Talking about training is talking about resources. Most of the time we think about increasing the athlete’s resources, mental as well as physical. So we tend to consider the many different physiological, psychological and functional qualities of our athletes like strength, mental toughness, flexibility, endurance, game intelligence, etc.
Well, there is no problem doing that, even we might differ in our definitions, we can still find some agreement if we come to talk about it.
But again: basically we talking resources here, be it biological and easy to measure resources at one hand, or more abstract, hard to measure, mental resources at the other hand.
I’ll keep in short, because it is important, but rather abstract and diffuse.
Let’s assume we are talking a certain resources and I’ll give some simple examples of different resources.
First question: what is the capacity of the resource? The capacity is the total amount of energy, biological, mental or whatever that a resource contains. In endurance: it is the capacity of the energy producing system like e.g. that lactic or the aerobic system: the total amount of ATP that the energy system is able to produce from its substrates or fuels. In strength it is the maximal force you can produce.
Second question is connected to the first one: what is the power of the resource? Power is the energy per unit of time that a resources is able to produce, it could also be brain power, you can be very intelligent if you have the time to think about a problem, but sometimes people who are very smart (have a large capacity) fall short if time is limited or they have to make fast decisions. In endurance it means the amount and activity of enzymes that control the speed or power of the system.
Third question: can this resource be implemented, can we practically use it in the proper situation, we have this resource to our disposition, but is it appropriate? Maximal strength is a great resource, in power lifting, hardly in marathon running.
Fourth question: how effective can the resource be used, this means the highest possible outcome with the least amount of energy spent. Some people have a lot of energy but they waste a lot too, they are not very efficient. Or you can be very strong but have an inefficient technique.
Fifth question: can we utilize the resource when we want to or whenever necessary? It’s like having a lot of money on the bank, but when you bank account is blocked it’s not very helpful. It’s a matter of mobilisation or recruitment of your resources at the right time.
Sixth question: is there interference, does this resource affect other resources as well: e.g. does increase in strength also have an effect on speed, on endurance, on flexibility, is it a positive effect or a negative effect and how much is it. We also think about concurrency here
Seventh question: can we recover the resource when we lost it? I think this one speaks for itself. It’s about re-pair, re-generation, re-laxation, re-cuperation, re-covery, etc. How fast can we recover from a fatiguing workout or can we mentally recover from a loss, or a disappointment.
Think about the basics, get these right, the stronger and wider your foundation, the higher you can build your pyramid!