When working in professional team sports the complexity of the task at hand can sometimes be daunting. In order to succeed, or at the very least not kill yourself in the pursuit of your job, you need to have a very simple, high clarity definition of what is important to you! Personally, I adhere to the motto; "In order to finish first, first you must finish". There are no prizes in sport for being the best trainer (otherwise Pukey the Clown and his merry bunch of followers would dominate every sport). Prizes in sport are only given to those who compete at the highest level and win, which requires the best players on the field for the longest period of time possible. Based on this, my decisions are driven everyday by what I need to do to ensure my players are available to train and play in a condition that will allow them to sustain the required performance for the longest period possible. So, as a New Years exercise, sit back quietly and answer the question "What is important to you?". Here's a couple of things I've seen over time that you may want to watch out for along the way. Don't be sucked in to chasing too many performance outcomes at once. I get the plethora of periodization models out there at the moment, but too often I see young coaches writing programs that do nothing but induce massive levels of fatigue by layering too many otherwise good methods on top of one another. Prioritise what you really value and focus on getting that done. Ensure the athlete can recover between sessions, and by recover I mean demonstrate adaptation and improvement. Don't be sucked into trends. Learn off coaches who have been around for a long time and had success in multiple environments. Take that knowledge and distill it into your own Training Model. Assuming you haven't tried to completely "reinvent the wheel", and you've listened to your mentors you should end up with a model that may be refined over time but ultimately will serve you well throughout your career. Test what you value and what will help you make decisions. Don't collect data for data's sake. It kills good young graduate students and more importantly distracts you from the task at hand. If data doesn't help you make a decision get rid of it! Maintain quality over quantity. Never sacrifice the quality of mechanical execution in the pursuit of numbers. The advent of GPS has seen many programs chase speed and distance numbers. This practice ends only in one place and I can guarantee its not on the podium. We know via rDNA transcription your body will adapt to what you do. Practice perfectly. Focus on what is important to you and your program and don't be distracted from that course of action. JW
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