Athlete Experience Matters
For a short while now, I’ve been using a new tool to help guide my programming. As an athlete is reaching the end of a training cycle, I send them a subjective analysis to fill out. It asks questions like:
“Which domains do you feel have improved the most over the course of your most recent training cycle?”
“Please list the strength (including both primary lifts and accessories) exercises or formats which you feel benefitted you most over the course of your most recent training cycle.”
After writing several subsequent macrocycles using this method to help guide my programming, I’ve become convinced that athlete subjective analysis is one of the most under utilized tools in coaching – especially remote coaching.
Most coaches, maybe all coaches, integrate the athlete’s subjective experience of training into the way we write programs on some level, whether we are aware of it or not. In codifying it, it’s become clear to me just how important it can be. Naturally this can never replace the analysis of objective results, but there exist interstices between pieces of empirical data which subjective feedback can fill. By creating a specific framework for collecting this information, we can make it much easier to leverage in our program development in much the same way which we leverage quantifiable results.
Athlete experience of the training process matters. Do yourself a favor and start thinking about it in an organized way!