Sport-Specific for all sorts of sports. (even golf and chess)

Sport Specific programming consists of many variables and in this blog post, I’d like to explain to you what kind of concepts you want to keep in mind.

It’s a science, which means that you will want to adapt certain aspects regularly according to the results you aim to achieve. This might seem daunting, to say the least, though if you keep the ideas, that I explain here, in mind it will help a lot.

Side note: I’m going to keep it simple, with only a few pointers.


Short term and long term planning.
Short term:
What are the main focus points, you as, the athlete needs to improve on, within the next few weeks or months?
Think of the acceleration phase for multi-sprint sports athletes or improving reaction time according to audio (pistol start shot signal) or visual (racket sports).

Long term:
Positive mindset, improved endurance breathing, adapting a running style, brace timing (when to brace how much and how long) and so on and so forth….you get the picture, right?

Per week – what (strength, ballistics, power, balance, reaction capability, speed, mobility, endurance, etc.) are you planning for the week, keeping in mind rest & recovery in regards to the sport technical training and matches? Trust me, planning around matches can be tricky as well as ridiculously mind numbing and challenging – great fun, right?

Per month – Is the training program build-up consisting all the needed aspects according to the sport and your abilities? For instance neurological pathways, technique, hypertrophy (muscle growth), strength and/or explosiveness and plyometrics?

In-season and off-season? Nah, I’ll cover that in a future post.

For athletes under 16 years of age, you want to focus on total athletic development for numerous reasons [1], for instance –
Full athletic development for all sports improves overall development and reduces overtraining and injury risks.
Mentally it’s also way more stimulating so you can improve at everything sports wise and thus, through time, get a feel for personal specialities as well as specific points of attention.
Besides, many kids love one sport for a while and some change their preference after a few years, so developing an all-round athlete creates freedom and keeps doors open.

Athletes between 16 and 26 -36 can target their S & C (strength & conditioning) trainings at their specific sport. For instance, a tennis player can focus on serving harder with their serving arm (not the other arm because that uses up precious time for something that won’t be used). A rugby player can train according to their position and improve their specialities i.e. kick, scrum, tackling, etc. [2][3][4]

Athletes 36 and up want to keep in consideration that recovery will take longer thus the training periodization will need to be adapted accordingly.
That being said, if an athlete wants to take part in some kind of masters tournament, sport-specific, as well as all-round development and maintenance programming, can go a long way.

Fueling your machine:
In other words FOOD.
The importance of Carbs and proteins are not to be left on the sideline.
Knowing how many Kcal (calories), carbs and proteins are needed according to the athletes level, bodyweight and goals are of extreme importance.[5][6]
Supplements: Next to a varied and fine-tuned nutritional intake the only supplements athletes could make good use of are Creatine [7][8][9], Beta-Alanine (start with half of the advised amount, want to know why? Leave a message) [10][11] and caffeine [12][13]

Psychology – yes, the psychology aspect to sport-specific training is not to be underestimated.[14]
Think of mentality (towards self, others and lifestyle/planning), drive – does it need to improve or slowed down, self-talk as in positive, negative or aggressive?
Communication – open, about everything, towards everyone who can have a positive influence and to know when to just take things in or ignore comments and ideas that don’t feel right at that point in time.
Relationships. This can get tricky as a lot of people don’t understand the need to take part and/or succeed in a sport, at any level.

For instance: a sixteen-year-old tennis player is invited to a huge birthday party by her best friend. The party date is two days before a match… though the tennis player knows that every match counts, her friend does and can not understand this and says “but you always have matches, surely this one is not that important?”
I always explain to my athletes that they can not expect their friends, and other people, to understand. Not at that moment anyway – years later yes, maybe. This is important as it can have a huge influence on the athlete’s mentality towards every training and having a near perfect eating and sleeping regime, that outsiders can barely bare, let alone understand and respect.

That’s enough about this part of sports-specific planning.

Till the next round and chasing your dreams.

If you have any comments or questions – just shoot, and if you’d like to get started on your goals Start here


Coach Arlin out








In Person & Online Personal Trainer

The Hague

Lifestyle Vitality Coach

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