Yearly Training Plan (YTP)

COACHES TOOL BOX EDITION#1 – YEARLY TRAINING PLAN (YTP) A Yearly Training Plan or “YTP” is an essential tool for coaches. A good YTP is the roadmap that will ensure the athlete is ready to perform when it is time to perform. Although it is a broad planning tool, the YTP is complex because it must consider a variety of training elements and how they interact with each other. THE PROCESS OF IMPROVING PERFORMANCE Clearly defining how an athlete improves can help clarify where and how a YTP fits in the process. Creating a YTP is easier with the above analysis and information to consider. Here is an analogy to think about. Imagine creating a road trip plan on google maps where there is a known destination, but travelers must present items collected on the way for entry. Before travelling, it is critical to identify all the items and quantities of each needed for entry (Step 1 above). Then, one must assess how much of each required item is already in his/her possession and which stops are needed to obtain any missing items (Step 2 above). A complication here is that some items can only be obtained after others (the example of training speed and strength before power as they are both components of power). The last complication is that a 3rd party will announce the need to be at specific destinations at specific times. Some of these are optional but might help the traveler and some are mandatory (the comp and event plan). After all these considerations, the traveler can plan the trip in segments that will arrive at the destination with all the required items (Step 3 above). Some trip “legs” will take travelers away from the shortest line to the destination (training some elements of performance leads to short term decreases in performance) and some “legs’ will be longer than others. Okay, enough of that😊 On to creating a YTP. There are 3 types of training cycles within a YTP:
  • MacroCycles – Multi-Month Periods
    1. Used to plan the training focus changes within the YTP.
      1. General Preparation
        1. General Fitness
        2. Capacity/ Energy Systems
        3. Individual Athleticism Elements (speed, agility, precision, balance, strength)
        4. Significant Technical Changes (speed sequence)
        5. Significant Anatomical Changes (mobility/rehabilitation/muscle mass)
      2. Specific Preparation
        1. Sport Specific Strength Gains (fingers, pulling strength, jumping, speed)
        2. Sport Specific Capacity/ Energy Systems
        3. Compound Athleticism Elements (power, dynamic balance)
        4. Mental Performance Elements (mindset, routine changes, self-talk)
        5. Technical Refinement
      3. Pre-Competition
        1. Early Season events (strategic practice as focus)
        2. Competition Simulations
        3. Sport Specific Capacity/ Energy Systems
        4. Mental Performance Elements (short term goal setting, self-regulation practice)
      4. Main Competition
        1. Maintenance of Health (wellness tracking)
        2. Sport Specific Maintenance
        3. Performance optimization (comp sims, high specificity practice)
        4. Recovery Elements
      5. Transition
        1. Periods between key events or comp seasons (boulder to lead)
        2. Reduced training
        3. Recovery/Rehabilitation
        4. Mental Performance (De-briefing, Plan refinement)
  • MesoCycles – 3-6 weeks
    1. The monthly cycle of weekly trainings. Used to plan training load progression and changes to methods within a MacroCycle.
      1. A General Prep MacroCycle might be broken down into:
        1. MesoCycle 1 – Capacity Build: focus on volume and building workout tolerance.
        2. MesoCycle 2 – Hypertophy (Strength): focus on increased exercise intensity to elicit gains in muscle mass and force production.
  • MicroCycles – 1 week
    1. The weekly cycle of daily training sessions. Used to plan the training load progression and changes to methods within a MesoCycle.
      1. The progression in weekly frequency, duration, and intensity of each type of training for the given MesoCycle is achieved through planning each MicroCycle (week).
TOOLS FOR PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER CEC has created a microsoft excel tool available here. Figure 1 below shows a sample YTP for a boulder only athlete for 2020-2021. Let’s take a closer look at some of the components of the YTP:

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