The basic training principles help coaches to design programmes that are specific and safe for an individual athlete. The training principles outlined below will appear to focus mostly on fitness training but the majority will also apply to technical, tactical and psychological training.




        Individual differences- Performers respond differently to the same training. This is due to factors such as the individualís state of training, the characteristics athletes have inherited from their parents, their personal commitment and their level of physical and mental maturity.


        Adaptation- Is the way the body responds to the training programme. The parts of the body that are active stressed during exercise adapt to those stresses, leading to an increase in performance.


        Overload- For the bodyís systems to make these adaptations, they must be overloaded. Just taking part in an activity will not cause any improvements in fitness, as the body will not be stressed to a greater extent than normal.


        Progression- The overload imposed on an athlete must be progressive. If a training programme stays at the same intensity for a whole year, adaptations will only be evident at the beginning, as after this the body will no longer be overloaded.


        Reversibility- The adaptations that take place as a result of training are all reversible. Adaptations to endurance training can be lost more quickly than it takes to achieve them while strength gains are lost more slowly.


        Specificity- Is the least complex training principle. In order for a training programme to be effective it must be specific for the sport and position of the performer.


        Recovery- Is one of the most overlooked principles of training. It is during the recovery sessions that the adaptations to training take place. Recovery sessions may not necessarily mean complete rest. Periods of lower intensity activity will allow the body to adapt without increasing the stress placed on it. These periods are excellent opportunities for work on technique and tactics.


        Variation- if training programmes are repetitious, athletes can soon become bored and lose their motivation.



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