In designing an effective preparation profile for any one particular sport, it is of essence, that all possible factors pertaining to a successful outcome are covered.

Picture2This is best achieved by using the acronym B.A.M.S. Which stands for body, attitude, mind and skills.

The player and coach need to work on all four of theses areas, neglecting none. It is important to look at each section and understand what is required and why, so lets begin by getting the basics in order

The player and coach need to work on all four of theses areas, neglecting none. It is important to look at each section and understand what is required and why, so lets begin by getting the basics in order.

BODY: refers to the physical capacities required and where the emphasis and prioritisation should be put on physical preparation, always maintaining balance between strength, power speed, skill and flexibility. In competitive sport, it would be self-destructive to try and shortcut any of these domains of physicality. Strength is the once off maximum and power refers to the ability to continue maximum effort over an extended period.

Assess whether the particular sport is more aerobic or anaerobic in nature and then design the profile around your findings. Rugby and boxing areas are very explosive, therefore anaerobic in nature, so doing long laborious jogging sessions are of little value as opposed to something like wind sprints.

reflects whether the player has sufficient motivation, mental toughness, pain tolerance, determination and stability. Many would-be top performers fall by the wayside due to weak minds. If the coach recognises that a player is mentally frail, it would pay to seek out the assistance of a sports psychologist, as this could have a positive impact not only on individual concerned, but on the team as a whole.

Extroverted personalities tend to excel in team sports and introverts are more adapted to the individual sports, though this is not a hard and fast rule.

MIND: applies to the mental aspects of competing such as decision-making, intelligence, anticipation, concentration, visualisation, focus and the ability to centre rapidly, therefore getting into the zone more effectively. Mind extends into the areas of sensory capacities such as vision, both as-in sight and in imagination, hearing, touch and balance.

SKILLS: refer to the technical aspects required for peak performance of the particular sport including things like co-ordination and ball control etc.

B.A.M.S should therefore be considered as the basis for training and coaching in sport.

Some sports do have overlapping areas making competing at various under-age sports events possible. As players mature they would normally choose one sport to specialise in, particularly when reaching the level of national or international status.

Genetics also plays a roll in the type of sport, position and ability that the player can produce, eg., Os Durant is most certainly one of the greatest Springbok prop forwards South Africa has ever produced, but put him at fullback and he wouldn’t make his club side. One could see Os’ training and competing more successfully at shot put, thus confirming the inter-relationship between different sports and their requirements. Given this, it would not make sense to specialise in any one particular sport to soon, unless the player shows talent that is truly extraordinary and in which case early specialisation could be warranted.

Here is an example of a tennis player’s skill profile: Picture Nadal or Federer , when you read this…

Physical: aerobically fit – Athletic and mobile.

Sensory: high levels of central and peripheral vision quick reactions and good feeling for the balance of the racquet.

Mental: high concentration levels. Be able to develop game-plan/strategy. Able to anticipate moves.

Personal: Enjoys playing. Calm under pressure. Relaxed, but focused and Competitive.

Coaches and players wishing to excel would be well advised to adopt B.A.M.S as part of their preparation profile in order to construct winning formula.

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