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Articles.elitefts.com-Training With Purpose Individualization

Articles.elitefts.com-Training With Purpose Individualization

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Published by Thomas Aquinas 33
Gabriel Naspinski
Gabriel Naspinski

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Published by: Thomas Aquinas 33 on Nov 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Training with Purpose: Individualization
When it comes to training athletes, certain individualities need to be considered. Most may think thatthis will be in reference to exercise selection, qualification, and so on, but there are other variables tobe considered. Besides just exercise selections and volumes, a coach must also have the ability toindividualize both physical and psychological traits. While intensity, volume, selection, and other variables are important, they don’t matter if they’re poorly chosen or applied without consideration to other factors.
The traits that I’ll discuss in this article were taken from a table on page 33 of Issurin’s
Block Periodization 2.
Itdescribes the characteristics that affect each athlete’s individual traits. I’ll list all of them and give some realworld examples of each to bring them into perspective.Here is the table as it is listed in the text. For each characteristic, it provides examples on opposite ends of thespectrum.
When looking at this table, it is important to understand that not every athlete will be purely high or low in eachcategory. Also, some of these characteristics are situational. With things being as fragmented as they are incertain team sports, the way an athlete perceives each individual coach, segment, or the process can influencemany of these factors.
Examining the traits
 All these traits can be expanded on and examples can be provided. From here, we can break the traits downand start to provide some real world examples of each.
Effect caused by training:
With this trait, your athletes either seem to get better no matter what they do or they never improve regardless of how hard they work or how many extra workouts they do. These are the twoextremes of the spectrum. In between this lies all the athletes who are probably experiencing some gains butaren’t anything atypical of training. This trait will also be dependent on many factors such as motor abilities,genetics, and so on. However, there will always be the athletes who have a high response rate and seem to dothe bare minimum of what is necessary (or less if not watched) and the guys who will stay late, do everythingasked of them and more but make almost no gains. This trait can explain why some programs are substandardbut athletes succeed in spite of the shortcomings. It also can explain the opposite where a knowledgeablecoach may have a group of low responders and has to try to actively make his programming the best to getanything out of them.
General tolerance to high workloads:
With this trait, the athlete’s ability to recover from stressors is inquestion. There will be extremes to each side of this and it can revolve around intensity, volume, or frequency.To provide some examples, there is always the classic use of the Bulgarian template for weightlifting. Theathletes who succeeded with this template had a high tolerance to a high frequency, high intensity workload.The ones who everyone saw win medals are those who could withstand this type of training. What no one sawwere the ones who didn’t have this ability to cope with the workloads. They were most likely ground into dust inthe training halls of Bulgaria during this era.This is something that will be individual to many athletes. This also explains why there are many differentapproaches that work, though they don’t work for everyone. Some athletes do well on low frequency, intensitydriven programs with a relatively low amount of volume. Others can cope with a high amount of loading andmay be better served by the numerous programs that cater to this. This also is dependent on past training. An interesting consideration here is something that you see a lot of in team sports. Often times, an athlete willbe out of shape and have a low amount of work capacity. The common remedy is to run this athlete into theground in an attempt to “condition” him. Sometimes this works, but other times it leads to injuries or pooperformance or eventually the athlete quits the sport. While there is a need to raise work capacity, it isn’tsomething that can happen overnight. If an athlete’s tolerance to workloads is already low, increasing thevolume will most likely cause more fatigue. Fatigue masks fitness and performance may drop even more in thiscase.
 In every sport, there will always be athletes who can generally motivate themselves and those whocan’t. Athletes at the high end of this trait are goal oriented and understand that training and practicing are partof the equation to reaching their goals. Athletes who are on the low end don’t always have the ability toconnect the dots that training and practicing will make them better players. They may only be motivated byextrinsic factors such as making big plays in a game, money, or scholarships. While the athletes at the higheend of the spectrum are motivated by and understand the process (i.e. intrinsically motivated), those at thelower end are only motivated by the product and can’t link the process to this.
On the team I coach, I have one player who is very goal oriented and understands that every part of theprocess (physical preparation, films, practice) will make him a better linebacker. With this player, I rarely have tomotivate him to want to be part of any training session or other team related activity. On the other hand, oneof our wide receivers only cares about things such as catching touchdowns, getting letters from colleges, andgirls. He sees training, practicing, and films as things that he is obligated to be at but doesn’t understand thepurpose of any of these in the process of making him a better player.Some might think that motivation comes from screaming and jumping around. This isn’t the case. In myprogram, I don’t run workouts like a cheerleader. I give my athletes cues, correct mistakes, providereinforcement, and maintain a level of control in the room. In my experience, athletes motivate each other behaviorally. It is also important to understand that some athletes are only motivated to participate in trainingand practice when there are negative consequences such as reduced playing time or punishment. This is allpart of knowing your athletes.
 In this category, the athlete is able to regulate both his behavior and his effort. He is able tochange the way he is performing on his own without positive or negative reinforcement from a coach. Athleteswho are high in this category can take a cue to either step up their performance (in a matter of effort) or control their emotions/behavior and make the correct adjustments. Athletes who are low in this category can’tmake adjustments on their own to their effort or behavior and need a coach to either enforce punishment or take other measures.

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