Reaching Peak Performance [ARTICLE SUMMARY]

I’m loving the early edition of this paper in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.

There’s no doubt that athletes need to train hard to reach peak performance. But how hard? And how fast should that training ramp up?

We can say that the athlete is training to get from “the floor” to “the ceiling.”
Time is the challenge – if there’s not enough time for the athlete to build up their strength or fitness, it puts them at increased risk for injury. And at suboptimal levels of performance.
The most important thing the athlete can do: come into preseason or come back from injury with an appropriate level of fitness. Time off from competition doesn’t mean taking a complete break from working out.

Coaches – Expecting every athlete to be at the same rate of development is a recipe for injury.
If you work with athletes that progress slower in terms of fitness or strength, make sure they start training early. Calculate the number of extra weeks/days/sessions needed. Then, make an individualized training plan, working backwards from the start date of preseason.

Thanks to Tim Gabbett for this excellent commentary. In my very humble opinion, clinicians, coaches, and athletes all need to read and understand these concepts for training. It can make the difference between achieving excellence on the field… or missing time due to an injury.