Every program must be accompanied by a sound program philosophy for three main reasons:
- Your philosophy is what will guide you in developing all your training programs. It is easier to sift through the myriad of misinformation and fads when you have sound principals on which you base all your training.
2. When communicating with others in your athletic department, whether securing funding for a new position or defending your program to another coach, having your philosophy predefined and presentable will give you more credibility.
3. CYA (cover your a$$). Every coach’s nightmare is litigation regarding an injured, or worse, athlete. Having a science-based, sound philosophy to help protect you and those you oversee is paramount.
Your philosophy isn’t written in stone, nor should it be. As a professional it is your responsibility to keep up with the science and make changes to your overall philosophy as needed. Keep in mind the nuances of your philosophy may change from school to school but assuming it is a well-designed philosophy, it should be largely transferrable. Below is an example of a presentable philosophy I’ve used in the past.
The Athletic Performance Program is guided by sound principles, which allows it to accomplish its goals and objectives. It is essential we dedicate ourselves to the program and each training session to assure optimal gains. This dedication to the enhancement of athletic performance will help us in our final goal of victory in competition.
The following are the objectives of the Athletic Performance Program:
1. ENHANCE SPORT PERFORMANCE
Strength, speed, explosion, agility, flexibility, body composition, nutrition, and conditioning in specific sports.
2. INJURY REDUCTION
Healthy muscles and joints decrease the chances of injury. When an injury occurs a well-conditioned, well-trained athlete will recover from the injury and spend less time limited in their participation.
3. MENTAL TOUGHNESS
To develop a high level of focus, maturity, accountability, discipline, competitiveness, and a genuine commitment to the team. To minimize distractions and deterrents to personal and team performance.
4. INCREASE CONFIDENCE
The physical and mental gains you make will have you excited and confident to compete against anyone in the Conference and succeed.
The following are principles that guide the Strength and Conditioning Program:
1. Overall body strength development
2. Emphasize hip and core strength
3. Develop explosiveness with correct form
4. Specificity in training
5. Stimulate muscles at different angles and intensity
6. Multi-joint exercises prioritized first in workout
7. Variation of exercises within program
8. Improve athleticism with complimentary exercises
The following are principles that guide the Sports Nutrition Program:
1. Meal planning and focused food choices
2. Nutrient timing for optimal performance and recovery
3. Using Nutritional Supplements as ergogenic aids to enhance athletic performance
4. Muscle development (weight gain) and fat loss (weight loss) strategies
5. Proper daily calorie requirements based on training volume and intensity
6. Maintaining hydration status and electrolyte balance
7. Going to the grocery store = eating smarter, cheaper, and easier
The PR Paradigm
In order to achieve the previously stated objectives it is important to discuss the concept of the personal record. At this University the personal record is emphasized and used as a driving force to lift each student-athlete to greater levels of performance. The personal record is used to create competition with oneself to achieve increases in strength, power, speed, agility, conditioning as well as flexibility.
Our department, as well as the team, will only improve as each student-athlete increases his/her level of performance. Again, this will only occur when the student-athlete is constantly striving to set and break personal records. As the performance of the individual improves this will in turn improve the composition of the team and create new focus and drive for other student-athletes to strive for personal records. When the greatest percentage of a team is overachieving based on their own performance and breaking personal records, eventually performance will be that of championship caliber, because of the level of performance required to PR.
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