Sports Training: The Complete Guide


Valuable information on training for athletes and coaches at all levels of competition.

Outside of professional sports, the quality of athletic training is dangerously inconsistent. Most athletes who compete on school teams, in community sports programs or just on their own do not receive the training needed to improve their performance and prevent serious game-ending injuries.

Sports Training: The Complete Guide is the definitive, practical ...

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Valuable information on training for athletes and coaches at all levels of competition.

Outside of professional sports, the quality of athletic training is dangerously inconsistent. Most athletes who compete on school teams, in community sports programs or just on their own do not receive the training needed to improve their performance and prevent serious game-ending injuries.

Sports Training: The Complete Guide is the definitive, practical resource and guidebook for competitors, coaches and trainers. It provides the building blocks for athletic training that will maximize speed, endurance and power.

John Shepherd demystifies sports science for readers by starting with the basics and progressing to a specific training plan that every athlete needs. Training theory is explained in simple, easy-to-understand terms before modern training methods and techniques are tackled.

Sports Training: The Complete Guide offers specific information for:

  • Designing and implementing training plans
  • Training for individual and team sports
  • Understanding sports psychology
  • Training both younger and older athletes.

Sports Training: The Complete Guide contains a wealth of sports-science knowledge on training for coaches, trainers and athletes and delivers practical results at all levels of competition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554073290
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/27/2007
  • Pages: 225
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

John Shepherd is a sports journalist and the author of Ultrafit. He trains athletes at the Olympic level.

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Table of Contents


PART ONE The Sports Machine — the Human Body

The Body as 'Sports Machine'
The Cardiovascular System
Understanding the Energy-Creation Processes
Muscles Hormones, the Endocrine System and Sports Training
Adaptation and Rest
Young and Master Athletes and the Sports Life Cycle
Should Women Train Differently from Men?

PART TWO Preconditioning for Injury-free Training

When Is the Right Time to Precondition?
Preconditioning Factors
Preconditioning Exercises
Sample Preconditioning Routines
Further Preconditioning Thoughts
X-training as a Form of Preconditioning

PART THREE Warming Up for Sport

The Sport-specific Warm-up

Sport-specific Warm-up Exercises
The Relevance of Static Stretching to Sport
'Sharpening' Drills in Warm-up

PART FOUR Developing Strength

'Channeling' Weights Strength and the Specificity of Exercises
Weight-training Systems
Back Safety and Neutral Spine Position
Selected Sport-specific Weight-training Exercises
Weight Training for Endurance
Weight Training and Hormonal Response

PART FIVE Developing Power

Plyometric Exercises
Selected Plyometric Exercises
Making Plyometric Exercises Even More Sport-specific
Power Combination Training

PART SIX Developing Endurance

How to Improve Endurance
Building Endurance for Speed
Base-building versus
Sharpening/Interval Training Methods
Measures of Endurance Performance
Fat Max
Rate of Self-perceived Exertion
Altitude Training
Use of Resting Heart Rate to Determine Overtraining
Lactate and the Production of Lactic Acid
Interval Training
Endurance and the Brain
Avoiding Overtraining Syndrome
Training for Endurance and Weight Training — the Interference Effect

PART SEVEN Developing Speed and Agility

Speed Types
Running Technique
The Impact of Footwear on Speed Performance
Developing Rotational Speed/Agility Speed
Developing Agility and Rotational Speed for Rugby and Soccer
Further Useful Sources of Information for the Speed Athlete/Coach
Overspeed Training

PART EIGHT Training Planning

Goal-setting and Training Planning
Being a Full-time Athlete
The Training Pyramid
Recovery Strategies
The Training Variables
Competition and Peaking

PART NINE Training the Mind

How to Apply Mental Training
Mental Toughness
Skill Acquisition

PART TEN Boosting Sports Performance: Nutrition

The Macronutrients
How to Calculate an Athlete's Calorific Requirements
Micronutrients: Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
Nutritional Strategies to Combat Training-induced Soft Tissue and Cellular Damage

PART ELEVEN Effective Coaching

Coaching Styles

Coaching Philosophy - Art or Science?
Positive Approaches for Coaching Children
Recording Coaching Information

Selected Useful Websites for Coaches and Athletes

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Recently, there has been an explosion in the availability of sports science; the web has obviously been highly instrumental in this. Unfortunately, as anyone who has read a 'learned' physical education/sports science journal, review or text will know, there's often a great deal of jargon and concepts can be difficult to understand. Coach and athlete want to know how to apply this knowledge quickly and practically; what training will make them quicker, stronger, more powerful, more agile, more enduring and so on? In writing this book I set out to do just that. I wanted to unravel the 'sports science mysteries' and provide athlete and coach with a practical understanding of sports science and training theory so that they can produce personal bests and winning performances.

Sports training is all about making the right conditioning (training) choices for a particular sport and marrying them to the specific needs of the athlete and/or team. Believe it or not, in most cases the recipients cannot fail to win (or at least optimize their performance) when this 'marriage' is achieved.

The Complete Guide to Sports Training takes you from understanding the basic structure, movement and energy creation possibilities of the body through to specific 'developmental' parts, such as Developing Strength, Developing Power, Developing Endurance and Developing Speed and Agility. These parts explain and, crucially, exemplify how the body can be optimally conditioned to achieve specific sports performance goals. Supporting parts consider nutrition and supplementation, coaching and mental training.

As an international athlete, sports science graduate, coach to international athletes and longtime sports, fitness and health writer, I have been fortunate to come into contact with, train with, work with and interview some of the most knowledgeable
'brains' in sport. I have assimilated as much of this knowledge as possible into this book, and to reiterate, I have tried to make it as accessible and practical as possible. To achieve this you'll find sample training programs, sports training tips, boxes, panels and numerous photographs throughout, all designed to make the learning process simpler.

I have also included comment from top athletes and coaches, ranging from Olympic champions Seb Coe, Jason Gardener and Cathy Freeman to Rugby World Cup winner Josh Lewsey, all of whom I have been fortunate enough to interview and on occasions train with. After all, there is no more justification for a sports training ingredient, or 'way of doing,' than seeing it manifest itself in elite-level winning performances. Read on, and you too could be achieving your very own world-beating and personal best-beating performance, or engendering one in those you coach.

John Shepherd

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