Every athlete that walks through our doors is uniquely created and wired. They act differently, process information differently, adapt differently, and have different performance objectives. This is why it is hugely important to us that we get to know who it is we are working with.
Some athletes need speed over size/mass. Some need to learn basic technique. Some athletes need rotational power while others vertical power. Some athletes need more flexibility while still others need more stability. Just because two athletes are the same age and play the same sport, doesn’t mean they are the same and therefore should train the same way. Anecdotally, we know this. However, the thing they do have in common is they all want to get better. It’s why we say, “If better is possible, good is not enough.”
Once we know who the athlete is, it is important that we establish a baseline of where they are; a 'current location' if you will. Here we take the athlete through a series of assessments including a movement assessment, based off of the FMS (Functional Movement Screen) and TPI (Titleist Performance Institute), an orthopedic exam and photo and video analysis to assess posture and any structural pathologies that may be present.
These assessments help us determine the needs of the athlete, establish what performance objectives we should focus on and what key results we need to measure and monitor. It also gives us insight into how the sport(s) the athlete plays effects the his or her body from an acute as well as chronic standpoint.
We know playing sports break the body down rapidly over time; this is seen anecdotally as well as through empirical data and research. Training helps rebuild the body so that the athlete can continue to perform at a sustained and/or high level, and it even mitigates the rapid breakdown with in-season training.
“The best program is the one that prioritizes the athlete’s objectives and goals, not the coach’s or the program itself. It should be a collaboration with the athlete not a dictation to the athlete.”
After we finish the assessment we have a good idea the athlete’s performance objectives, what key results to monitor, and a timeline. From here we can determine the best training protocol going forward. Throughout the entire process there is an open feedback loop that allows the athlete to give us feedback along with the data we collect so we can modify and adapt the program fluidly without having to wait for an obligatory end date; another added benefit to individualize training.
There are so many factors that go into writing a program for an athlete, such as chronological age, biological age, experience, injury history, background, learning preference, intelligence level. All of these things, and more, we have to consider when developing a program for an athlete.