OK – Someone had to do it. It was almost toooo obvious.
From this moment forward, the term “Daily Training Environment” no longer exists in sports terminology or high performance sports culture jargon.
Goodbye – you are the weakest link.
Say hello to D.A.T.E. – Daily Athlete Training Environment.
Think of all the Government sporting policies and strategic planning documents around the world that now have to be edited and changed!
- The obvious one is it’s shorter, catchier and simpler than saying “Daily Training Environment” every time we talk about the performance environment surrounding athletes;
- It includes the word “athlete” in the description which helps keep all of us focused on the preparation and performance of the athlete as the reason we are all in the business to begin with;
- It implies that every date – i.e. every day – is important – that every day is another opportunity to create the best possible training and preparation environment for the athletes we work with;
- It implies that each day is a “date” – an unbreakable commitment we make to ensure – regardless if we are coaches, sports scientists, sports medicine practitioners, administrators, managers – no matter what our role is – that each day our commitment should be to give our best to our athletes;
- It gives meaning and purpose to every individual day of training and preparation – after all, for most sports it is the ability to perform at your best on one specific day each year, every two years or each Olympic cycle that determines success.
So why all this focus on the D.A.T.E anyway?
Why not just talk about the athlete’s training program? Or the athlete’s equipment? Or the athlete – coach relationship? Or the sports science support services available to the athlete?
Because, successful performance depends on the balanced integration of all these factors: coaching, sports science, sports medicine, analysis, recovery, management, equipment, facilities, peer support, family support, financial resources, geography, climate…..it is the environment that the athlete experiences every day that determines performance success.
And, like any environment, the D.A.T.E. needs constant care and vigilance to ensure it is always growing, is healthy and can sustain the bodies and minds of the people who depend on it.
The best D.A.T.E.s in world sport are those which include balanced integration.
Sports science is great – but too much in a D.A.T.E. can causes P.b.A. – Paralysis by Analysis. Coaches are essential in the D.A.T.E. but over-coaching without engaging the athlete’s heart, mind and body in the process can be catastrophic.
S.P.O.R.T. – How do you build an effective Daily Athlete Training Environment?
The critical factors in creating and maintaining a world class D.A.T.E. also comes in a nice tidy acronym: S.P.O.R.T.
S – Specific: to the needs of the sport and the individual athlete;
P – Performance focused: i.e. the D.A.T.E should be a training and preparation environment which enhances the athlete’s ability to perform to their full potential in competition;
O – Original: the D.A.T.E. should be unique, original, special – the essence of greatness in any field of endeavour is uniqueness: being the first to do something and in doing so raise the bar for everyone else;
R -Regenerated: the best D.A.T.E.s are committed to excellence through continuous improvement and to rigorously and honestly evaluating the performance of all elements of the performance environment everyday;
T -Total Athlete: the D.A.T.E should ensure the optimal, integrated training and preparation environment exists for the total (complete) athlete: physical, mental, technical, tactical, strategic, attitudinal, psycho-social and family factors all included, balanced and integrated into the athlete’s program.
So make a date to ensure your Daily Athlete Training Environment D.A.T.E. is consistently the best in the world: your athletes deserve it.