Productive Programming: How to Develop a Sound Training Philosophy

Tom Kelso
Strength and Conditioning

As a sport coach you most likely have a philosophy on quite a few different things to name a few things: player conduct, team rules, in-contest strategy/procedures, and assistant coach’s input via the chain of command, among others. If you do not have a designated strength and conditioning person on your staff, do you have a philosophy established for all facets of that program component? If you don't, maybe it's time to establish one so that you can realistically and safely address the physical development of your athletes.


The Factors for Athletic Success

Before you continue following the program of the most recent world, collegiate, or local club champion, you need to understand the reality that athletic success is dependent on a combination of the following factors:


  • Natural physical ability/raw talent
  • Proper skill execution and timing
  • Coaching strategy and tactics
  • The mental readiness of the athlete(s)
  • What you can realistically change/alter via a physical training program
  • Luck - At times you only need a little and at other times a great deal (Read: the 1972 Pittsburgh Steelers "Immaculate Reception" playoff game, the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 draft, and former PGA player Nick Faldo in some of the major tournaments)
  • Improving the physical training factor - Things such as muscular strength, running speed, and cardio-respiratory endurance are important, however the aforementioned factors of natural ability/talent, coaching strategy, and mental preparedness more significantly impact athletic success or failure as opposed solely to fitness levels.



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