“Another Principle!” I hear you say? In our professional world, there is a vast amount of principles to learn, digest and apply. I find it challenging to remember, focus on and apply key elements of these varying principles; therefore I constantly find myself having to re-read them as a refresh. However, a “refresh” is a good thing, right?
We are dealing with athletes when it comes down to it and they (or their club) are employing us for more than our personality and good looks. We also have to produce the goods that all result in success, however it is measured.
This is why I have written this blog to understand the SAID Principle in more detail and no doubt it will pose some scenarios you can relate to and hopefully serve as a teaching aid.
What is the SAID Principle?
What does it stand for?
The SAID principle is one of the key basic concepts in sport science. It stands for;
Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand.
What does it mean?
When the body is placed under forms of stress, it begins to make adaptations that will allow the body to get better at withstanding that specific form of stress in the future.
Meet Tom – “Hello!”
No amount of Cross-Fit, rowing, or running in Tom’s spare time will improve his climbing ability as much as time invested in climbing specific activities. Therefore, Tom must train and climb in accordance to the “SAID Principle”.
How can I use the SAID Principle?
Here at The S&C Coach, we like to make things seem simple. Follow these steps and the information that is formulated as the result will be the best direction for you and your athlete(s)
Adaptation is Specific
What we’ve learnt so far is that if you train X, you will improve X. Simple! The SAID Principle doesn’t just apply to physical adaptations. These adaptations will also be reflected in your motor skills. As you practice physical skills, there are numerous physical changes to the structure of the brain as a result. These will include improved efficiency (time and speed) of the neurons from brain to muscle. Noticeable improvements in hand eye coordination would therefore be witnessed if an athlete repeatedly practiced catching a ball. An example would be slip catching in cricket. The ‘slips’ would train repeatedly for their specific function - reaction based catching so to improve their reaction times.
How much is too much?
The SAID Principle is centred on having specific levels of stress to bring about specific physiological adaptations. Therefore if there isn’t a sufficient amount of stress exerted on the body, there will be no adaptation and if there is too much stress exerted on the body, injury will be the result, again leading to no adaptation, and then a possible regression.
Following a simple method whereby you can control the degree of stressors that your athlete(s) are subject to, re-test for a results based feedback and incrementally increase the levels of stress in your athlete(s) training, you will naturally achieve performance improvements without running the risk of injury.
In simple terms, keep progressing the level of difficulty of the training without running the risk of injury or overtraining.
The SAID Principle is centred on having specific levels of stress to bring about specific physiological adaptations. Keep training simple and specific. If you want your athlete(s) to get better at X, do X as hard as possible without getting hurt or risk overtraining.
You're probably already going through some ideas in your head, right? Tell me how you plan to use the SAID Principle in your training. I'd love to help out!