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This weekend is Round 12 of OPDL action, and the last before a two-week summer break in the schedule. Some may wonder why the League is taking a break in the height of summer, when weather is fine and other soccer programs are in full swing. It’s because this break is part of the periodized training and competition program OPDL players are exposed to.
Annual periodized training and competition means that training and games are scheduled around the complete training needs of the players on a cyclical, annual basis, rather than the traditional summer playing months. This can mean concentrating on certain training at certain times of the year (such as more intense fitness training in pre-season months). It also means ensuring proper rest breaks are incorporated into what is a gruelling program.
In OPDL, there are no games on holiday long weekends and a two-week season break in early August allows players, parents, coaches and team support staff to take a well earned rest before focusing on the second half of the season.
There is also a month-long complete break from soccer activities for OPDL players in December, where players can recover, enjoy the holiday season and return for training recharged in January.
During these breaks, mental and physical rest is the main focus. It’s part of the socio-emotional component of high performance athlete development that is so important, and is often overlooked, where players must be given proper mental and physical breaks from soccer to avoid burn-out and exhaustion. It’s not just about how hard you train. It’s also about knowing when to rest and recover.
Periodization and structured rest breaks are just a few of the many components of OPDL that introduce a high performance mentality in OPDL players early in their soccer careers. This is also a chance to give the incredibly committed and hard-working OPDL parents, coaches and support teams a well-earned break.
Congratulations to everyone associated with the league on an extremely successful first half of the inaugural season. The commitment shown, and open embracing of change by all, has been inspiring and an example of what can be done if everyone works together and genuinely puts the player first. Enjoy the break and we will see you refreshed and ready on August 16, 2014.
- OPDL Staff