It starts with a plan...
When you have plan that involves reaching something that is far away- it always helps to have a route planned. If our goals for the training year are more than 6 months away, we can't only be thinking about what's happening tomorrow, and for the rest of this week.
Periodization theory is introduced through a variety of fitness classes, our HPA programming, and team sport extra-curricular programs at BCSS. Periodization simply put, refers to the long-term planning and time management strategies that go into preparing for optimal athletic performance. This often involves breaking a lengthy period of training (often one year, hence the commonly-used term "yearly training plan" or "YTP") into separate training "cycles"- which carry with them, specific areas of focus, and thus a variety of differences with respect to training volume, intensity, and exercise selection.
It's a lot to digest... but believe it or not, it works.
The benefits of building a YTP and planning for the long-term with a program that utilizes periodization principles include:
- reduced likelihood of injury and burn-out;
- better chances of arriving at a state of peak fitness at an ideal point in time;
- a better system of checks and balances for ongoing athlete motivation;
- a more "integrated" approach to training for student athletes.
So what does a YTP look like?
I'm so glad you asked... there are some incredibly complex-looking YTP models out there used by high-performance coaches around the globe. The more variables these models take into consideration with respect to training and competition calendars, the level of athletic performance, and all of the other variables that may be influencing the athlete with respect to stress levels- both physical and mental, the more complex these plans can become. However... a YTP or long-term periodization program should always begin with a simple timeline that leads up to a major event or series of events. From there, we work backwards to the present, targeting goals and desired benchmarks along the way. As we fill in the details, the complexity of our programming builds.
Remember: We are designing a route to your desired destination... don't forget to anticipate a few minor road blocks, detours, or potholes along the way...
Helpful Tip: If you're new to the idea of periodization theory, check out Smarter Athletes #3, Periodization 101 for a brief introduction to some basic concepts!
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