Overcoming Genetic Limitations


To get the elite speed and athleticism you’ve always wanted, follow these steps:

1. Engineer a time machine

2. Go back in time and take your Mom speed dating in Jamaica

3. Wait to be reborn with new genetics

Until you can make the above scenario (or fantasy) happen, your athleticism will always be limited by your genetics. One of the best things a coach can do prior to starting a training program with an athlete or team is to provide realistic (and sometimes dream shattering) expectations. For example, the 5 foot 10 inch, ectomorphic Basketball athlete who is predominately type 1 muscle fiber will most likely not be able to throw down a two-handed slam dunk after only 2 weeks of structured training. It’s just the harsh reality of genetic limitations.

Knowing that each athlete has genetic limitations, a coach must get creative and come up with ways to reinforce buy in and keep the athlete excited about training. Below is a short list of things a coach can do to keep an athlete engaged after they are hit with reality.

1. Get the athlete excited about lifting-Since novice athletes typically see exponential progress in strength gains, seeing numbers go up in each lift can help foster a higher level of excitement for training. Also, movements in the weight room can also be related to sport activity, which can also help elevate interest.

2. Spend time talking about recovery-If an athlete doesn’t understand what to eat and how to sleep, their coach has failed miserably and is at fault for any short comings in the training process. Most athletes are clueless on this topic, so being a pseudo dietician will help add value and yield more buy in.

3. Track data and show progress over time-Charts and graphs tend to be a bit overcomplicated, but if you keep them simple, it can help illustrate to an athlete how much progress has been made over the course of a training period.