Fitness Training Plans for Sports

Sports fitness training plans are the strategies for achieving peak performance. More than simply building strength or endurance, effective programs are created based on sport-specific demands, sound principles, and coaching wisdom earned from years of experience. Plus, using test results to individualize the program for each athlete is key to success.

Five Steps to Fitness Training Plans

In general, there are five key steps for designing programming to get faster results.

1. Set clear goals. Break long-term goals (e.g., annual goals) into short-term goals (e.g., every 6 weeks). Write them in terms of outcomes that you will be able to accomplish. For example, rather than "jump higher", a clear outcome goal would be "increase my vertical jump to 23" by June 1".

2. Assess the athlete's status. Before laying out a plan to achieve goals, you need objective information about where the athlete stands. Consider the

physical demands of your specific sport--what does it take to be a champion, not just in strength, speed, agility, etc., but also in technical (technique) and tactical (strategies) skills?

Your own personal fitness and skill-related test results tell you where you are. Then you can revise your goals, if necessary, and set up your realistic plan for achieving them.

3. Design the training plan. Your training plan is designed to build qualities that will best transfer to your sport.

Start with the date of your most important competitions, and work your way back to the present. Organize a long-term plan that includes training phases (e.g., conditioning, intensive work, in-season), and get specific with the types of training activities.

4. Train. Carry out the first phase of the plan. Record your workouts in a training log for review later on.

5. Evaluate progress. After the first phase of training, repeat the same tests in the same way. These are mile markers of progress.

6. Revise your plan. Based on test results, make informed decisions about how you will revise the athlete's sport fitness training plan to continually drive toward your goals.

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