Coaching Effectiveness Tools – Scheduled vs Completed plus Alerts for Intensity and Duration by Jim Vance

1 August 2018

If you coach long enough, you’re bound to come across a few athletes who no matter how much training you load into their calendar, they will always push and do more than is written. Some never seem to take an easy day, as though they only have one gear, ALL-OUT! Some athletes just don’t truly understand the importance of rest, or understand the law of diminishing returns, where more hard work doesn’t bring anymore fitness, and instead begins to potentially negatively affect the athlete. Athletes left to themselves, many times will overdo training, especially if training in a group environment with peers who have different racing and training goals.

Maybe you don’t have this issue currently, and instead have the opposite problem, where athletes just don’t seem to be able to train consistently enough at the level you wish they would.

It can become a time-consuming mess for a coach when reviewing an athletes training weekly, or bi-weekly, or even monthly, (depending on the coaching service), to find that an athlete isn’t anywhere near the load or fatigue the coach had planned for, and now must go back and change much of the original plan. If only the coach were kept more abreast of when an athlete deviates from the plan, whether in duration or intensity, so it could help the coach be more on top of these situations.

Today’s Plan helps coaches be more effective in this monitoring, by allowing coaches to set an alert for a specific percentage above or below the prescribed intensity or duration, (or both). When an athlete uploads a file and it is beyond the threshold set for an alert, the coach is notified immediately. Here’s an example of the email alert for an athlete who logged a workout that was 40% longer than prescribed! (To protect the guilty, I have removed the identifying markers of who the athlete is, but in the subject of this email was the athlete’s name).

Completed Duration High

Completed Duration Low

Now, 84 mins instead of 60 mins on a workout, may not seem to be much of a big deal, but with this immediate alert, a coach can quickly review the session, (along the athletes subjective wellness ratings), to see if a modification to the training is needed for the next few days, or longer.

Imagine if a key workout isn’t successful, how quickly an alert to the coach that the athlete wasn’t successful can help a coach better adapt the plan to the needs of the athlete!

As goals get set higher and higher, athletes can’t afford to get training wrong. They can’t afford to make mistakes which cost them quality training sessions, or setbacks of overtraining where they must rest for extended periods, potentially ruining their plan to peak at the biggest competitions. If a coach isn’t able to monitor this effectively, then their ability to maximize the athlete’s fitness is jeopardized. Today’s Plan is the only platform which truly allows coaches to better read their athletes’ progress, and monitor in real time how well the athlete is able to follow the plan. Coaches aren’t mind readers, (well, most aren’t), and if they can only review training infrequently, or when it’s too late and an athlete has had numerous bad workouts in a row, then this type of alert becomes even more critical.

Setting up these alerts is very simple. Just go into “Coach Settings”, and in the first tab, “General”, set the value at + or – whatever percentage you’d like. Whenever a workout file is uploaded or manually entered that is above or below the scheduled duration or intensity, the alert is triggered. So if you set 30% for the threshold, anytime an athlete has a workout exceeds 30% below what was scheduled, or exceeds 30% more, the alert is triggered. If you’d rather not use an alert for one of these, simply set the value at 0, and you won’t receive alerts.

Coach Setting Alerts

Being a truly effective coach is about delivering the right stimulus at the right time, and even if a coach has the perfect plan for an athlete, when an athlete deviates from the plan, either overdoing it or not being able to hit the prescribed intensities, that becomes extremely important for the coach to know.

Take your coaching to the next level with Today’s Plan and their tools for coaching effectiveness, like these types of alerts.