San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
The Variation Principle
The most well known
method of practice variability
training in phases. Typically, an annual sports training program
includes phases of training for conditioning, intensive sport-specific
work, in-season maintenance, and an off-season regimen. Training in
phases, or periods, is called periodization.
Note: include anticipated planned changes in exercises, intensity, volume, and other training variables that target the athlete's goals for peaking during the competitive season.
Adjustments in training are very effective when used for skill learning, as well as for fitness training. Changes within a range or class of skills is well supported by Schema Theory. Refer to Variation in Training.
This principle does not conflict with the Specificity and Overload Principles. Specificity is about how the athlete's body adapts to the type of training program used, and training should be similar to the demands of a sport. Practice variability simply suggests that athletes should not perform exactly the same regimen each day. It supports specificity because competitive conditions present different situations that demand slightly different responses. The Overload Principle implies that gradual and progressive changes in training must occur in order for improvement to take place.
Variation Training Tips:
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:
All materials are copy protected.
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.