Do you have an "Off Season"?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by mango.man, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. mango.man

    mango.man 2nd Black Belt

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    After 13 years it finally occurred to me last night that there really isn't a "Taekwondo Season". I am of course speaking from a completely competitive stand point.

    For 6 years now Samantha has been focused solely on the competition aspect of TKD and up until the beginning of this month, the only time off she has taken was a month or so off when she suffered a concussion.

    This weekend is a big Team-X Slumber party. Sam's first time hanging with her teammates in a few weeks. She's not allowed to practice with them but she wants to feel part of the team still and wish them all well in Orlando so her mom and I took her down to Team-X World Headquarters last night and we will be picking her up tomorrow afternoon.

    We got there last night and watched the last hour or so of practice. All of these kids (ages 10-20) have been working so hard, non-stop for years and I sat there watching in amazement at their commitment to the sport that they love so much. They are all so skilled and just amazing to watch what they do but then when it is time for a break or after class they are all limping and hobbling around, barely able to stand. When break is done though they are back at it and you would never know the pain that they are experiencing as they bounce, jump and spin around kicking either each other or some target.

    It was amazing for me to watch, as somewhat of an outsider now, and I really got a whole new perspective even after just a short time of 3 weeks now that I have not been there watching them day after day.

    As I watched though I got to thinking. Every major sport has an off-season. A period of 2-6 months where yes, the athletes train to stay in shape, but they take it easy at the same time and allow their bodies to heal.

    But when exactly is the Taekwondo off-season?

    I mean, we live in California and I can promise you that on any weekend of the year if I wanted to, I could find a TKD competition to sign my kid up for. And even if you only compete in the "Major" events, I can find one of those every month or 2 between USAT or AAU or some popular regional or statewide event.

    So the question is, if you are a competition team or have a competition team, do you have a competition season and an off-season or do you train year round? And I do understand the concept of taking it easy at times and building up to a big event and peaking etc. But does your team ever take say 3 months off to just simply recover? Because I am starting to realize just how important that is to do.

    Unfortunately, I might be too late to save my own kid.
     
  2. bluekey88

    bluekey88 Senior Master

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    We have a kind of an off-season at our gym. We start up compt team in September and go until Junior Nationals. So, we get a break from after nationals through August. However, for myself and my kids, we conitnue to do some sort of conditioning and practice so as to maintian a certain level of preparedness. We just back off the intensity and focus on other things (like advancing in rank, SD techniques< etc.) that fall by the wayside in the run up to nationals.

    Peace,
    Erik
     
  3. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    for our fight team the answer is no, but that does not mean peak conditioning year round. Our season starts in February and ends in October every month we have at least one tournament, the only two months they have is November and December but that still does not leave them enough time. My son Zachary trains everyday either with wieghts or cardio, footwork drills to stay on top year round, to be consider one of the best you need this type of training. I really wish we had an off season but we just don't.
     
  4. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have heard parents complain about there being no off season (not like there is one around here for Little League baseball, but you get the drift)
    The longest there is nothing going on is in December/January when the school is closed for 2 weeks around Christmas. Nobody shows anyhow.

    But we don't have a competition team anyhow, so it's your own fault if you don't take a break and rest up....(the 3 or so competitions are in late spring through fall...)
     
  5. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This may also account for why their is a burn out factor. You simply cannot compete all year long without rest without burning out at some point.
     
  6. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    I was thinking along the same lines. I find it worrying when the OP describes young people in pain and limping around as if they were old, surely not a good thing? The fact they are working through the pain isn't good either surely. Professional MMA fighters take good care of themselves so they can have a decent career without too many injuries and I'm assuming these young people aren't professional and are doing it for the love of it which makes it a real shame if they are ruining their bodies and futures?
     
  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    It's a very bad thing, when you hear that kids are training through chronic injuries with no rest and recovery in their training cycle. It's evidence that, no matter how well intentioned or how well the students do in competition, the coaches don't have a good understanding of training and conditioning. And these kids are going to pay the price when they're older... which, from the sound of this, means maybe 30...

    A good year round training cycle recognizes the need for rest and recovery. Broadly put, the students should peak into their "primary season", maintain during the season, and then spend part of the off season in recover, part in developing into that peak again as the next season comes along.
     
