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Program Design : Assisting Athletes To The Next Level

Let me start by saying there is no " ONE PROGRAM FITS ALL" out there. You may have used another workout plan / program in the past that worked wonders for you . You may have also tried a program which has done nothing but made you injury prone. There are a lot of general strength, speed , agility , flexibility ,rehabilitation programs that do give a very broad understanding of how the program is set up and not really meant for long term success.

Meaning, once you finish one of these 4 week preset, not individualized programs, how do you progress from there ? In the short term , you may have gained a little bit of strength. Was it transferable to your sport ? You also may have completed SO much speed and agility work over the course of 4 weeks. How could you have not improved you speed , right? Im in the offseason of my hockey training , where do I start ?

I first want to start by saying that these quick 4 week programs that you can get off the internet do not take into account individuality at all. Yes , you can get results off of these quick programs with no doubt. Where do you go from there ? Yes , you can jump from program to program and hope for the best ( some could do this for a little while , very few). Could you become an elite athlete and possibly make it pro in your future without an individualized program tailored to you needs ?

Secondly, you ran a 4 week "football specific" strength program in your offseason. Well, it was football specific so it must have worked. Was there any sort of pre test or post test to see if you improved over the 4 weeks. Or was it just guarenteed because it was "football specific". Same goes for speed/agility sports , was there any sort of pre/post test that measured for improvement post program ? Making sure that valid test measures are incorporated in a program is essential . Without testing , you are pretty much just banking that you improved. Reliable?

Thirdly, the concept of knowing when to train specific aspects of your sport. Meaning, if I am a hockey player , when would I train my aerobic/anaerobic system , strength or SAQ. Placing these physiological aspects correctly into your annual training program can make or break any progression that is going to be made in your future. Will training these aspects whenever I want matter ?

I beleive that these questions need to be brought up to all athletes that want to become more aware of there own body and what works for them. There are freakishly good athletes out there that can pretty much do any type of training and become even better. However, very few of those athletes exist. Having something tailored to your goals long-term, will give you a greater understanding of what works for you. You can see on a greater scale , your ups and downs of training. Making athletes aware that some programs do not have proper testing measures that apply to thier sport. Also, an annual training program should be set out having these physiological asepcts layed out prior to even starting anything. I have outlined a couple of key points above that can definately aid an athlete in becoming more aware of steps to take for future success.

Stephen Cascioli , CSC

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