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 poor performance 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 higher end 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.