Are you strong enough for your Gameplan?
A few years ago I presented at the UKSCA national conference on mixed martial arts (MMA) physical preparation.
Of the many areas I covered in the talk one of the most discussed points was the concept of ‘Gameplan Strength’.
See the thing is, not many athletes have the desire to understand the nuances between the different types of strength and power qualities and how they fit together. As coaches we must seek to simplify our language to get our message across effectively to our athletes and clients.
So I came up with the term ‘Gameplan strength’. Ultimately at the highest level the goal is to prepare for a specific contest with specific conditions.
So we can’t just simply say ‘it’s a mixed martial arts programme’ or ‘it’s a netball/rugby union programme’.
The principle of individualisation comes into play here.
We must train the athlete in front of us.
In addition to that though, we must also prepare for the athlete that will be in front of our athlete. (Or athletes if we are dealing with a team).
We must understand their strengths and weaknesses.
We must programme according to the gameplan that we as a team are working towards.
Some real life examples to highlight this.
MMA: If my fighter favours stand up and we are going to try to keep the fight standing, and our opponent is a strong wrestler we must work footwork under fatigue, plyometrics, and isometric strength to resist the takedown.
Netball: If we are less skilled than the other teams and we know that we need to have an extra player through fitness we must have a higher level of maximal aerobic speed and movement training must also be a priority. This can be team based and broken down to each player.
Rugby League: If we know that the opponent are very physical in the tackle and wresting scenarios we must include strength endurance and movement training to manage these scenarios effectively.
The list could go on….
What we must recognise is that it’s not just about training the athlete in front of us. It’s about training for the athlete that WILL be in front of us.
It’s not just about general to specific. It’s about understanding how are athletes want to play the game they play. How they can WIN that game, and what physical qualities are required for this to happen.
So I ask you again, are you or your athletes strong enough for their gameplan?