What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

January 28, 2014

Back-Up Plan

Athletes must bring their "A" Game in all sorts of conditions. But when things change and the plan needs adjustment, coaches usually have a backup strategy.

Do you?

When unforeseen circumstances throw off your best intentions, you need a fallback position, a Plan B.

Here are some disruptive scenarios, along with options to right your game or exercise plan.

School's closed, weight room not open.

Don't skip your eagerly anticipated workout. Activate your Plan B by doing these high-intensity upper- and lower body-weight resistance exercises at home:

  • Feet-Elevated Push-Ups off a bed or chair
  • Chair Dips
  • Chair Step-Ups
  • Bulgarian Split Squats (toe on chair)
  • Feet-Elevated Prone and Side Planks
  • Inverted Row Door Knob Pull-Ups (straddle the door, place both hands around the opposing door knobs and pull yourself up)

Don't feel like exercising indoors? Perform these movements outside:

  • Pull-Ups with your hands atop swing set bars
  • Chair Dips with your hands on a bench
  • Step-Ups or Bulgarian Split Squats with one foot on a bench
  • Feet-elevated Push-Ups with toes atop a bench.

Bad weather stops game.

When a sudden storm halts the game, you need to stay loose for when action resumes. Sitting around during the delay could cause your muscles to stiffen up. Your Plan B option: perform these upper- and lower-body dynamic stretches to remain a step ahead of your opponent.

  • Arm Circles and Walking Lunges
  • High Kicks with arms held overhead
  • Side Lunges and Press-Outs
  • Inchworms

An injury sidelines you and derails your workout program.

Sprained your right wrist in practice a few days ago? Pulled a left hamstring in Saturday's game? Could be a good excuse to sit on the couch and mope around. Don't do it! Return to action sooner rather than later with an active recovery Plan B. For instance, if your right wrist is injured, perform lower-body exercises such as Lunges and Wall Squats while holding a dumbbell in your left hand. Or do Single-Arm DB Rows with your left hand. If your left hamstring is hurt, perform exercises with your right leg, such as Single-Leg Squats while holding on to a post. Or do some seated upper-body exercises such as Overhead Med Ball Presses or Seated DB Upright Rows.

Exercising the non-injured limb or side is called cross-transference training—an active recovery method that maintains muscle strength, power and endurance while the injured area heals by simply exercising the opposite (healthy) limb or side.

School track closed.

Don't fret. Head to the nearest park and arrange some cones 10 yards apart for sprints and agility drills. Or seek out a hilly terrain and do higher-intensity uphill and downhill sprints to enhance your lower-body power.

Drop a pass or make a crucial error.

Fumbles, dropped passes, missed field goals, errant throws to first base, or striking out at critical points in a game victimize even the best athletes. When bad things happen on the field or court, what's your Plan B? Are you going to sulk or angrily fling your helmet or bat down? An effective and admirable Plan B would be to prepare yourself before games to handle yourself with dignity by apologizing to your coaches and teammates and devoting extra time after practice and before the next game to correct techniques and help reinforce confidence to prevent future mishaps. The classy way you handle adversity, as well as success, will distinguish you from others.

Read more:

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 7,149,915
Dashon Goldson: Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 6,269,599
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 29,913,485

Featured Videos

Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Basketball Shooting Drill With Kevin Love: 5 Spots, 5 Shots Views: 243,040
Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Real Workouts: Randall Cobb Views: 22,319
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,097
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,576,211
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,865
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,918
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,269,514
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,560

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Five Qualities Of A Successful Player - successful athlete Whether playing at the middle school, high school, college, pro, or even international level,...

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

A Coach Describes What Its Like to Cut Players

A Coach Describes What It

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

How Mentally Tough Are You?

How Mentally Tough Are You?

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

4 Tips for Building Confidence

4 Tips for Building Confidence

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

YardBarker