Principles of training

When using an approach to develop a physical fitness factor it is important to consider the principles of training.

The best training programmes are built on principles of:

  • specificity
  • overload
  • progression
  • reversibility

Training should be matched to an individual's needs.

By using the principles of training as a framework a performer can plan a personal training programme that will help develop areas that impact on performance.

The key principles when planning a programme are known as S.P.O.R.T. These include:

SPORT - Footballers with letters on their back which stand for Specificity, Progression, Overload, Reversibility and Tedium

  • S - Specificity - training must be matched to the needs of the sporting activity so as to improve the factor impacting on performance.
  • P - Progression - training should always be moving forward so that once you hit a target, reach a goal, or if boredom starts to set in, it is time to adjust the programme.
  • O - Overload - the more regular and challenging the training is, the better the performer becomes.
  • R - Reversibility - time off through injury must be taken into consideration. It will be unlikely that performance levels will go into reverse should a performer have to take a week off after a difficult tournament or competition.
  • T - Tedium - ensuring that training avoids becoming boring.