  8. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    Well because TKD is an individual sport and there are ton of local (small) and national (large) events, there really is no season. However with that said you can make your own season if you choose.

    We tend to go from US Open until Jr. Olympics. That is Feb - July. After that there is a good 2 months off until we start to ramp up again. The JKI is our warmup game and we try to peak again for the US Open. Then maintain that peak until July for Nationals and JO's.

    That is what our Comp Team does. However there are still others that wish to compete but are not at the same level as the Comp Team, so we hand pick tournaments to attend for just those kids. Our Comp Team will assist as coaches or warmup coaches for these kids during this time, they do not get to compete.

    As for kids being injured and working though the pain as Mango.Man stated, I don't think they are injured but rather bumped and brusied. If you are injured then you are injured and you will rest as you can't push through injuries. Every TKD (MA for that matter) will limp from time to time with a bruised foot or thigh or just sorness. We all work through that. But I don't think too many if any will work through a broken something or torn anything.
     
  9. ralphmcpherson

    ralphmcpherson Senior Master

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    I have to agree. I see young kids who play rugby league (probably the most brutal contact sport on earth), and due to correct training and conditioning they are not limping around in pain until at least their mid to late 20's. TKD is nowhere near as physically demanding as league so it makes me wonder what is missing from their training, conditioning, rehab etc that leaves young kids walking around in pain, its actually quite sad.
     
  10. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I want to add one point; you can work the same principles of training around several major events each year, so long as there's some time between each. You can work into each event (or short series), then back off, rest afterwards, and start the ramp up again as you near the next.

    The key thing is to allow that time to heal, and not to mistake the competition cycle as time to really go for dramatic improvements. It's the time for maintenance and incremental improvements, and use the "off season" or down time to really push for the major improvements.
     
  11. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Well he did say they could hardly walk! We don't have that amount of damage on an adults training session in MMA! The problem with kids is that they have to be told to rest and it's up to the adults to tell them. Often the expections of the adults is that the kids should be able to do far more than they can reasonably do, the danger being that the parents/coaches are living their lives vicariously through their kids and pushing them too far. There's a line that adults shouldn't cross where children's sports and hobbies are concerned.
    We have eight under sixteens (14 & 15yr olds) and one sixteen year old in our MMA classes, we watch their training very carefully mindful of their growing bodies so that they don't damage their joints, cartilege etc. Their fitness training is also monitored, it has to be compatible with their school's physical training programmes. We aren't 'gentle' on them just very careful we don't cause injuries now that will damage them in later life. We have two in particular who are very talented martial artists and there is a temptation to push them on but it's resisted. The 16 year old is on a break at the moment as he has exams that are important for his future to sit and study for.

    Yes you can push through injuries, I see soldiers doing it all the time and it always leads to the same thing, more time off than was originally needed as the injury just got worse. It's a common thing to 'run off' everything from colds to major strains and sprains, not a good idea. 'Running off' or 'training through' a cold can actually lead to heart disease as one officer found out here.
     
  12. mango.man

    mango.man 2nd Black Belt

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    Perhaps part of our specific problem is that when your 2 coaches have combined to participate in and often medaled at:

    13 World Championships
    8 European Championships
    7 US National Championships
    4 World Cups
    3 Olympic Games
    3 Pan American Games
    and literally dozens of International Opens

    With that sort of experience, as a parent (and perhaps quite wrongly) you tend to believe that the coaches are doing the right things for the athletes that they are training and trying to prepare for the same levels of competition.

    I was speaking with one of the coaches yesterday, specifically about the issues that I saw on Friday night when I dropped Samantha off. And he agrees that not every minute of every training session needs to be about kicking the crap out of your teammates and he intends to dedicate more time in the future to working on much of the mental and strategic aspects of the sport.

    So we will see how that goes.
     
  13. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    I can only go by what we do and we don't have injured kids. Like I stated we have kids and adults with bumps and brusies but that is about it. Most kids that come in with an injury have it happen doing something else. One kid had a dislocated shoulder from playing soccer. He missed 6 weeks of training. Another did something to his knee playing basketball. He also had to miss a ton of time because of this.

    We also don't spar everyday. Sparring only picks up 3 weeks prior to a tournament. Before that it is mostly drills. Even when they partner drill it is light contact and it is just that, a drill.

