The training plan is not the law. It is a guideline set out at the beginning of the year. It should be flexible because the exact response of an individual to a training session cannot be predicted months in advance. If the training plan is made for a crew, it should be flexible enough to take into account the individuals needs and schedules of the athletes involved. A flexible training plan will have a greater level of compliance than one that doesn’t take into account individual differences and unpredictable events.
Goal setting is the cornerstone of the training plan. Without goals the training plan and athlete have no specific direction. Designing a training plan without goals is like building a house without a blueprint – it isn’t impossible but it is very difficult.
Some methods of monitoring the effectiveness of the training plan should be built into the plan. Periodic checkups help to ensure the set goals can be reached. They give you or your coach some concrete data upon which to base changes in the training plan.
The training plan must be periodized. It is impossible to train all the necessary components of a sport is one time there should be periods during the year where certain things are emphasized while others are maintained. The year can be broken up into logical training periods such as the preparatory phase, the competitive phase, and the transition phase.