Ways Athletes Can Make the Most of the Off-Season

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The off-season is a pivotal time for athletes to not only recover and replenish, but also to get in better physical and mental shape for what’s next! 

Know your off-season

There are two periods of the year that all athletes recognize in their sport: in-season and off-season. For junior athletes, the off-season is typically during wintertime, however for college athletes, the off-season is during the summertime. Being in-season brings a lot of high excitement and high pressure for athletes as it is commonly viewed as the most important time of the year. While a sport is in season, athletes are under pressure to perform and deliver results while managing their full calendars with back-to-back competitions. During the off-season, most athletes relax and try to recover from the demands of the in-season competition. However, the off-season is equally important for an athlete to get into optimal shape and prepare for the upcoming season. In this article, we highlight how athletes can optimize both mental and physical conditioning to make the most of the off-season.

First, relax

Yes, kick back and relax! Unfortunately, for many athletes, it’s not that simple to truly get into a state of deep relaxation. The secret is to take care of both external and internal elements:

(1) Find a relaxing environment. A relaxing environment is a place that has minimal stressors and optimizes pleasant stimuli. It could be a beach or holiday destination, but it could also be close to home, like a quiet room away from distractions (such as electronics) or a nice outdoor spot with fresh air and the sounds of nature. There is good evidence that being immersed in nature has calming effects. A relaxing environment can differ for each person, but the location chosen must promote a sense of calmness and allows for focus.

(2) Apply your relaxation techniques. A relaxation technique is a method that helps the body achieve a more restful state and is associated with slower breathing, lower blood pressure, a reduced heart rate, and reduced muscle tension. There are various methods that athletes may be familiar with such as breathing exercises or visualization. If you want to learn those techniques through a method that works under pressure, come train your mind with us! 

Nourish yourself

When you don’t have the immediate pressure of the next competition in mind, it can be easy to fall into bad nutrition habits. What you put into your body affects so much more than just the next few hours of your life. Some off-season training plans can be more physically demanding than when athletes are in-season, so having a good nutrition plan to stay properly fueled is critical. The best off-seasons are ones where you can stick to a sustainable nutrition plan that allows you to indulge but keeps your body fueled with the right food for training. Most professional sports organizations provide suggestions for good diets for athletes, but at 2Mynds we like to fuel our minds with a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and meals with non-processed ingredients.

Evaluate and plan

A great way that athletes can make the most of the off-season is to review their performance over the previous season and identify where they can improve physically and mentally. The training athletes do in the off-season should consolidate their strengths and improve on the parts of their performance that were lacking. Every athlete can tell where their performance lagged during a season or can identify their strengths and weaknesses with a coach. Typically, though, this focuses on physical aspects, such as improving a stroke or improving endurance. However, it is equally (or more) important to think about how mental fitness aspects can be improved.

Use 2Mynds mind-body workouts

Physical training during the off-season is undoubtedly important for athletes, but many do not place the same value on their mental training. Some might consider rest or journaling as a form of taking care of their mental wellness, which will help recovery and evaluation during the off-season, but that is not mental training. How your mind handles difficult situations under pressure plays a huge role in your athletic success. Many athletes know that it can be just one crucial moment that determines a win or loss. To properly train your mind to perform in those crucial moments, you have to train your mind similar to how you train your body, under progressive overload. In simple terms, when training skills, you must go from a low-stress environment to progressively increasing stress where you can learn to manage your skills in any environment. At 2Mynds, we do this with unique mind-body workouts in which the mind and body progress to stress and mental skills are trained functionally. Below is a short workout from our YouTube channel to give you a taste…

As an example, an athlete may do a physical workout during the day and then a visualization exercise separately in the morning or evening. However, this means the visualization is never trained under functional stress. And it turns out it is much harder to create accurate mental imagery (or visualize) when your heart rate is elevated, your blood pressure is up and you are fatigued. In the Flow 255® platform at 2Mynds, we take a radically different approach and the workouts you’ll find in the platform combine mental training (like visualization exercises) training with strenuous physical training to generate a physiology that is similar to the one you experience in competition. By combining both mental and physical components (we call them mind and body flows), your training now becomes functional and your skills start to work under pressure!

Wrapping it up…

There are many ways in which athletes can make the most of the off-season, and one of them is improving their mental fitness. That is also our expertise and where our Flow 255® platform shines! If you want to reach your full potential in your sport, check out our solutions for mental training for athletes.


Let us help you optimize your mental fitness in your off-season. Don’t just reset and prepare physically, but make sure you hit the ground running mentally as you kick-start your new season. Check out our training platformlearning courses, or our pro package that combines everything and even includes a free kick-off consult! If you are an academy owner or coach, college coach, or sports psychologist helping athletes through their off-season, book a demo with us!

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