TRAINING ACTIVITIES NEED TO BE HIGHLY RELATED TO COMPETITION ACTIVITIES TO MOTIVATE ATHLETES
Young, B. W., & Salmela, J. H. (2002). Perceptions of training and deliberate practice of middle distance runners. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 33, 167-181.
Canadian middle-distance runners (N = 81; national, provincial, and club standards) rated lists of track practice activities, track-related activities, and everyday activities according to each activity's relevance for improving performance, the amount of effort and concentration required to perform each activity, and how enjoyable they considered their participation in each activity.
The most relevant and effortful activities were perceived as the most enjoyable. Only activities that required running were deemed to be extremely relevant. No significant differences were found between national, provincial, and club performance groups in terms of perceptions of the activities.
Implication. Stressing non-running activities as being very important might create a schism between a coach and athlete regarding evaluations of practice and auxiliary activities. Activities, such as cross training, were perceived as irrelevant and less enjoyable than running activities. Athlete's perceptions of the value of training activities supports the specificity of training principle as embracing the most relevant and enjoyable activities.
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