The foundation of achievement is based around how one prepares and implements progressive strategies. For a high performance coach, the core component of the job leading to the progression of our athletes is completed away from any training facility. Its all in the planning.
We can coach technique and provide quality sessions. It just wont mean much if the athlete doesn’t have the ability or simply chooses not to complete a detailed holistic plan. There is only so much progression one will achieve when lacking dedication and discipline. Without a plan of action, you have no clear direction on where true north is. Lets use a four year Olympics cycle as a real example.
First, I need to work out key dates within the 4 year cycle where we aim to be performing at our best. Around these dates I look at the duration between, what all is expected of the athletes involved, and where the opportunity awaits in order to schedule the sufficient recovery. I personally have an idea in regards to how long one high intensity training block should be. This is all based around consistently maximizing the challenge placed on the athlete while limiting the possibility of injury or over training.
Once the plan above is in place, I look at what other commitments/performance markers our athletes have and make adaptions off this. From there it is the progression of the training weeks. How each component effects the other, addressing the core components of the game, and then finally the individuals specific needs.
Although science is a part of it, there is definitely an immense element of art with so many moving parts in the game of rugby.
By Chris Brown
USA Rugby Men’s 7’s Assistant Coach & Head of Physical Performance.