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Your Team is on the Road, and You're not With Them, What Do You Do?

Matthew Sagar
Jan 6, 2020

Working with collegiate athletes year-round is the favorite part of my job. There are times that I am surprised I don’t have more gray hair, but every coach has had that issue arise at some point in the year. Working with college teams, travel is an inevitable and continuous hurdle. Most trips are over a weekend for a series or tournament, but some teams take training trips, or have several competitions on a small “tour” to get non-conference competition out of the way. This only complicates the process when you’re trying to train athletes to compete and maintain high levels of athletic performance.

I am fortunate that our teams do not take training trips or the tours for non-conference play very regularly. With that said, when a team does, it starts a several-week process of researching for myself and the coaches involved. Trying to figure out what, if any, facilities are going to be available, or if this trip is one we could possibly take some simple equipment along for the ride needs to be discussed.

Either option is, in most cases, not going to be ideal; most hotel/resort fitness centers are not really designed to accommodate the demands of training a college team. We also run into the big hurdles of space, amount and type of equipment, the other patrons of the facility, just to name a few. So the fun of trying to plan a training session(s) on their trip is ongoing! There is the option of using the host school/site’s facility if there is a previous arrangement but this takes some leg work and building a good relationship with the coaching staff of the host school/site. This option is not always available due to the fact the host school/site more than likely has their own athletes/teams to train. If planned well in advance this could be a potential option.

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Once the above process has taken place and is relatively “solved”, it's time to start actually discussing how involved the sports coach will be in these sessions. I know that we are the certified professional and the team should know what to do, but some coaches like to be involved and in the weight room with their team. Trying to write a plan with movements that they feel comfortable with correcting can ease some of the tension they might have about working with their team in a different light.

If the facility has a selection of dumbbells/kettlebells, you can get some good quality work done. This is when you now become a logistics professional and try and ensure there is not going to be a team of 25+ in a small hotel space. Setting up small groups with the coaching staff and working around a tight schedule can always be a joy. The use of stations or a rotation within the group can be a great way to help organizing the ensuing chaos. I have attached two examples of options I have used, they are simple but can get the job done in a pinch. Just be sure to thoroughly explain the set up to the coaching staff and answer any questions they may have, as this will help ensure training sessions go as smoothly as possible. The same is true if the team is able to bring some equipment with them. Having a plan in place and having it well-rehearsed with the coaching staff will help things go off without a hitch!

With all planning comes great flexibility, and what I mean by this is always having a backup plan. Your team gets on site and you get the “We are currently making renovations to our facility” sign or you get a text with a picture of three dumbbells a stretching mat, and a spin bike and treadmill (face – palm). Proper planning prevents a poor performance!

Going over plan B or even C with your coaches will help them call the audible on the fly and still get work done. Having pool options, cardio equipment only options, or “the staff said we could use the stairs” option in your back pocket will help create solutions.

Day 1

Hotel Workout Band Workout  
DB Snatch Broad Jump 4x3 ea.
A1. Goblet RFE Band Step-up 3-5x3-8 ea.
A2. Row variation (Vertical Pull if available) Row Variation 5x10
B1. Glute Bridge Glute Bridge 3-4 x reps/time
B2. DB Military Press Banded DB Military Press 3-4x5-8
Torso (Team Choice) Torso (Team Choice) 5-8x15+

 

Day 2

Hotel Workout Band Workout  
DB/KB Swing Stair Jumps 4x3 ea.
A1. DB Bench/Flr Press Banded Push ups 3-5x3-8
A2. Row Variation (Different than above) Row Variation 5x10
B1. SL Squat/DB Step-Up SL Squat/DB Step-Up 3-4x8 ea.
B2. DB RDL (single/double) Banded RDL 3-4x5-8 (ea.)
Torso (Team Choice) Torso (Team Choice 5-8x15+

 

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