When working with sportspeople there are many varying factors to consider. Creating a structured strength and conditioning program to compliment and work-in with the athlete’s current and future schedule can take a lot of planning. Having structure is very beneficial but can too much structure be harmful?
Coaching is a day-to-day, week-to-week process and having a plan is very important. However when dealing with sportspeople there are so many factors that can upset the initial plan. Some of these factors may arise from other sessions, or games, perhaps causing fatigue or injuries. It’s important to understand and evaluate your athlete every time you see them to best prescribe the following session.
Often people get stuck wanting to stick to a plan because it had already been laid out before them. Competitive athletes can often play-down how they’re actually feeling as they are determined to get in the required work. They will often try to go ahead with the exact training session that was scheduled because anything less can feel like a failure. This highlights the importance for their coach to appropriately communicate and assess the athlete’s condition and use their experience to help the athlete fully understand why any adjustments to their program may need to be made for their own best interest.
Often the athlete and/or strength & conditioning coaches ego needs to be squashed and appropriate adjustments need to be made to achieve a best-case scenario. Progress can always still be made, however what was planned on paper may not always be what’s best.
Learning to evaluate and assess your clients as soon as they walk through the door is an important skill. Ask questions, monitor their responses, monitor their movements, their actions, their mood and their energy levels and make the right call with regards to every training session.