Home » Recreation and Sports

Designing and Implementing a Training Program for Athletes

Nov 7, 2007
There are several key elements when it comes to designing a training program.

For example, take the requirements for a speed training program. An athlete must establish a good foundation of strength before participating in plyometric training. The athlete must also work on technique prior to jumping straight into an intensive speed program. An athlete must also establish a good level of flexibility before performing the explosive movements of many of the training methods. After understanding all of the components that make up speed you will now be able to begin to design a program that bests suits you and your needs.

First of all let's talk about the various stages and phases of a training program.

Periodization refers to the various cycles of a training program where the training stimulus changes in a structured way. The training programs may vary amongst different coaches and athletes but they all address the components of flexibility, endurance, strength, speed, recovery and power training.

The Three Cycles are: Micro cycles will often consist of a 7-14 day training phase; Meso-cycle consist of a 4-6 week training phase and a Macro-cycle consists of the entire term of a training cycle. It is often represented by one year in length.

Planning often takes into account the stage of season the athlete is in. The three stages are pre-season, in-season and post season.

The pre-season is a progressive training program that prepares the athlete for the competitive season. The in-season is where the athlete is in continuous competition and is often in a maintenance phase. Gains are achieved through match play. The final stage is the post-season which occurs after a competitive season and mainly comprises of rest, rehabilitation and recovery.

There are several key principles to consider when designing a training program:

Specificity refers to selecting the appropriate exercises and drills that are specific to the demands of your sport. To take this one step further you must also analyse the specific movement patterns and needs of the specific positions with in your sport. For example a tennis player who serves and volleys will require more emphasis on speed in a forwards direction following the serve where as a baseline player will work more on lateral speed.

Variety is required for the purpose of helping the athlete to maintain motivation and interest in training. It is our human nature to get bored quickly so if you have the exact same training routines then you will become bored and find these sessions monotonous. Variety can still be achieved while choosing sport and position specific exercises.

Overload is a key concept to constant improvements. An athlete will improve when they are subjected to gradually and progressively increasing training loads. There are a number of ways of to increase the load such as increasing the duration of training, the frequency of training and increasing the intensity at which you train.

The athlete must be consistent and disciplined when it comes to their training. Each fitness component must be trained on a regular basis according to their specific program.

Facility availability is very important to a coach. It is great if you have unlimited access to a gym, courts or playing field. However, it is not always the way as many teams may be required to use one field. This is where you need to plan your sessions around other teams and find a fair balance between all.

Sports such as college tennis where there may be twelve players on a team, may only have access to three courts which will force the tennis coach to become more creative in their training programs so that players can practice both singles and doubles.

Individual differences amongst athletes are often ignore by sports coaches. Many coaches fall into the old traditional methods of training every player as if they were all the same and possessed the same physical qualities. It is important to identify the individual differences amongst athletes and then assist each athlete on an individual basis to become stronger in the areas that they need to improve on.

If you are prepared when conducting a training session then everything will seem to run a lot smoother. Also, it is important to have a back-up plan in case of inclement weather. Have all of your equipment ready in advance. If you wait until your training session is about to begin then you are likely to face problems of missing or having broken equipment that could affect your training session.

Assess your training program. The key to improving a training session is for the coach to step back every now and then and to really study the group when they train. This will help the coach see what works and what doesn't work.

Keeping records involves having a notepad on hand so that you can record any results as they occur. If you try and wait until the end of training to collect the results or times from the athletes then many will have forgotten their scores. Learn to take your own personal notes immediately after training as this will help you to make the necessary modifications to your future training sessions.

Skill demonstration is essential in order for all athletes to undertsand how to complete the drill. You must allow sufficient time to clearly describe and demonstrate each exercise or test to be performed. I also have found it worthwhile to explain to the athletes why they are performing these specific exercises and how they relate to their goals. If the athletes understand why they are training a certain way then they are likely to try harder.

It is also important to understand group placement when demonstrating these exercises. The best formation is to have all of your athletes in a single file or semi-circle as this way they all will have clear vision of your demonstration.

Group instruction is important in order to allow time to speak to the athletes while in a group rather than trying to yell out to all of the stations. You will have more of their attention when they are together. Allow for this group instruction to be included into you initial group introductions.

Problem identification is where a coach must be able to identify problems that may occur or stop an activity when it is not being performed correctly. The coach must also be able to move from one drill to another when required.

Flexibility is required when programming. You must learn to be flexible and respond by altering your initial training plan if a certain variable changes.

Design a training program that is progressive and provides continuous stimulus in developing the desired improvements in speed.

Identify each drill by giving each drill a name your athletes will be able to remember that drill when asked to perform it in the future. Often the best name for a drill is one that describes the actual movements of the exercise.

Explain the goal of each drill and make sure that your athletes understand why they are performing a certain exercise. They will train harder when they know why they are performing certain drills.

Simple to complex progression with drills and exercises. Make sure that you start with the simple drills first and then progress to the more difficult and demanding drills during a cycle. This is most important when performing plyometric exercises.

Equipment needed for the various speed training drills include cones, mini-hurdles, resistance bands, stop watches, taped lines, note pad, whistle, plyo-boxes, stairs, jump ropes, medicine balls, tape measure, agility ladders, sleds, stability ball and stretching mats.

A well designed training program is essential for all athletes. An athlete will be more likely to acheive greater gains in technique, fitness and all other areas if their training sessions are structured and goal orientated.
About the Author
David Horne is a former professional tennis player who has created several online sports web sites including Sports eBooks which is the Ultimate Sports eBook Directory for all sports fans!
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 228
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources