Thoughts on Planning a Training Session


The individual training session is the cornerstone of the entire training plan. The individual training session is the point of implementation of the long-term plan. A long-term plan is a succession of linked individual training sessions in pursuit of specific objectives.

The training session should occupy the greatest emphasis in planning and execution.

Each session should be carefully evaluated and subsequent sessions adjusted accordingly.

Each training session should a have general theme.

This general theme in turn should be supported by objectives for each component in that session; those should be very specific and measurable.

When planning an individual training session carefully consider:

  • How does that session fit into the bigger picture?
  • What time is available for training & recovery?

Every component in the workout must be in pursuit of the specific objectives of the workout and follow the general theme for that particular session.

The workout must be put in the context of the whole training plan.

The actual design of the session should carefully consider:

  • Progression /Sequence
  • Training time available & time allocation
  • Integration of skill with work to develop physical capacities
  • Size of the facility or training area relative to the number of athletes training
  • Equipment available
  • Coaching personnel available as well as the number of athletes that will participate in the actual training session.
  • Session emphasis
    • Teaching
    • Training
    • Stabilizing
    • Testing

Remedial Component – Make sure that there is always an injury prevention component in each workout; this is most easily addressed in the warm-up.

Intra Workout Recovery – Consideration needs to be given on how to incorporate recovery given the constraints of most situations. Self-massage, shaking and stretching as well as intra workout nutrition in the form of hydration is the most basic and practical form of recovery intra workout recovery.

Team or Group Training – When training a group, carefully plan to meet individual needs in a group context. Everyone will not progress and learn at the same rate.

Multiple Workouts- This allows the workout to be even more focused and shorter in duration. Multiple sessions are a necessity for the elite athlete.

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Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta


Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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