Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Jennifer Ellison-Brown | Planning a training programme

Published:Wednesday | July 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Members of the Mavis Bank High School’s team in training in their hilly community for the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association Boys' and Girls’ Athletic Championships.

Most of the island's schools are in high gear preparing for upcoming interschool sport competitions at various levels.

However, as the coaches and managers are busy making sure that the physical and technical skills of their charges are of optimum quality, I am moved to extend a few points relating to the constructing of a training programme.

A training programme is designed to improve fitness, sharpen skills, and encourage teamwork. Many sports are seasonal; therefore, the programme is divided into parts called periodisation.

Some sports use three (3) main periods:


1. Preseason


Focus on a high level of general fitness for the particular sport .

• Concentrate on muscular endurance, power and speed work.

• Development of techniques, skills, and strategies for the particular sport.


2. Competitive/Peak Season


• Emphasise speed.

• Practise skills at high speed and competitive situations (training circuits and practise matches).

• Extra fitness sessions for strength and power for key muscles

• Adequate recovery and rest to avoid injury and fatigue.


3. Off Season


• Aim for complete recovery from competition through rest, relaxation, and other sports (active rest) to maintain A level of fitness.

The training programme can be long or short term and designed for a particular sport, specific level of ability, an individual sports person, or group of sports people at a similar level of ability.

The skill requirement, type of fitness needed, demographics (age, health, experience, etc) must be considered.

The training principles including the frequency, intensity, time, and type (FITT) principle and

training methods must be

incorporated in planning training programmes.


The Components of a Training Session


Having decided on the programme of training, the actual training session should have three parts:


1. Warm-up


The warm-up helps with mental preparation, increases heart rate and blood flow, warms muscles, loosens joints, increases flexibility and reduces the risk of injury to muscles and joints. The warm-ups must last at least 20-30 minutes and should include:

• Gentle exercise for the whole body, such as jogging.

• Gentle stretching to increase range of movement at the joints and prevent strains on muscles tendons and ligaments. Each stretch must be held for 10-30 seconds with no bouncing.

• Specific warm-up for the activity e.g. Minor game- passing the ball around.


2. Training Activities


This is the body of the training session and prepares the individual or team in different ways for fitness and skill development, depending on the demand of the particular sport. The training activity should include the following.

Physical preparationa fitness session eg continuous, fartlek, interval or circuit training

Psychological preparationplayers need a certain intensity of motivation called arousal, which aids performance. If the arousal level is not high enough, boredom sets in and performance declines. Anxiety, stress level and aggression must also be managed. The team psychiatrist will help the players to recognise and manage these problems.

n Technical preparation These are the basic patterns of movement which have to be developed in every activity.

Skilful performance is the product of using techniques correctly, eg a netball player may work through a series of practices designed to improve footwork skills.

Tactical Preparation- How the opponent is beaten will depend on a number of different factors. Therefore, in order to win, a tactical game plan is needed. The main tactic for most sport involves either attack or defence. The basic principles behind these should be done during the session; example, corner or free kicks can be done by using drills and practices for each situation.


3. Cool Down


The cool down is where the body recovers after vigorous activity and is as important as the warm-up. It prevents soreness, keeps circulation up so that more

oxygen reaches the muscles to clear away lactic acid, and loosens tight muscles to prevent stiffness later. The cool down must begin with a few minutes of jogging, then finishing with stretching exercises. Special attention must be given to the main joints used.

Recovery rate is how quickly the body gets back to normal; make sure enough time is given to recovery between training sessions. If training is done every day, follow a heavy one-day session with a light session. During a heavy training period, at least one rest day must be taken each week.