1. Sport Specific Training
The best form of training for any sport is the sport itself. To be effective, a training program must mimic and reproduce the functional movements and metabolic demands of the sport being trained for. Sport-specific training as well as Position-specific training challenges athletes to perform these movements and patterns safely, efficiently, and subconsciously. It also helps develop the appropriate energy systems and promotes muscular adaptations that lead to superior sport performance.
2. Multi-Joint Movements
The body must work together to produce complex movements. No single body part works in isolation during sport. Simple movements such as running, jumping, skating, tackling, throwing, and hitting all require multiple joint actions timed in the proper neuromuscular recruitment pattern. Integrated movements should be trained, not individual muscles, in order to maximize performance.
3. Multi-Planar Movements
Movement in sports occur in three different planes: linear (forward-backward), transverse (up and down), and sagittal (side to side). Training should incorporate exercises and movement patterns closely related to these planes. Free weights will only allow movements in these three planes simultaneously. Machines work in isolation focusing on single joints in a single plane.
4. Ground Based Movements
Most sport skills start by applying force from the ground. The more force an athlete can generate against the ground, the more effective they will be in sport. Running faster and jumping higher are all results of ground-based training movements. The squat and olympic style movements such as the hang clean, push jerk, and hang snatch are most recognized for increasing force output.
5. Explosive Training
Rate of force production or the ability to generate force rapidly is crucial. Power production is the result of motor unit recruitment. There are two types of motor units- fast twitch and slow twitch- that vary greatly in their ability to generate force. Training explosively, using ground-based, multiple joint movements allow more fast twitch motor units to be recruited and in return improves performance potential.
If the same training prescription is followed, performance gains will eventually plateau and even diminish with time. Periodization is scientifically proven to utilize various combinations of volume and intensity to progressively overload the body and bring certain adaptations. Generally starting off with a base, progressing to a strength phase, and ending with a peak power or power phase.
7. Nutrition & Recovery
A training program would not be complete without proper nutrition and rest. Poor diet and lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in performance. An athlete must understand the importance of properly fueling their body and allowing enough rest between workouts. Without an adequate understanding of these two elements, performance can and will be compromised.
To become the best athlete possible requires more than just talent. The intangibles of an athlete are extremely important and should be rewarded during training. Your attitude, concentration, and effort are three things that can always be controlled. No matter the skill level, you can always have a great attitude, concentrate on the task at hand, and give your best effort. Along with discipline, selflessness, and perseverance, these attributes are essential for true success, on or off the field.
8 Performance Principles of Training
1. Sport Specific Training
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