If you were to embark on a cross-country road trip, what tools would you use to get to your final destination as efficiently as possible while staying in one piece? Let’s examine 3 ways to travel from point A to point B and consider how each relates to your long-term athletic development journey.

Method 1: Using a Compass – The Old School Way

Consider that you decide to hop in the car and drive from New York to Los Angeles using only a compass for direction. As long as the compass is pointing west, you’re making progress, right? You may eventually make it to L.A., but you almost surely did not use the fastest route.

This is similar to athletes who understand that physical preparation training can improve performance in sport but don’t train with a plan or system. If you go to a gym and “lift weights” 2 or 3 times a week, are you becoming a better athlete? Without a plan, how do you know if you are making progress? You may become stronger or faster using this strategy at first, but you cannot expect see sustainable improvements without a plan.

Method 2: Using a Map – Now You’ve Got a Plan

Using a map is a definite upgrade for your cross-country expedition: you can now outline a course to your destination. But a map is designed to be used by anyone going anywhere. Does this map have everything you need for your specific journey? Is there a faster or safer route? If you run into traffic, will you stick to the plan and waste a few hours not making any progress?

You see the same problem with a “cookie cutter” training program. It is always better to train with a plan, but you risk seeing diminishing returns and leaving your progress to chance if the program leaves no room for feedback and is not designed specifically for your needs. It is better to fit the plan to the athlete, not the athlete to the plan.

Method 3: Using a GPS – A Flexible Plan Catered to Your Needs

A GPS is the best tool for your cross-country journey. Plug in a destination, and the GPS will identify your current location, offer several routes to get you to point B, and provide real time course corrections in the case of traffic jams or road closings.

ADAPT’s training system operates just like a GPS for athletes. We use screens and performance tests to establish a baseline so we can outline the best way to reach your athletic goals based on where you are today. If you sustain an injury in competition, we can modify certain exercises so you still make progress. ADAPT’s training system combines coaching feedback and intelligently designed exercise progressions that help you reach point B in the fastest and safest way possible. Plug your athletic goals into ADAPT’s GPS, and we will help you become a better athlete.