Stronger Athletes

Coach Asanovich on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Off-Season

Tenth of July "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." --Aesop

Joey VanLaningham with Mark Asanovich

Every Strength and Conditioning Coach has a different view on what should take place over the off-season. Here is how Coach Asanovich views the Buccaneers. Note this is a previously published article and though Asanovich is no longer the Buc's strength coach, it gives valuable insight into how a top strength coach views is job and the outcome of his actions.

Asanovich was the strength and conditioning coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1996-2001 seasons, a total of six years. Asanovich's record as the team's strength and conditioning coach was 54-42-0, making him the second-most successful strength and conditioning coach in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history (up to that time).

Although it is true that all Strength and Conditioning Coaches look towards the off-season as a time for his or her players to either get bigger, stronger, and/or faster, they each have a personal philosophy about their training time.

Mark Asanovich, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, says that in terms of intensity, the off-season is just like the regular season.

He states, "We define 'Intensity of Training' as the level of effort with which a player exerts himself during his workout. The intensity of training between pre-season and regular season does not change."

Because he considers intensity to be synonymous with effort, Coach Asanovich will settle for nothing short of maximal effort at any time. "In the weight room, as on the field, maximal effort is required to develop maximal results. As such, we expect maximal efforts from our players regardless of the time of year," is how he summarizes the Buccaneers seasonal strength-training philosophy.

However, Coach Asanovich does warn about overtraining. He states, "Because we expect this level of effort, once we enter training camp, we do decrease the frequency of our workouts from three times per week (pre-season) to one or two times (regular season)." He added that the reason for the decrease in frequency was to "promote full recovery and prevent injury."

Other than intensity and frequency, the other important factor to any quality strength and conditioning program, off-season or otherwise, is specificity. Coach Asanovich says that the Buccaneers stay very specific year around.

Of this, he says; "The purpose of any training protocol is to stimulate a specific physical adaptation response. Training is a 'use it or lose it' reality. Simply meaning, if you are training for a specific response from your training, once you terminate that training mode or exercise, you lose whatever physical adaptation that you were hoping to improve in your training."

Because of his "use it or lose it" concept, Coach Asanovich sees to it that the Buccaneers stay focused on the same football-specific exercises throughout the year.

According to him, "Our in-season training or exercises are a direct reflection of our off-season training or exercises. As such, the training protocols that we employ in the off-season are identical to the protocols that we employ in our in-season protocols."

His philosophy and training protocols must be working. The Buccaneers have shown marked improvement since his arrival, and they expect even greater accolades this season with the addition of high profile players such as Keyshawn Johnson.

One thing is certain, the Buccaneers will not lose a game because they are out-ran or overpowered; Coach Asanovich will see to that.

***No Liability is assumed for any information written on the website. No medical advice is given on exercise. This advice should be obtained from a licensed health-care practitioner. Before anyone begins any exercise program, always consult your doctor. The articles are written by coaches that are giving advice on a safe, productive, and efficient method of strength training.***

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