Study Notes

ELEMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DESIGNING A TRAINING SESSION

– Health and Safety Considerations

All training sessions need to adopt an environment which is considered safe and for all athletes.

It is important that athletes are healthy (not affected by illness/injury) and that equipment, environmental and climatic conditions are taken into account when preparing training sessions.

Coaches need to regularly check their equipment is up to standard, that they conduct warm up and cool downs, know their athletes and their limits, check the environment is clear from harm, employ regular rest breaks to ensure athletes are hydrated and set safety expectations for all athletes.

If a coach or an athlete disregards these areas, it can potentially lead to injury. Being organised and planning a session is a way that coaches can limit this from occurring.

– Providing an Overview of the Session to Athletes

At the beginning of the session, it is important that coaches provide athletes with an overview of the session to help them prepare mentally for what is expected from them throughout the session. This also helps athletes focus on the task at hand.

Doing this at the beginning of the session allows the coach to open a forum so that they can communicate with their athlete/s regarding issues that have arisen – past performance, attendance, concerns. This also gives athletes a chance to voice their concern on any injuries that have occurred.

The objectives of the session that are being outlined by the coach should be goal specific and so that all athletes know what is going on.

– Warm up and Cool Down

The warm up is an essential part of a training session. It is designed to prepare an athlete to take on the rigours of training.

Whilst it is important to get the blood moving throughout the body in a warm up, it is also important to include sport specific drills to stimulate neuromuscular action.

Warm ups need to be dynamic, effective and set the tone and mood for the training session. Static, PNF and dynamic stretching is recommended as part of the warm up.

The cool down helps the body return to its resting levels faster and helps to remove waste. They generally last between 5 – 10 minutes and are also a good chance to evaluate and provide feedback of the training session.

– Skill Instruction and practise

This area of training can usually take up a fair chunk of the training session. It is normally incorporated with verbal instruction, demonstration or video displays based on the level of the athlete completing the training session.

While some skills will be easy to complete, others will need to be broken down into parts to simplify the overall skill.

Targeting skill development can help improve fundamentals of the game as well as increasing the athlete’s knowledge and understanding of the game.

Some methods that coaches will use to implement skill instruction and practise include using drills that break the skill down (part practice), small sided games or even full practise games which a coach can implement tactical skill development.

– Conditioning

Every sport and athlete is going to require different levels of conditioning.

It is important to identify the fitness requirements for each athlete and design specific conditioning training within training sessions for that sport. To aid in completing this, the principle of progressive overload is needed.

This can still be incorporated into drills and skills within the sport.

Examples could be circuit training, interval training or even conducting sport specific fitness.

E.G. – a soccer team completing a 3v3 activity on a small field working at a high intensity for 2 minutes, having a short break before completing another set of this activity.

– Evaluation

Feedback from athletes to the coach can evaluate the effectiveness of the session and can lead the coach to decide the path to take for upcoming training sessions.

It is not only a good tool for coaches but also for athletes. It is important that both coaches and athletes can give open feedback to improve the training and continue to make it effective.

Full Written Notes

Critical Question 2 – What are the Planning Considerations for Improving Performance?

ELEMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DESIGNING A TRAINING SESSION

Health and Safety Considerations

All training sessions must occur in an environment considered safe and accessible for all athletes. It is important that athletes are healthy (i.e. not affected by illness/injury) and that equipment as well as environmental and climatic conditions are taken into account when preparing training sessions. Coaches must regularly check that their equipment is up to standard, conduct warm up and cool downs, know their athletes and their limitations, check the environment is clear from harm, employ regular rest breaks to ensure athletes are hydrated and set safety expectations and standards for all athletes.

If a coach or an athlete disregards health and safety standards the risk of injury increases. Organisation, pre-planning of sessions and educating athletes about the importance of safe practice are all methods which can reduce the risk of injury.

Providing an Overview of the Session to Athletes  

At the beginning of the session it is important for coaches to provide athletes with an overview of the training planned to help them prepare mentally for what is expected from them. This also helps athletes focus on their performance.

Doing this at the beginning of the session allows the coach to open a forum so that they can communicate with their athlete/s regarding issues that may have arisen relating to past performance, attendance or other concerns. This also gives athletes a chance to comment on any injuries they have sustained or offer feedback on previous sessions.

The objectives of the session should be goal specific so that all athletes understand the direction, focus and purpose of training.

Warm up and Cool Down

The warm up is an essential part of a training session. It is designed to prepare an athlete for the rigours and strain of training. While it is important to get the blood moving throughout the body in a warm up, it is also essential to incorporate sport specific drills to stimulate neuromuscular action.

Warm ups should be dynamic, effective and set the tone and mood for the rest of the training session. Static, PNF and dynamic stretching is recommended as part of the warm up.

The cool down helps the body to return to resting levels faster and remove waste. They generally last between 5 and 10 minutes and are also a good chance to evaluate and provide feedback on the training session.

Skill Instruction and practise

This section of training will usually take up a majority of the session. Coaches may utilise verbal instruction, demonstration or video displays depending on the level of the athlete.

While some exercises will be easy to complete, others will need to be broken down into their component parts to simplify the overall process and ensure the correct development of the specific skill. Targeting skill development can help improve fundamentals of the game as well as increasing the athlete’s knowledge and understanding of the game.

Some methods that coaches use to implement skill instruction and practise include using drills to break the skill down (known as part practice), small sided games or even full practise games, which a coach can use to improve tactical skill development.

Conditioning

Every sport and athlete requires different levels of conditioning. It is important to identify the fitness requirements for each athlete and design suitable conditioning exercises within the training sessions for that sport. The principle of progressive overload is used to facilitate this process.

Conditioning can be incorporated into the drills and skills section of sport training via circuit training, interval training or conducting sport specific fitness. An example of this is a soccer team completing a 3v3 activity on a small field working at a high intensity for 2 minutes, and then having a short break before completing another set of the same activity.

Evaluation

Feedback from an athlete to their coach can provide much needed information. The effectiveness of each session must be carefully evaluated so that the coach can determine the schedule and content of upcoming training sessions.

Evaluation is also a good skill for athletes to develop. To ensure that training achieves optimal benefits and results for an individual, both coaches and athletes must be able to provide open feedback to improve future sessions.