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Training Camp vs. Off-Season Training

I missed the WEC interim lightweight championship match last weekend, but found a quote by the winner and now inter

im lightweight champion Ben Henderson revealing:

“I’m not to the point yet where I can go from training camp to training camp to training camp and not worry about improving my skills. I’m still pretty young in the game, almost three years now I’ve been fighting, and for three years I’ve done a decent enough job, but I’ve got a long way to go still.”

I am not familiar with the ins-and-outs of MMA training and fight preparation. However, even in a sport where athletes train long hours each day and basically train year-round, Henderson’s comments allude to a periodized schedule.

The training camp – which generally seems to be anywhere from 4-8 weeks prior to the fight – focuses on the specific opponent and fight fitness.

However, in the period from the end of the fight to the next training camp, the fighter concentrates first on getting healthy and then improving his skills.

In most cases, this is the type of periodization missing from today’s youth basketball. Players move from competitive season to competitive season with brief training camps to learn the new team’s plays, but fail to take an off-season to focus on recovering from the competitive cycle and improving general skills.

If a professional and world champion needs this time to recover and to improve his general skills, don’t young athletes need the same type of periodized schedule and time away from the constant competition?

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