How would you change your program…
When I started integrating more movement-based assessments into our intake process, it quickly became clear that every individual presents with different structures, mobility limitations and movement tendencies that will influence their ability to successfully perform certain exercises.
This was the theme of my previous post – not all exercises are a good fit for every athlete.
Similarly, each individual’s “performance profile” will present unique strengths and weaknesses, which need to be considered within the context of their training goals.
Even if two athletes have the same goal (e.g. improve speed), they may be starting from completely different places, and therefore require different strategies to help them reach their goal. For example, a strong and powerful athlete that wants to improve speed needs a different program than a weaker/less powerful athlete.
Several years ago, I started asking myself “How would I change the program if my career depended on the progress of this one individual?”
This helped me reconsider my approach and eventually cater more work specific to the needs and goals of the individual.
This isn’t to say that every athlete needs a completely novel training program designed from scratch. But the “thought experiment” of putting one athlete in the spotlight may help identify small changes to the intent of a training phase (i.e. how does the target for this phase align with the athlete’s needs) and/or exercise selection (i.e. are there exercises that need to be removed or added based on the athlete’s movement profile and injury history) that can have a major impact on the athlete’s progress.
The next time you sit down to write a program, consider each individual athlete that will go through it, and ask yourself that question. I hope it has the same impact on your process as it has on mine.
Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.
To your success,
P.S. If you’re interested in more information about how to profile an athlete’s needs and use the profile to individualize a training program, check out the videos at Optimizing Adaptation & Performance
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.