There are many ways to individualize a training program to make it more specific to an athlete’s needs.
One simple way is to skip phases of an off-season program NOT relevant to the athlete’s needs to create additional time for the athlete to cycle through phases more specific to their goals.
This table is from a paper I published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal in 2018. In it, you’ll find an example of a typical phase-by-phase progression of an off-season program for ice hockey players.
Using this as a reference, an athlete who wants to focus on speed/power could use Phase 1 as a hybrid anatomical adaptation/strength phase, progress to a power emphasis in Phase 2, Speed in Phase 3, Speed/Power Phase 4, and then transition to more anaerobic capacity work in the two weeks preceding training camp.
This would provide ~9 weeks where speed and power are the primary targets, opposed to 6 in the table.
In team settings, it’s helpful to build out several off-season templates (e.g. hypertrophy/strength emphasis, speed/power emphasis, conditioning emphasis) with specific phase progressions to ensure that athletes are safely and logically progressed in terms of exercise selection, intensity, volume, synchrony of the training program and “conditioning”, etc.
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.