Judging One’s Programs?

   This past week, approached by one of my interns I was handed two pieces of paper and asked a simple question – "Coach, what do you think of this program I wrote?"My initial thought was "I have no idea!" The reality is few programs are "right" or "wrong" and 98% of the time the proverbial "it depends" dominates. Any programs efficacy depends on the context in which its applied and the goals/intent of said program. In other words, cross-sectional views of programs can be meaningless whereas longitudinal vantage is always the better perspective. What's optimal for one may be totally undesired for another. What qualities are you trying to elicit an adaptation in? What level of athlete is this program written for? What's the athletes previous training experience like? What sport is the program for? Where in the macrocycle is this program going to be placed, off/in/pre/post-season? What did assessment/screenings yield? Etc. Etc. Etc. Just appreciate what can/should be done differently in certain situations at certain times of the year for a junior high school athlete (beginner) compared to a professional/Olympic athlete who's a genetic freak.
   Now, most of us don't deal with those extreme examples at the same time and usually have a more niche population(s) or demographic(s) that we tend to work with over other variations of athletes. Nonetheless, I'd argue even if you deal with the same population, same demographic, in the same setting, all year round, there is still plenty of variation within that and programming generalizations must still honor the "it depends" reality.
If these thoughts are novel to you it might be an indicator that your training initiatives lack purpose. It should be clear as day, to you as the programmer, what adaptation you trying to elicit. Any convolutions bear witness to a lack of purpose.
In other news, I recently did a review of Dr.Craig Liebenson's new DVD series. Check it out HERE!

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