Informed Performance Training Project

This might be a little bit different but I think it could be interesting. I’m going to pick an athlete…one that is due for testing and a new program. I’m going to test them and give you all their details and particulars…more about that in a second…and I’m going to put up the program that I give them and we’ll follow their progress or lack there of…whatever the case might be.

Where this gets a little bit different!

I want you guys to post and or email me the program that YOU’D give them so I can integrate them into the post. I’ll put all the programs in the same format so we can see them all side by side so we can discuss the relative merits and problems with each of the programs and ‘compare and contrast’ as they say.

What we need to decide

I thought we should use this post to decide on what information is needed to actually write a program for an athlete. What exactly does a coach need to know? I’m happy to tell you what information I collect but I thought it might be more interesting to see if there are any coaches or amateur coaches reading the blog that wanted to put out there what they look for?

What I’ll Do

I’ll give you whatever you want. I’ll video all the testing. I’ll video an interview with the athlete if people think it’s necessary. I’ll video the athlete doing any exercises and or drills that you suggest…whatever it takes to ensure that you have all the information you need short of actually being in the gym with them.

So I’ll leave it to you guys

If no one has an opinion,  if no one wants to make any suggestions or if this isn’t something people aren’t interested in then I suppose it’ll just fall on it’s face and if that’s the case so be it and we’ll move swiftly along. I think that would be a shame though. I leave it with you and see what comes from it…and even when I get no response I’ll probably just drag it back up and try to pump it up again…I’m a big fan of flogging dead horses as you all know.

Well atleast somebody cares

I’m going to list all the things that people think are necessary to write a program for an athlete and just add to the list as and when suggestion come in.

Adrien offered the following to kick things off:
Sport:
Sex:
Age:
Background: (This would be accomplishments, reported injuries, nagging pains past programs current programs what type of sporting schedule they have.)
Supporting Footage: (This will be footage of them participating in their sport.)

Hugh has added the following:
Athlete Goals:
Prehab & Rehab Needs:

Ian Mellis has added:
Height:
Weight:
% Body Fat:
Nutritional Practices: (7 day food diary)
Functional Movement Screening:
Total Gym Time:
Total Training Time:

Barry added:
Employment/Lifestyle Circumstance:
Positional Requirements:

Zarros added:
Athlete Inclination/Motivation:

Rod added:
Training Period:
Training Time Line:
Training History/Experience:
Medical Conditions:

So….is that it?

The public has had its say. I just want to make sure nothing is missing…that everyone has all the information they need to write a program for an athlete?

Sport:
Sex:
Age:
Height:
Weight:
% Body Fat:
Medical Conditions:
Athlete Goals:
Athlete Inclination/Motivation:
Functional Movement Screening:
Prehab & Rehab Needs:
Positional Requirements:
Background: (This would be accomplishments, reported injuries, nagging pains past programs current programs what type of sporting schedule they have.)
Training Period:
Training Time Line:
Total Gym Time:
Total Training Time:
Employment/Lifestyle Circumstance:
Training History/Experience:
Nutritional Practices: (7 day food diary)
Supporting Footage: (This will be footage of them participating in their sport.)

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23 thoughts on “Informed Performance Training Project

  1. Lyle said
    I was actually going to say “Fake workouts for fake athletes” but, surprising for me, I think it’s time to let that joke die.
    It’s not too old. I still get emails and talk to people who want to know if I’m for real or have heard that I’m a fraud. My aunts and extended family have thought for years that I was actually a master criminal of some kind…as I’ve never appeared to have had a ‘proper job’, have an extensive collection of sports bikes and seemed to have had a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ every year for about the past 10 years….and long may the fraud continue.

  2. Will Wayland said
    If your looking to offload work, hire an intern. Before the recession you had to pay them something, but now you can get away with peanuts and floor scrapings.
    If I were to get an intern…they’d be paying me…not the other way around.

  3. I think before we can ask what we would test we would need the sport being played the sex age and a background on themselves (eg accomplishments, reported injuries, nagging pains past programs current programs what type of sporting schedule they have ectera)
    It would also be heplful to see them practising the sport and seeing how they move in real life when they don’t think they are being observed.
    So when you provide that i am sure you will get lots of responses

  4. Adrienl said
    I think before we can ask what we would test we would need the sport being played the sex age and a background on themselves (eg accomplishments, reported injuries, nagging pains past programs current programs what type of sporting schedule they have ectera).
    That’s the sort of stuff I want to hear…mainly because I disagree…but that’s what will actually make this interesting.

