Sports science is a dynamic field, it requires you to work hand-in-glove with your clients the coaches and athletes – meeting their expectations of progress, intolerance of risky approaches and assurance your ideas can work with them.
Springing an idea or proposing considerable change is a recipe to resistance. You need to introduce new ideas from a base of what the athlete is doing at the moment! –
Why? Several reason all that optimise performance and create a harmonious bridge between now and the future programme.
Here’s why you should use gradual adjustments for the athlete;
- Minimised Risk of Injury: Gradual implementation of changes allows the body to adapt slowly, reducing the risk of overuse injuries and muscle strain commonly associated with sudden drastic changes in training.
- Sustainable Progression: By gradually introducing modifications, the athlete can build upon their existing foundation and progress steadily, leading to sustainable improvements in performance over time.
Improved Mental Resilience: The manageable pace of change fosters a positive and confident mindset, helping the athlete stay motivated and committed to the training programme as they experience incremental success.
- Enhanced Skill Mastery: Gradual adjustments allow athletes to focus on mastering specific techniques and skills before moving on to more complex elements, leading to more refined and efficient performance.
- Better Adherence and Compliance: Athletes are more likely to adhere to a training programme when changes are introduced gradually, as it feels less disruptive and overwhelming, leading to greater compliance and consistency.
And from the Coach’s Point of View:
- Precise Impact Assessment: Gradual implementation allows the coach to closely monitor the effects of each adjustment, helping them understand which changes positively impact the athlete’s performance and which may need further refinement.
- Data-Driven Decision Making: With incremental changes, coaches can collect more data points and make data-driven decisions, enabling them to fine-tune the training programme based on concrete evidence of progress.
- Tailored Training Approach: Gradual modifications permit coaches to personalise the training approach based on the athlete’s response, ensuring a more individualised and effective programme.
- Proactive Injury Prevention: By carefully observing the athlete’s adaptation to changes, coaches can intervene at early signs of potential injury risks, ensuring a proactive approach to injury prevention.
- Building Trust and Communication: Gradual implementation encourages ongoing communication between coach and athlete, fostering a trusting relationship where both parties work together to optimise training for success.
Take care when launching your clever new idea. Start with what the coach and athlete are doing now and build it out gradually.