The goal of training is to cause the body to adapt in order to perform at higher levels. There is a science to this. Your body’s ability to adapt is dependent on the loads to which it is subjected and the nutrients and rest it is allowed. A properly designed training program subjects the body to just enough stress to stimulate adaptation coupled with an appropriate diet and sufficient rest to allow super-compensation to occur.
If any of these elements are missing, inadequate, or incompatible, improvements will be at best limited and at worst reversed. Overloading (either by volume or intensity) or insufficient recovery (occurring if your diet does not support your activities or if you are not getting sufficient deep sleep) can break the body down to the point of injury or susceptibility to illness. It is not necessary to leave every workout physically spent. In fact, if you do you are likely overtraining—a condition which leads to physical and mental breakdowns including injury, illness, lack of motivation, and depression.
A successful training program must be specific to your competitive needs—it makes no sense for a shot putter to run 80 miles per week nor for a 10k runner to lift for hypertrophy. Your training programs will be designed to effectively improve your body’s ability to recuperate, make its energy systems more efficient, develop optimal neuromuscular sequencing, and sharpen your mental acuity. The program will work on the theme of General to Specific. You will see this in the 4-Year, Annual, Seasonal, and Monthly training plans.
Training motor pathways to perform specific tasks requires both physical and mental effort. It is important to concentrate on the drills you perform and also to use mental imaging (visualizing) while you are resting, as this will greatly increase the benefit of the training. Further, it is important to visualize and practice drills with the proper technique—every repetition establishes the neuromuscular template your body will use during competition. If every repetition is performed with focus and care, the template will be clear and correct. If you are tired, inattentive, or sloppy when performing your drills, your template will reflect that and will lead to inconsistent performances. We will occasionally use video to assist in creating proper drill technique and mental images.
Strength and flexibility are crucial elements of any successful training program. Improving maximal strength and strength endurance will allow you to perform your desired tasks with less effort and less chance for injury; appropriate power development is the key to performance gains. The muscular development must be balanced and flexibility must be maintained and improved to minimize the risk of injury to antagonistic muscles by the prime movers. Every workout will begin and end with a flexibility/mobility routine. This will not only help minimize injuries, it will also improve recovery time from your workouts.
Your specific training plan will be a tailored version of the general program that addresses your particular needs and goals and will accommodate the various environmental factors that change over the course of your career.
Your success will depend on your willingness to learn and meet the expectations of the program – during and between practices – and the effectiveness and honesty of your communication with your coaches along the way.
Control the Controllables (Attitude, Time Management, Sleep, Hydration, Diet, Stress Management) and commit to the process to maximize your success