    It would also be heplful to see them practising the sport and seeing how they move in real life when they don’t think they are being observed.
    This I agree with and will be only to happy to provide.

    So when you provide that i am sure you will get lots of responses.
    Well we need some responses before we even start because we need to know what information we are actually after before we start gathering it. Your effort is a good start.

  5. The question is what is to be assumed and what is not to be assumed, have they been screened for disfunction or injury?

    whats the needs analysis for their sport?

    What sort of time commitment do they give to the sport? what time can and give to Str + conditioning work? obviously this begs the question of what do they do in their daily lives?

    And more improtantly what have they done before interms of strength and conditioning, logs, physiological profiles?

    also if its an endurance athlete ill be of little help, im about as experianced as a virgin in a brothel when it comes to anyone who enjoys moving for long enough to need a pee and not stop

  6. One thing that has not yet been mentioned is what the athlete/player wants to achieve with their next training block. Is it strength gains, hypertrophy, speed work, increase conditioning etc.?

    It’s all very well for a coach to look at an athlete and decide how to fix their faults and improve their weaker areas but the coaches goal may not be the athletes.

    I reckon a good program in this regard will improve the athletes problem areas so as to reduce the risk of injury while working towards the goal of the actual athlete.

    What I’ve said will apply more to experienced athletes as they will have a better idea of what they want to achieve. That said, what they want to work on isn’t necessarily what they should work on. Chest and guns anyone!!!

  7. Hmm, seems to defeat the purpose of having a coach b/c if the athlete is in charge of deciding what he should do. IME, most athletes have their heads just as far up their asses about what they actually need or should be doing as the rest of the world.

    They can’t be any more objective about it so they sure as hell shouldn’t be the ones deciding what they should be accomplishing (in general, and yes there are exceptions, and that’s all they are).

    Hell, I doubt Will is very good at knowing what he should be working on. Most coaches are just as awful as their athletes in this regards and most people can only be objective about someone else.

    Lyle

  8. Lyle said
    Hmm, seems to defeat the purpose of having a coach b/c if the athlete is in charge of deciding what he should do. IME, most athletes have their heads just as far up their asses about what they actually need or should be doing as the rest of the world.
    This is true in the majority of cases. Everyone ‘thinks’ they understand training…that rarely seems to bare fruit when it comes to putting that knowledge into practice.

    They can’t be any more objective about it so they sure as hell shouldn’t be the ones deciding what they should be accomplishing (in general, and yes there are exceptions, and that’s all they are).
    See above. I’ve had plenty of athletes over the last 20 years that I have gotten to quite a high level competitively. Who got to a stage where they though they knew more than me or that I wasn’t making a contribution to their success who left me to do it themselves or to be coached by their friend who had really cool new ways of training that proceeded to go directly down the toilet soon after. I’ve had some of these guys come back a season or two later and have been in contact with athletes that apologised 5 years after the fact. I’m fine with all that though and don’t have a problem with it. I want athletes to take ownership of their training and to be part of the process and if they want to do it all themselves that is fine…as long as they take complete responsibility for their performances.

    Hell, I doubt Will is very good at knowing what he should be working on. Most coaches are just as awful as their athletes in this regards and most people can only be objective about someone else.
    That’s why I coach myself…if I got someone else to coach me I would have to do way too much work.

  9. Height, weight, age, % body fat and current nutritional practices- food diaried out for 7 days.

    Some sort of movement screening assessing static posture, ankle, knee, hip, t-spine, shoulder mobility and stability.

    Total gym time,any additional time available for training,team/ group technical training load.

  10. I didn’t actually mean that the athlete got to decide the program but that their goal would be considered and then possibly discarded by the coach.

    Sometimes they could be right. Other times they won’t have a clue but the coach can tease the relative information out of them through tactile questioning.

    If you ask a guy what he thinks he needs to work on and he tels you that he’s tiring during the last 10% of his event and needs to do some sort of extra conditioning, it wouldn’t be too sensible to ignore this. Of course the coach has to decide how to work on it specifically.

    A similar athlete with the same problem won’t tell you this but the coach can still draw the information out of him through questioning. While full disclosure should be the athletes prerogative, it is the coaches problem in reality.

    All I meant by what I said before is that it can be worth listening to the athlete’s view. You way well discard most of it but even the guys who know absolutely nothing about training will know somewhat how their body feels.

