Multisport Athlete Coaching – Sportstar

Coaching a multi-sport athlete is a daunting task. Designing a training program that caters to a specific sport and a specific skill, and individualizing it becomes even more difficult. Each sport has its own energy and skill requirements, and players involved in a multi-sport may be stronger or weaker in certain areas depending on the other sport they play. Designing the right training program can help these athletes excel in any sport in which they participate.

It all starts with getting to know the athlete through various means. The most recommended protocol would be to ask athletes to complete a simple questionnaire. Knowing the athletes background on training, injuries, lifestyle, specialized training on various fitness components, diet and their short/medium/long term fitness goals are the some examples to ask. An athlete’s state of mind can also be understood to some extent with questions of psychological readiness. Each department is a highly specialized vertical and a good debriefing session plays an important role in understanding the athlete.

Once the selection process has been carried out using these questions, it would be recommended that the fitness tests be designed according to the sport and the skill. There may be some crossover with the other sport the athlete is involved in, nevertheless, it is good to gather as much data as possible regarding the player which helps in deciphering their needs on various necessary fitness components to train and excel.

Knowing what other sports an athlete plays is essential, as it will help you understand the demands placed on them.

There may be muscle imbalance/repetitive movements causing injury or improper transfer from one sport to another without movement synergy. There can be a positive, neutral or negative transfer of psychological and physiological parameters from one sport to another. Once that’s deciphered, it’s easy to design a schedule for optimal performance.

One of the most overlooked aspects of training is muscle imbalance from sport to sport. Sorting it out with an appropriate and sport-relevant biomechanical assessment can resolve most issues regarding muscle imbalance and injury prevention. Athletes’ participation in multiple sports develops resilience to injury.

Seasonal exercise protocols, taking into account short/medium/long term goals with a positive transfer of fitness parameters, are crucial for optimal performance. Modifying the exercise regimen according to the timeline is an art for older athletes to prolong their career and achieve the right area of ​​performance.

A constant feedback mechanism through data collection and debriefing sessions with players on their subjective fitness components that need to be developed plays an important role in comprehensive development. There should be no stone unturned in execution for peak performance through collective analysis.

Since players involved in multiple sports have an advantage over the single sports professional at least in the early stage, a multidimensional approach to holistic athletic development is recommended for young age.

Progressive analysis and constant updating of data and proper inference of data are essential to hitting the right chord in the language of strength and conditioning.

Choose the right sport — here are some tips

* Choose sports that complement each other – positive transfer of skill and fitness.

* Practicing both sports in one season can be counterproductive on several fronts. Individual sport or team sports can lead to overuse injuries. It is bound to affect both psychologically and physiologically in the long term.

* Training throughout the season if there is no off-season. The main point to focus on is the maintenance and development of overall athleticism.

* Skill sets should be honed first. For example, for a football player who plays tennis or badminton in another season, it is recommended that he spend two or three days a week doing 30 to 45 minutes of technical football work. The same principle can also be applied to other sports. There may not be huge skill development, but it avoids injury, not burnout after 15-20 minutes of play.

* Never overdo it during the transition phase. The temptation to do too much can be tricky. Even though the fitness parameters are all already considered, the transition phase should be used for a proper recovery process to be ready for next season.

* Finding the right off season is a must. It is necessary to sacrifice an off-season to develop the right fitness parameters through rest and recovery and to develop speed, agility, or explosive power. It’s a tough decision, of course, but for optimal performance, this needs to be addressed in tandem with the coach and management. A fair and balanced approach is the professional route to desired long-term results.

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