As a strength & conditioning coach, I need principles that sustain my decision and guide me in the training process.
Principles drive training : “As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everyday I am exposed to a lot of information that interacts with me continuously, new sport and technological equipment, fashionable exercise in the research, conversations, etc. All of this interactions can have an influence on my training negatively, specially if I change my mind often and use many kinds of training methods, equipment or exercises without knowing exactly why. However, If I am conscious what I need and prepare a space inside my framework, I am much more effective and it allows me to be constant in my work, expanding everyday my expertise as a professional.
Once I set up my game rules, the resulting space will be my working space, well defined and delimited (not restricted). Afterwards, I go deep into specific training elements, such as, physical capacities, training design, space and organization, etc. The idea is building “my system” through the acquisition and organization of theoretical and practical knowledge (Figure 1).
The knowledge without internal organization is useless, therefore I need to define my principles and game rules. Yes, everyday I want to keep learning, however not everything goes well.
I base all this thoughtful process in three pillars:
- Context: Who, where and when to do – Best Fit.
- Practice: How to do it – Best practice.
- Research: Why and what to do – Best methods.
It is important to highlight that nobody has the absolute truth, not even important practitioners, researcher, journals, etc. Each one of us is in the position to take the best decision about our training , mainly because we know the context in which it is to be accomplished.
Learn everyday, congresses, courses, scientific papers, practical experiences, discussions, but do not forget to direct and organize all these knowledge in your own working system.