Specificity of Training For Athletes

Specificity of training is used to individualize training for specific sports or the roles that athletes play in their respective sports. Athletes should be training using movements that attempt to replicate or can be transferred to movements that they will see while competing in their sports. When designing exercise programs for athletes, it is important to analyze the sport to determine what types of movements are being performed to be able to choose exercises that attempt to replicate these specific movements.

There are four performance characteristics that can be applied to training and sports, which include: a psychological or social components, tactical components, technical components, and physical components. The psychological or social component of sports includes things such as anticipating actions before they occur and communicating with teammates. The tactical component of sport would include things such as being able to create a plan for the actions that need to take place in order to be successful and to be able to adapt to changing conditions throughout the competition. The technical component of sport can be described as the optimizing and utilizing the correct technique to make movements efficient. There are also four physical components of sport that can be used to specify training, which include: endurance, high intensity exercise performance, sprint performance, and force development. Endurance is defined as the ability to perform exercise for a prolonged period of time. High intensity exercise performance is defined as the ability to sustain exercise at a high intensity. Sprint performance is defined as how quickly an athlete can accelerate while running. Force development is defined as the ability to produce high amounts of force in single actions. Two other components of that are each similar but also different are change of direction and agility. Change of direction is defined as how quickly an athlete can change from moving in one direction to moving in a different direction when the movement pattern is already known ahead of time. Agility is defined as how quickly an athlete can react to a change of direction that is not known ahead of time. All of these components make up sports performance which is a dynamic state of readiness to perform.

By looking at the sport to see if any of these previously mentioned components of sports performance apply to the athlete(s) that are being trained, you can further enhance the ability to increase physical performance. It is also important to prioritize which of these components of sports performance are the most important to the physical performance of the respective sports.

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