The Balance Principle for Optimal Sports Training Results
The Balance Principle dictates that all training must be properly proportioned in order to achieve optimal results. This broad principle operates at many levels of human performance. All things in moderation applies to sports training as well life, in general.
This principle suggests the right mix of training activities, diet, and healthy lifestyle habits. Going to extremes can result in poor performance, illness, and injury. Overtraining and some aspects of the female athlete triad are examples.
Coaching Tips to Promote an Optimal Training Balance
1. Training Activities. Design your total training program to include the proper proportions of activities and time allocated to develop them. This is a basic goal of the annual program plan.
2. Training Intensity. More is better thinking may not produce the best results. Then again, undertraining will not promote adequate progress. Find the best balance of intensity and recovery. Be sensitive to signs of overtraining in your athletes.
3. Muscle Balancing. Opposing muscle strength should fall within certain ranges. For example, hamstrings should be 60-75% of the strength of the quadriceps. The very nature of sport movements can promote imbalances. Training should include flexibility, muscle testing, and balancing antagonists to prevent injuries.
4. Body Composition. Achieving the best balance of body fat vs. lean body mass is important, moreso for some sports than others. Monitoring body mass index can help guide dietary and training decisions.
5. Nutrition. Athletes' diets must include essential nutrients in proper proportions that may shift depending upon sport demands. Lack of proper nutrients (e.g., iron, protein) can slow progress. Monitoring food intake and supplements can help athletes achieve best results.
6. Evaluation. Evaluating various aspects of athletes' health and performance can assist in identifying areas where imbalances may occur and what is needed to correct them.
Other Training Principles include:
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