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Principles of Athletic Training

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Principles of Training
      Training is necessary to constantly improve on an athlete's performance. The principles of training include: 
  • Specificity -  The target of the training is a specific joint action. It is possible to have good mobility or flexibility in one area, but have less mobility. Exercising a shoulder may further improve the shoulder's mobility, but it will not affect hip mobility. The amount and nature of the mobility training required by each athlete will vary according to the individual athlete's event requirements and his/her individual range of movement for each joint action. It may be necessary to measure the range of movement for particular joint actions to determine the present range and future improvement.
  • Overload - Each exercise should be designed to extend the strength and range of movement. Improvements can only be achieved by strive to expand our upper limits. Exercises designed to be performed at or below our physical limitations may increase our consistency and stamina. Overloading a muscle will only achieve strengthening when it is forced to operate beyond its customary intensity. The load must be progressively increased, in small increments, in order to achieve an adaptive responses to training.
  • Recovery - A period of rest is essential for the body to recover from the training and to allow adaptation to take place.
  • Adaptation - Adaptation occurs during the recovery period after the training session is completed.
      There are three important types of training/conditioning:
  • Endurance training - or aerobic training is designed to improve cardiovascular fitness and capacity.
  • Strength training - typically involves activities that use  weights, bands and cables, and/or the weight of the body against gravity.
  • Mental training - prepares an individual for the rigorous demands and stress of competing.
There are physical and psychosocial considerations in improving and
perfecting performance in every sport and in all other life activities.

       There are six domains which encompassed the areas of expertise of a certified athletic trainer:

  • Prevention of injuries is a major function that may include preexisting conditions and prior injuries.
  • Clinical evaluation and diagnosis is required for certification. A trainer should be able to recognize, evaluate, and access the overall physical health and level of conditioning of athletes of all ages. This includes determining their existing skills and reducing possible injuries by recommended a training schedule that increases the possibility of injuries.
  • Immediate care (first aid) often must be administered on the playing field or in the locker room while awaiting assistance from emergency medical providers.
  • Treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning requires knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and common injuries that may occur to athletes in specific sports. This includes a range of therapeutic exercises that offer the best outcome(s) for the athletes.
  • Organization and administration of a team or sports department is essential at the level of a high school, college, or professional team.
  • Professional Development - As a trainer, athletes will look up to you for advice on their moral, ethical, and financial concerns. It is your responsibilities to help them resolve these issues and refer them to other sources for advice if you are concerned with a possibility of conflict of your responsibility to your employer.

Winding down at the end of a season requires proactive ways to prepare for the next season.
       When an athlete ceases training for the competitive season, the mobility acquired and his/her range of movements will begin to decline compared to those athletes who participate in an off-season exercise program designed to retain their mobility. This can also be accomplished by participating in other physical activities and/or sports.

      The effect of the exercising stops when the exercising ceases. The loss occurs gradually at approximately one third of the rate of acquisition of mobility or strengthening. It is necessary that an athlete continues strength training throughout the competitive season. However, the amount of exercising can proceed at a much reduced volume as they start the process of peaking for competition.

      Research suggests that training programs should limit periods of complete inactivity to no more than two to three weeks. When the end of the competitive season occurs, it is recommended that prolonged periods of inactivity should be avoided and a "maintenance" training program should commence.

Recommended Reading:



The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
Principles of Athletic Training:

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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