Narrative Approach To The Training Process

The training process is one often compressed into talk of physiology, stress, biomechanics and science. These technically are framing devices for one thing, ‘change’. With any training cycle technically being about manifesting favourable change in an athlete. Athletes however often don’t think like this they think in narrative that plants them as the hero of their own story. ⁣

Mladen Jovanovic proposes that most of our ideas of how to act comes from a plethora of experience, implicit knowledge, journals, ideologies etc (what he refers to as the known or prior knowledge). These priors feed into every new training phase. We know some sort of training dose will get an outcome but what we can’t predict exactly what (we can predict average effect, but not quantity). This gets trickier the more experienced our client especially as they reach the heights of elite performance. ⁣

Fig 2. Hans Selyes theory of adaptation

On ➡️ fig 2 is Hans Selyes theory of adaptation a classic stress model that predicts, stress & subsequent super compensation. What however this model doesn’t account for is the phenomenology of the whole process, the many pitfalls, traps & monsters that can dog our path to improvement. It’s more complicated than stress in improvement out. ⁣So regardless of the sophistication of your approach you are still rolling the dice with the unknown.

Embrace the process as you pushing your client into the unknown, while keeping one foot in the known. To eventually circle back with something worthwhile to repeat the cycle yet again getting better everytime. Understanding that each journey (cycle) while similar might not be the same. It may help your perspective to see yourself as Gandalf pushing bilbo to stop sitting on his ass and do something worthwhile.⁣

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