A very simple suggestion that I try to convey when planning out your season is: the minute you (or your coach) is going to put pencil to paper; get tested.
What you think you might need, for example more speed work, could be stopping your potential growth.
Think of yourself as a house. The key for stability in a house is to have a large base. For endurance training, this means low intensity work so your body gets use to burning fat as fuel.
I see athletes who have a great base. Picture a shopping mall. Long, low and very wide. The problem is you have to raise your house as well or you will ‘top out’. This means that unless they work at high intensities, they will never push higher limits.
Short intensity sports, so less than 6 minutes of intensity (hockey, football, basketball), typically have tall houses with very little holding them up (think the CN Tower). To make improvements, they need to work on their recovery (so more base work). In short sports it’s not about sustaining the effort for a long time like endurance athletes but being able to reach peak speed repeatedly.
A season is long but making calculated adustments will put you on the road to success. It’s called reactive training. Testing can reveal what you need. We test where you are today so you can focus on doing your best tomorrow.
Build the base and raise the roof. Keep from having the same old results.