    I really don't see to many injuries other than a kicked elbow that can hurt like hell but won't do much damage if you are geared up properly.

    Oh yeah, and Soldiers are a different animal. They must learn to push on or die. They are the must do bunch.
     
  14. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    Hopefully a well rounded programme will come out of it?

    How did the coaches get into the European Championships? Are they originally from Europe?
    Kicking the crap out of your team mates isn't a good idea for a number of reasons not just the obvious, you get used to their fighting mannerisms after a while and it doesn't improve your training. It's not necessary to spar a lot to fight well, there's a great deal of training that can be done that doesn't involve sparring which will benefit anyone fighting.

    Knowing the abuses that have happened in other sports with young people being prepared for high end competitions,you really have to hope that the coaches know what they are doing but in martial arts especially theres a lot of the attitude of 'well it didn't hurt me when I was younger' and quite clearly sometimes it has!
     
  15. Gorilla

    Gorilla Master of Arts

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    I have had the pleasure of watching Sam Fight for years. Mango Man is a very responsible parent. Injury and overall bumps and bruises can sneak up on you. I think that Sam taking a rest is a prudent thing to do. How long has she been fighting 10 years. This is one of the dangers of starting at an early age...I will be taking this into account with my kids...Thanks for sharing Charles you may have helped more people than just Sam....Tal
     
  16. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    We weren't however talking about your kids and if mango. man is sufficiently worried I don't think we should pooh pooh him. He sounds very responsible and a caring father.

    Our soldiers aren't a particularly must do lot, they like the easy life as much as any one. We don't do gung ho here, it wears off after a few hundred years, they have all the experience it needs to be good soldiers without the shouting.
     
  17. mango.man

    mango.man 2nd Black Belt

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    Yes, one of our coaches is from Europe (Has fought for both Hungary and Denmark) and the other from USA.

    I do tend to expect that they will train the kids the same way that they were trained. I know that this may not always be right, but if it what the coaches know provided them with the desired results, why would they expect anything different?

    Still I hope to see some changes in the future that will allow the athletes to continue to train while also allowing more recovery/healing time.

    And thanks Tal. We have both been at this for a long time and been watching each other's kids reach greater and greater heights in the sport. Just keep an eye on Kym and Charlie and they will be fine I am sure.

    And Manny, thanks for the PM earlier. The only update I have for you and anyone else interested as to the current status of my daughter is that she is going crazy with the time off and not being able to do TKD. She had a great time hanging out with all of her teammates this weekend. She has 2 appointments with her Orthopedist this week, 1 for her shoulder and 1 for her knee and next Monday she will undergo an MRI on her hips. If an MRI is also required for the shoulder or the knee we hope that those might also be able to happen next Monday but we will see about that. We are also currently waiting to hear back from her Doctor regarding a referral to a podiatrist for her ankle and big toe. I was hoping we could see an Orthopedist about those items as well, but we were told that she much first see a Podiatrist for anything involving the feet.
     
  18. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    Huh??? Who pooh poohed him? I responded to others comments not his. And I can only use the kids I see on a daily basis as a reference nothing else. If others are training with serious injuries then yes that is bad. But I to train kids for this sport and see many limp from time to time and for the most part it is sorness from bumps and brusise. One the occasion there is an injury they take time off. No one pooh poohed anything.

    As for the soldiers I am not talking about on any mats or any sport. I am simply talking about a soldier in military. If they are pushing through real injuries while doing a sport then that is a different thing. That was not what I was talking about.
     
  19. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    We don't do that many tournaments. I know you guys do AAU and USAT and may be going at it most of the year. We only do a couple major matches a year including State and Qualifiers. So we get plenty of rest and recoverytime. Our season like I stated above is only from Feb to July. Only 6 months. We even close the dojang in july for a couple of weeks.
     
  20. Tez3

    Tez3 Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is what I mean, you aren't training them with the same intensity that the other are.

    If the coach from Hungary is old enough to have been there during the communist era I imagine the training would have been very tough indeed. results mean everthing in that time.



    ATC I was talking about our troops pushing through injuries in sport and in the field. They like combat sports lol, rugby, league and union, boxing, MMA and hockey, basically anything even vaguely violent or dangerous, they do karate, Judo as well, TKD hasn't really caught on I'm afraid.123
     

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