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Vasiliy Ustinov
Vasiliy Ustinov

Trying Athlete Part 2: The Principles Of Training.

In (PART 1) of this two part series, we talked about how vital it is to learn to manage fatigue in a training program, as well as learn to manage changes in the physical state of the athlete. For part II, we will discuss perhaps the most important principle of training vertical leap, which is the simplicity principle, followed up with how training can be managed over the long term, and not just for a 12-week program.

Trying Athlete Part 2: The Principles of Training.

Likewise, speed being an important part of jumping, the training year starts off with higher force, lower speed variations of sprinting such as hill sprints. Once short approach jumping begins, this is sure to be matched with short acceleration development on flat ground (less force, more speed). As the jumper moves to longer approaches, this is matched with some longer acceleration development and short speed endurance (30-60m). Although jumping and sprinting are constantly present, they are modulated throughout the year. This is the variety that is needed, and not so much what the athlete is actually doing; they are always jumping.

The best training is often training that is reduced to the smallest rotation of parts possible, and then managing that rotation extraordinarily well. This is similar to the saying, the best athletes in the world do the simple things extremely well. For the vertical jumping athlete, it is important to learn to do a couple of things (jumping, acceleration, squatting) extremely well rather than learning to do a lot of things (jumping, plyos, Olympic lifts, med ball, yoga, etc.) moderately well.

In the first article in this series we looked at how the principles of intention, awareness, belief, being present, and discipline can be easily implemented in the gym to become an Athlete Warrior. This second part will look at the last five principles of the Athlete Warrior and ways to build these qualities in yourself.

Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education, training and the state's statutes, rules and regulations. As a part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. The NATA Code of Ethics states the principles of ethical behavior that should be followed in the practice of athletic training.

Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of patients, not just athletes participating in sports, and can work in a variety of job settings. Athletic trainers relieve widespread and future workforce shortages in primary care support and outpatient rehab professions and provide an unparalleled continuum of care for the patients.

This part of the season is likely to be the most difficult for athletes from a training standpoint. In the pre/early season, the focus was a higher running volume with lower intensity and little to no racing. At this stage of the season, however, athletes will be racing frequently while maintaining the high volume established earlier in the season and with an increase in the intensity of workouts.

Today, young athletes train like elite professional athletes. Specifically, many adolescents are undertaking physical and mental conditioning regimens for several hours a day in order to produce peak athletic performance. Additionally, some individuals are specializing in one sport at an early age (15) and participating on several teams during a single athletic season. While others participate in several different sports year-round (15) without allowing the body and mind enough time to sufficiently recover from the rigors of athletic competition.

Thus, sport participation and demanding athletic training regimens can produce significant sport injuries for athletes. Experiencing a sport injury may affect an athlete physically and psychologically once the individual returns to athletic competition (36). Without question, coaches should realize athletes need athletic healthcare. In addition, this healthcare should be considered an investment toward individuals maintaining a physically active lifestyle in the future.

The outcome model tends to quickly discard those who do not measure up, and while this may not be by design it happens often enough to be considered a characteristic of the model itself. In the outcome model young athletes are treated as small adults, following the same training and competition patterns as older athletes. Late maturers are discouraged from continued sport participation since the outcome model rewards early maturers with more coach contact, encouragement, and social recognition due to their early ability (i.e., athletic-talent).

A better model might focus on the process of developing an athlete. This model is more inclusive because the path from instruction, to training, and finally, to competition is paved with intentionally stage-appropriate activities and training. Early maturing or physically precocious youngsters do not affect this model. In a process model, stages of physical and athletic development are paired so that athletes are receiving the instruction and training they need at times when it is most beneficial. By deliberately focusing on process rather than outcome providers of youth sport will be able to keep youngsters involved in programs for longer periods. Over the long term this will help athletes develop an appreciation for physical activity and sport. It will also help sport governing bodies reduce the early vs. late maturer problem.

By making a conscious effort to keep all athletes involved through stage-appropriate modifications in training and competition, sport governing bodies will provide a better sport experience for everyone and increase the likelihood of developing elite athletes from those who might otherwise have dropped out from participating in sport. Not only will this enlarge the pool of talent available to national sport governing bodies but it will also increase the likelihood that athletes will continue to be physically active throughout life. Specifically, as youths progress into adulthood, these individuals will have the competence to use skills and knowledge they acquired in organized sports to remain healthy and physically fit.

In 2008 over 44 million youth participated in youth sport activities throughout the United States (34). Although this is an increase of over 6 million participants since the National Council of Youth Sports report in 2000 it is estimated that 35% of youth involved in such athletic programs drop out each year (37). Since millions of young athletes participate in adult organized and supervised activities coaches must gain a solid understanding of performance enhancement and proper coaching methods. By providing a better sport experience for all participants more children will have the skills and knowledge needed to participate in life-long activity. Maintaining a physically-active lifestyle may help alleviate present-day mental and physical health issues associated with youth obesity.

Another crucial aspect of strategy is to focus a significant amount of time on improving weaknesses. I typically see athletes working on the things that they are already good at. While this is necessary for further improvement and maintenance, athletes cannot ignore their weaknesses. In high level competition, the weaknesses are always exposed. It will be a part of the opponents strategy to find and exploit that weakness for their advantage. Elite level performers focus on being well rounded and prepared for anything. These physically trained specimen possess the technical and tactical training habits that help them to understand the theory of practice and competition, which just so happens to be the next principle.

With the intention of producing and reproducing elite athletic performance, a systematic approach is required. Yes there are some athletes that are so gifted and driven that they have the ability to not only overcome adversity in competition but also overcome the adversity of their leadership. These athletes are the exceptions to the rule and have no relevance to my current discussion. My intention is to create the roadmap to success that creates value for the majority. Our model not only consistently builds robust athletes but also develops mental confidence which gives them another advantage in competition. We look at every principle as a gateway toward success. Our athletes will train physically in order to enhance the athletic qualities needed for success within their particular sport. They will learn the technical execution of every exercise in order maximize the benefits from those exercises. Their routines will be tactically planned to ensure the best results for their current needs. We will discuss the theory behind our program in order to give our athletes knowledge on the subject of conditioning and to encourage compliance. Throughout this process our athletes cultivate a true understanding of what is required to become an elite performer and have the psychological fortitude to demand excellence of their abilities. A well-trained athletes is a force to be reckoned with.

Young athletes who are trying to lose weight should work with a registered dietitian. Experimenting with diets on your own can lead to poor eating habits with inadequate or excessive intake of certain nutrients.

Welcome back to part 2 (of 4)of the concurrent training article. Last week we covered the underpinning science of concurrent training, as well as some practical nutrition recommendations. If you have stumbled across this article by chance, I would recommend checking out part one ( -beginners-guide-to-hybrid-training-part-1-physiology-and-nutrition/ ) first. Now, on to the fun stuff. Training to become a hybrid athlete.


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