Monday, October 21, 2013

Achieving Your Full Genetic Potential

Athletes are unique. They come in all different shapes and sizes and all different ability levels.

This pic is the ultimate definition of unique!

Some athletes have very high genetic ceilings with lots of potential from the standpoint of athletic performance. Other athletes have lower genetic ceilings but can still maximize their athletic potential with smart, consistent training. The vast majority of young athletes perform well below their genetic ceiling. Moreover, when athletes of any age are exposed to performance training for the first time, they experience gains almost instantaneously, regardless of how high or low their genetic ceilings may be.

This initial jump in performance occurs because the athletes are learning the proper movement patterns and how to use the right muscles at the right times. Once the athletes can perform the exercises in a coordinated manner with the proper technique and timing, performance gains begin to occur more slowly, and this gradual increase continues until the athlete essentially reaches the point where they are as fast and as strong as they are going to get at their current size. How far an athlete develops depends on where their genetic ceiling lies.
A question I come across quite often with athletes and parents is "How long will it take to reach that ceiling?" This depends on a couple factors, most notably where the athlete is starting from, how high the athlete's ceiling is, and how the athlete is training.
First and foremost, athletes will respond to performance training differently depending on where they are starting from. If an athlete is new to performance training  but begins training early on in their athletic career, chances are good that they'll make gains in the weight room for several years and may develop more fully than athletes who get a later start. Athletes who begin training later in their athletic career can still make gains, but because they are getting a later start, they'll have to devote more time to "catch up" and may not get as close to their genetic ceiling as an athlete who started training earlier and has been training consistently for several years.
How athletes train has just as much influence on how quickly they reach their genetic ceiling as where they start from. If an athlete is going to reach their full athletic potential, they need to be doing a program that is both safe and effective. Moreover, athletes need to understand that just because a program works initially does not mean it will work indefinitely.
Remember that initial jump in performance? If a program is not effective, an athlete will not receive any performance improvements outside of that initial jump.
This is why it is so crucial to have knowledgeable strength and conditioning coaches work with athletes! Said coaches understand what effective and safe programs are and how to implement these programs to maximize results in athletes of all different backgrounds and ability levels.
Coach Amanda understands effective and safe programming! Does your coach?

 So just how long does it take to recognize an athlete's full genetic potential. As a ballpark estimate, if an athlete trains effectively and consistently year round, they'll be able to reach their genetic ceiling within 5-10 years of training. The higher an athlete's genetic ceiling is, the longer it will take to reach it! And remember, this is with consistent training. Because most athletes devote at least part of their year to competing in their sport of choice, it is not uncommon to see athletes, even professional athletes, who never quite reach their full potential!

Keep Training (Effectively & Consistently)
Coach Anthony and Akron General Sports Performance


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