every athlete, no matter their level, needs to strategically tap the brakes once the season has concluded. Never discount the value of recovery once the grind is over. Okay, it’s rarely a top priority, but the offseason is the right time to recuperate injuries that nagged, yet couldn’t prevent you from competing. Repairing overworked muscles, joints and ligaments will thwart recurring problems. Commit to a three-step approach of rest, sleep and blood-circulating movement that keeps waste products from being stored in the muscles.

Clean Your Gear
Second only to your teammates, your equipment was your best ally this past year. Treat it accordinglyh now that the games are over. Instead of stuffing your equipment in the attic or garage like some grade school art project, handle it with all of the care of a trusted friend. Once the cheering has stopped, the cleaning should begin. Sanitizing and deodorizing the tools of your trade with an EPA tested spray, such as Clear Gear Sports Spray, ensures that both you and your equipment will be ready for action when practice resumes.      

Go Mental
The end of the season affords a chance to not only heal a weary body, but to also declutter an overactive mind.Athletes are wired to run faster, jump higher and generally out hustle the competition. But an overlooked component of athletic success begins with a healthy mind. Use this time to evaluate what went right and wrong last year before closing that chapter and moving on to visualization techniques that’ll help you next season.

Set Goals
You’ve got goals during the season. Well, you should have predefined targets in the offseason, too.

Goals can be as varied as the sport being played, from performance and technique improvements to a better understanding of the game. In any case, since most athletes are programmed toward goal-setting, why change the formula during one of the year’s most developmentally important moments?

Become a Film Buff

There’s recollecting the events of the previous year, and then there’s viewing them in al of their digital glory. IF you have access to footage from the season that was, make time to study and grow from it. A lot can be gleaned in the film room—or living room—both about your game’s nuances and your competitors’ tendencies. While nothing tops a hands-on approach, the offseason can also be used to up your cerebral game.

Socialize

There’s a certain sadness that accompanies a season’s end. And why not, with the memories and bonds that were built?

There’s a certain sadness that accompanies a season’s end. And why not, with the memories and bonds that were built? But just because the year is over doesn’t mean that relationships must come to an end. In fact, it’s encouraged to stay in touch with teammates, both current and future, and coaches. Success in sports is a social and collaborative endeavor, and team chemistry can be cultivated long before the opening practice of the new season.

The end of a season can mean just one thing—next season has already begun. As you tackle your offseason agenda, don’t forget to address your gear before putting it in temporary storage. Clean and disinfect every article withClear Gear Sports Sprayto avoid being greeted with a pungent, bacteria-laden mess when the following season opens.