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,

Kevin Neeld

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

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Last week I had an opportunity to join Anthony Renna on the Strength Coach Podcast to discuss our upcoming seminar Optimizing Adaptation and Performance.

During the interview, we discussed:

  • My assessment and performance profiling process and how it influences program design
  • Specific examples of how to train around ankle mobility limitations
  • Strategies to individualize training programs in group settings
  • Workload and recovery monitoring
  • The importance of integrating skill/sport coaches into discussions on training goals
The podcast is available here: Optimizing Adaptation & Performance with Kevin Neeld
If you have any questions about the podcast or the seminar, feel free to post them in the comments section below.
To your success,
Kevin Neeld
P.S. We’re less than two weeks out from our seminar. If you’re interested in learning a comprehensive model of athlete performance, including the assessment and analysis tools, as well as programming, recovery, nutrition and supplementation strategies to best serve the individual needs of today’s athlete, check out this link: Optimizing Adaptation and Performance.