Study Notes

INITIAL PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

It is important for any athlete and their coach to create a training plan of the work that needs to be done in order to maximise an athlete’s performance. The planning process includes setting goals as well as creating short and long term plans.

To begin preparations for designing a suitable training plan, the coach and athlete need to work together to gather background information such as personal details, the athlete’s goals, competition details, medical history and experiences from the previous year.

It is also a good idea to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of previous programs to identify what worked well and what didn’t. The coach and athlete may identify areas of concern that may have led to poor performance or injury.

After taking into account the background information, the coach and athlete also need to identify ideal athletic attributes associated with their sport – body shape/build, endurance levels, speed required. It may also be a good idea for the coach to identify athletes who are at the peak of their sport and make comparisons to their own athletes in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Identifying any gaps between athletes may take be part of the long term planning outcomes for the athlete.

– Performance and Fitness needs

The performance and fitness needs can be different depending on the athlete or team they are apart of.

Every individual athlete will be different according to their goals, expectations and their level of competition.

E.G. – an elite footballer will require a detailed analysis of their performance and fitness needs compared to that of an amateur, weekend footballer who plays for enjoyment and the social aspect of the game.

You can use any example of a recreational athlete against an elite athlete to compare fitness requirements. One is doing the sport for health and enjoyment, the other completes these activities to improve performance and achieve results. This demonstrates that the level of competition each athlete plays, will determine the fitness requirements that each individual needs.

– Schedule of Events/Competitions

There are different competition schedules for different sports. Planning is important so that athletes are fit and healthy and that team strategy has been created. It is important that athletes are not overtrained or undertrained leading into competition, as their performance will not reach its peak.

Team sports will generally have a structured competition, scheduling format, meaning that coaches and athletes can plan their training according to areas of high importance such as semi finals, finals etc. Areas of importance include:

– Finding a balance in training and scheduling so that athletes peak at the right time of year for team sports.

– Taking into account the athlete’s needs and fatigue on the body.

– Planning can be affected by motivation of the athlete, the climate and the resources that are available for training.

An individual athlete may find that their sport is not as clearly structured in terms of competition scheduling. They may find that they need to find their peak at multiple times of the year but also perform well in lead up competitions.

An elite tennis player may find that they are competing for the majority of the year. They have the four major tournaments that they want to be at their best for however; they need to do well at tournaments leading up to these to gain a ranking.

This may present planning issues in terms of training and preparing for competitions effectively. Athletes need to peak and taper their performance and training requirements.

Other athletes who may find that they need to plan effectively around the scheduling of events include athletics (especially in an Olympic year), golfers and swimmers.

– Climate and Season

The climate and season can have a major impact on the performance of an athlete. Most elite athletes will train throughout the entire year to maintain their fitness.

As sports are generally played in ‘seasons’ (rugby league winter and cricket summer), designing training programs to cater for athletes training out of season can require specific adjustments to be made such as the expectations that are placed on rugby league athlete whose competition is in winter will be different when they conduct pre season training in summer.

Athletes who are preparing for conditions in another country or that of which they are not used to will need to conduct training in the right conditions to acclimatise their bodies to what they are going to expect to be competing in.

E.G. – in an Olympic year, athletes will relocate themselves to the country where they are being held prior to competition (at least 2 weeks before) to acclimatise to the conditions.

Some strategies that athletes will use during training depending on the season and climate include regular hydration in a hot or windy climate, sunscreen, changing the duration of the session. It is important to take into account the health and fitness levels of the athlete when planning these sessions.

Full Written Notes

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

INITIAL PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS

It is important for any athlete and their coach to create a training plan, which identifies the work that needs to be done to improve and optimise an athlete’s performance. The planning process includes setting goals as well as creating short and long term plans.

To begin preparations for designing a suitable training plan, the coach and athlete need to collaborate, gathering background information such as personal details, the athlete’s goals, competition details, medical history and experiences from the previous year(s). It is also a good idea to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of previous programs to assess what worked well and what didn’t. The coach and athlete may identify areas of concern that may have led to poor performance or injury. After taking into account this background information, the coach and athlete also need to specify the ideal athletic attributes associated with their sport; the body shape/build, endurance levels and speed required.

It may also be a good idea for the coach to focus on athletes who are at the peak of their sport and make comparisons to their own athletes, in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Identifying gaps between elite athletes and their own performance may be part of the long term objectives for an individual.

Performance and Fitness needs

Performance and fitness needs will vary depending on the athlete, team or sport they participate in. Every individual athlete will require training different according to their goals, expectations and their level of competition.

You can use any example of a recreational athlete against an elite athlete to compare fitness requirements. One is doing the sport for health and enjoyment, the other completes these activities to improve performance and achieve results. This demonstrates that the level of competition at which each athlete plays, will determine the fitness requirements and needs of an individual.

For example, an elite footballer will require a more detailed training plan as well as a more thorough analysis of their performance and fitness needs, than an amateur, weekend footballer who plays for the enjoyment and social aspects of the game.

Schedule of Events/Competitions

There are different competition schedules for different sports. Planning is important to support a team strategy and ensure that athletes are at peak fitness and health when they need to be. It is important that athletes are not over trained or under trained leading into competition, as their performance will not reach its peak. Team sports generally have structured competitions and scheduling formats, meaning that coaches and athletes can plan their training around dates of high importance, such as semi-finals and finals.

Effective training plans will have a balance of training and scheduling so that athletes peak at the right time of year for team sports. They must also take into account the athlete’s needs as well as fatigue and strain on the body.

Planning and scheduling can be impacted by the motivation of athletes, the climate and the training resources available.

Events for individual athletes are usually not as clearly structured in terms of competition scheduling. Athletes may need to reach their peak performance capabilities at multiple times throughout the year as well as in the lead up to competitions. For example, an elite tennis player might discover that they are competing for the majority of the year. They have the four major tournaments that they want to be at their best for however, they also need to do well at tournaments leading up to these to gain a ranking.

This type of unstructured scheduling presents planning issues in terms of training and preparing for competitions effectively. Athletes need to peak and taper their performance and training requirements on a more flexible basis.

Other athletes who may need to plan effectively around the scheduling of events include those competing in athletic events (especially in an Olympic year), golfers and swimmers.

Climate and Season

The climate and season can have a major impact on the performance of an athlete. Most elite athletes will train throughout the entire year to maintain their fitness.

As sports are generally played in ‘seasons’ (i.e. rugby league in winter and cricket in summer), designing training programs to cater for athletes who are training out of season may require adjustments. For example, the expectations and needs of a rugby league athlete, whose competition is in winter, will be different when they conduct pre-season training in summer.

Athletes who are competing in another country, or in an environment they are not used to, will need to conduct training in simulated conditions to acclimatise their bodies. For example, in an Olympic year athletes often relocate to the country where the competition is being held prior to the event (at least 2 weeks before) so that they have time to adapt and become accustomed to the different conditions.

It is important to take into account the health and fitness levels of the athlete when planning. Some training strategies athletes use, which are affected by the season and climate include regular hydration, the application of sunscreen, and changing the duration sessions.