It is easy to say that we need to individualize training, but putting it in practice effectively can be a demanding task. This month on HMMR Media we tried to bring together some insight on the topic to help coaches out. Throughout the month contributors helped put together 4 new podcasts and 5 great articles. Below you’ll find links to all our new resources and some highlights from our archives on the topic. As always, become a Plus Member to make sure you get access to all of the vast resources on the site. But before we look at the resources, I wanted to share a few key takeaways from this month.
A simple concept
The idea of individualization is simple: find what works best for an athlete. There are different levels of individualization, ranging from simple to complex, but any coach can start out in the process. As Craig Pickering explains, there are also some very simple ways to start individualizing training. Rene Sack showed how he progresses individualization, but even he also starts with some simple questions before advancing.
More than just sets and reps
Individualization can, and should, be thought about with all aspects of training, not just the athlete’s lifting plan. Craig Pickering put together a great series of articles looking at non-traditional factors that also need to be individualized such as stress and caffeine intake.
Not everything needs to be individualized
As with anything, we can go overboard with individualization . As Boo Schexnayder told us on the podcast, “Some coaches tend to individualize too much.” There is such a thing as too much individualization, especially with new athletes you do not know much about. His advice: “I take a generic approach with everybody until I learn about the athlete.”
Vern also discussed the need to address the basics on the GAINcast this month. The basics might need some tweaks to fit a particular sport or athlete, but the basics still make up the basis of training. And, as René Sack showed when discussing his group of elite throwers, athletes training for the same event should have more similarities than differences. The individualization part is just the icing on the cake.
Resources on individualization
- Individualization made easy by Craig Pickering
- From simple to advanced individualization by René Sack
- Ashton Eaton, the shot put, and individualization by Martin Bingisser
- Personalizing the training process – a look at stress by Craig Pickering
- Individualizing pre-competition caffeine use by Craig Pickering
- Finding the athlete-appropriate plan by Steve Myrland
- Training Talk With Don Babbitt by Martin Bingisser
- Embrace the difference – nobody is the same by Vern Gambetta
- Ask Martin Vol. 23: Strengths and Weaknesses and Ask Martin Vol. 24: More on Strengths and Weaknesses by Martin Bingisser
- It is always about the athlete by Vern Gambetta
- Case studies in collegiate hammer development by Martin Bingisser