  11. Hugh Hogan said
    I didn’t actually mean that the athlete got to decide the program but that their goal would be considered and then possibly discarded by the coach.
    I agree 100%. Mainly because if you don’t get ‘buy in’ from the athlete in question you are pushing shit up hill.

    Sometimes they could be right. Other times they won’t have a clue but the coach can tease the relative information out of them through tactile questioning.
    Everyone knows how ‘tactile’ I am…my questioning style is probably a bit more like the Gestapo…probably similar to how those Gestapo coaches used to get there recruits fit for all the goose stepping.

    If you ask a guy what he thinks he needs to work on and he tels you that he’s tiring during the last 10% of his event and needs to do some sort of extra conditioning, it wouldn’t be too sensible to ignore this. Of course the coach has to decide how to work on it specifically.
    What about the guys that I have like Rhonda and Chops who are tiring during the last 90% of matches?

    A similar athlete with the same problem won’t tell you this but the coach can still draw the information out of him through questioning. While full disclosure should be the athletes prerogative, it is the coaches problem in reality.

    All I meant by what I said before is that it can be worth listening to the athlete’s view. You way well discard most of it but even the guys who know absolutely nothing about training will know somewhat how their body feels.
    As you well know I have varying lengths of rope I will extend to players with which to hang themselves.

  12. I know it’s probably covered by gym time/training time but it seems to me like pro or amateur status would have to be given some consideration. If an amateur then does he do sedentary work (office etc) or manual (bricklayer).

    Also, specialist positional requirements eg. full back, centre, sprinter, middle distance runner

  13. #1 question:

    How bad does the athlete want to improve and is he/she willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next level?

  14. As an “amateur coach”, who will probably never train any one other than his immediate family but has a strong desire to learn all he can about strength and conditioning coaching, I am looking forward to this up coming discussion. I am hesitant to enter the discussion due to fear of bringing down the talk to a lower level, but I see this as an opportunity to pick some brains of some really smart people. So with that said I submit the following list of questions to be added for clarification:

    Is the athlete in season or out of season?
    What is the time frame to meet the athlete’s goals? When do they need to peak?
    What lifts is the athlete proficient in (back squat, military press, deadlift, snatch, C&J, etc….) and how long have they been weight training? If they can’t perform a basic exercise technically correct then more advanced exercises should be avoided.
    History of injuries and current condition of affected areas?
    Other medical conditions that could affect training? (i.e. diabetes, heart conditions, hiv, mental depression ….)

  15. Rod said
    As an “amateur coach”, who will probably never train any one other than his immediate family but has a strong desire to learn all he can about strength and conditioning coaching, I am looking forward to this up coming discussion. I am hesitant to enter the discussion due to fear of bringing down the talk to a lower level, but I see this as an opportunity to pick some brains of some really smart people.
    If we’ve learned anything from this blog (and we haven’t) it’s that no contributor, question or answer is is too dumb or pitched at too low a level to have its place here.

  16. I know this has’nt been asked directly or will be discovered in testing, unless they’re a total total noob knowing their bench, squat or deadlift and or clean vs their bodyweight would be nice

  17. Will Wayland said
    I know this has’nt been asked directly or will be discovered in testing, unless they’re a total total noob knowing their bench, squat or deadlift and or clean vs their bodyweight would be nice.
    We’ll see that in their testing…which I’ll film so people will be able to see their results and form for themselves.

  18. I’m a bit late to the party…not that I go to any parties because I’m a boring fcuker…but here’s my take whether you want to read it or not.

    How far ahead are we looking? I don’t think I’d want to look too far ahead in terms of in season or out of season, or even long term goals.

    I’d let the strength, flexibility and conditioning tests tell me what needs to be worked on most. No point getting too specific if they’re out of whack. Let’s work on getting the athlete structurally sound, strong and conditioned first.

    I’d want to know if their body fat percentage and determine if it is acceptable for their sport. We can either seek to trim the fat or gave them freedom to eat plenty. My only advice would be to eat clean and see what happens.

    That would be it for me. Until we’ve taken a look at the athlete and used Will’s strength and conditioning tests as our initial marker then I don’t think we can draw up any plans.

    Writing of tests…I remember Will you did the flexiblity test in which you had an athlete stood on one leg while the other was pusged back, forward and side to side…and then the same on the opposite leg. I don’t recall you mentioning much more on flexibility testing and wondered if you could post up your thoughts on this. Other than testing for left/right imbalances my own thoughts were that so long as the athlete has the range of motion necessary for the sport that is good enough for me.

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