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What Gardening Taught Me About Athlete Development - PT 1 understanding what’s needed.

Updated: Jan 18, 2023

For those that don't know, I'm a bit of a want to be gardener.


Maybe it's the country in me,


Or just being exposed to my grandparent's garden back in the UK where they grow all their vegetables.


But despite the current state of my own garden, I'm fascinated by facilitating growth.


Panting a seed, nurturing its development and seeing the fruits at the end of it is something that I get immense satisfaction from.


Sounds very similar to athlete development,


We start off with an athlete, we place them into a program and we provide them what need to get the most out of a performance at the end.


But that's not where the comparisons stop.


Like a seed, you can't put any athlete into any environment with the same nature and expect the same results.


Each seed requires its own soil, its own exposure to the sun, a different amount of water and different fertiliser to maximise the growth and development of the plant.


This is the same with athletes, some athletes need more strength, some need more speed, others need to become more robust and others need to become more explosive.


As coaches we need to be able to understand this, we need to know what each athlete needs and be able to provide them with the right dosage of strength, speed, hypertrophy and explosiveness to get the best out of that athlete when it matters!


This is why testing & retesting are so vital to an effective program, because like the packaging on the seeds you get at bunnings you need to know what the athlete needs to maximise the yield when it matters!


So the next time someone try's to tell you testing and assessment are a waste of your time and money. Try growing something without looking at the packaging.


You might get a good yield, every now and then but I'll be sitting over here enjoying more fruit and vegetables (at least I will when I get around to sorting my garden out) than I can handle while you're trying to justify 16 weeks of growth for 4 dodgy looking bits of corn!



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