2 July 2009

Principles of athletic conditioning

In the last 12 months, I've rethought a few things in ultimate, both from a player's and coach's perspective.

Identifying what works is key to any decisions a coach makes about his or her team.

And this particularly applies to athletic conditioning, which for a small, amateur sport like ultimate is key.

Concepts of periodisation, measurement, goal-setting and individualisation are important.

But getting players to train can be the first goal. This requires setting fitness training in accessible places, setting out clearly what is required, establishing clear reporting guidelines  And managing and preventing injuries during a season of training.

When it comes to ways to make players accountable for the work they do, making fitness competitive can be a big step. Give those who make the biggest gains or attend the most, the bragging rights. Give 'em rewards. Put races and challenges into the activities.

The goal of winning your big comp in 3 months time won't drive most players on most nights to bust a gut.  But knowing that coming second in the next sprint would mean giving piggybacks and losing the food reward does motivate.

And this can all be simple and fun.

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