How do you understand your athlete? How much is too much?
RedPill Podcast Listener Question:
‘How do you get to understand your athlete? How much is too much? how much is not enough? Both In terms of weekly volume, level of fatigue, optimal performance for the athlete.’
Phil: “That is the game, everything stems from this question.”
Jowsey: “Unlike the science of gravity - when we drop something out of our hand 100% of the time it will hit the floor, when it comes to a training response, the bodies adaptation to sport and demand, in all studies we read, across the different parameters from injuries to performance, we don’t see 100 out of 100, we don’t see 100%.”
How do you get to understand your athlete? How much is too much? how much is not enough? Both In terms of weekly volume, level of fatigue, optimal performance for the athlete.
Acute / Chronic balance
What they’re doing today against what they have been doing over a period of time.
Start by defining Acute / Chronic
I use a 42-day past and 7 days present…
Knowing what the year looks like and the phase focus allows us to see where the stresses are coming.
• Heart rate
• Calories burnt (poor indicator but is used)
• Work effort / how much load you’re putting through the system in the day
• Change of direction
• Blood values
That data set is ultimately how hard I’ve worked in that day.
Essentially you’re a detective. I even use body language and tonality / how the athlete communicates with you…
That is the game, everything stems from this question.
The most important thing we do is balance acute / chronic
Unlike the science of gravity when you drop something out of our hand and 100% of the time it will hit the floor, when it comes to a training response, the bodies adaptation to sport and demand… in all the studies that we read across the different parameters from injuries to performance we don’t see 100 out of 100, we don’t see 100%.
Sleep is another parameter … and an important one.
The question is how do you get the balance right?
Communication with the athlete is crucial. Performance can be sub optimal because of fatigue.
Missed timed or purely communicated and the athlete will panic when they are not hitting their numbers.
How do we manage, how do you know when is too much?
The goal is to be practicing your sport as much as possible. When monitoring your athlete, you’ll quite often give them more work? What makes you go that way?
I use acute / chronic for performance not injury prevention.
The simplicity of this is it’s just listening to the athlete and getting as much information from them as you can get. I expect messages from my athlete 5/6 times a day giving me feedback, if we’re not in camp.
We’re not dealing with machines, computers. We, as humans, are variable.
The science of training vs the human
The athletes don’t need to understand, they just need to provide the data (e.g. heart rate, squat numbers etc) It’s your job as a coach to interpret the data.