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23. 4. 2012.

Competitive period

Competitive period is central period of macrocycle cause athlete prepares for it and in it, on competitions, realize their abilities. In the most of sports branches, competitions are placed during the whole year, but competitive period is not only the period before competition. Competitive period means only the most important among them, so it would be correct to call it the period of basic(head) competitions.
In this period the goal is successful game on competitions and achieving of results planned. Condition is to successfully solve basic assignment – maintainance and further increase in level of specific trainness and enter in the phase of relative stability of sports form. Sports form should be viewed as condition and process. That is especially important for sports branches where competitive period lasts long or have very divided calendar of competitions during season. In these sports branches it is needed to temporarily drop the level of sports form for further increase of its level. On sports form shouldn’t be viewed as the condition of optimal trainness, but the process where athlete, especially through competitions and specific training work, gets more and more perfection to the maximal limits.
Training assignments should be realized through application of competitive and specific- preparation drills, that are closer by specificity to competitive. In sport branches that have equal competition rhythm(Saturday-Saturday), in training structure competitive microcycles are extremely dominant. In sport branches of “rare” competition calendar, training specific-preparation microcycles are used. In any case, specific preparation have to be related to calendar of main competitions.  Other competitions are only fit into whole preparation process and they have training character. Due to specific influence, competitions are the most important preparation factor for main events, creating and maintaining of trainness and sports form and for control of athlete preparation. More significant are events of main competitions, cause they are harder for the athlete in any way. Related to that, goal of one competition can be only the goal of preparation, but also the device and method of preparation for the next following competition.
Functional possibilities should, eventually, be increased only through the level of competition, and training work should maintain it only on the level reached. That can also be told for technic-tactic abilities of the athlete. So basic rule of competitive period: in training and competitive process heavy changes are not allowed. To challenge changes, proper, sufficient stimuli are needed. On these stimuli organism cannot reply at the moment, cannot be adapted quickly, and modification of competitive stability leads to results drop and loss of sports form. If athlete is non adequately prepared in preparation period, this can be applied.
Number of competitions in competitive period varies from features of sports branch and athlete sports level. Top athletes, especially in sports games, have big number of competitions during season. The least number of competitions is in cases of endurance sports. Sport branches differ according to competition rhythm, too. For example, season sport branches have “hard” calendar of basic competitions, while in some sport branches(tennis) competitions vary all around the year.
In competitive period basic preparation decreases. It can be very different, which leads to specific preparation development and maintains balance with it.  Diversity of basic preparation methods is bigger through more monocyclic content of specific preparation.
Athlete in competitive period has to function technically-tactical on his maximum. Accent should be on variativity of technical-tactic activity in conditions or sports competition, just as maximal development of tactic opinion.
Differ of preparation period, in which expertise of trainer is important, in competitive period in first plan come athlete and his skill to use its possibilities and achieve planned results. Psychological preparation has the significant influence. Basic of psychological preparation should be on preparation for concrete competition and maximal mobilization of an athlete. Coach has to be ready to use eventual fail on competition as a motive for and stimulans for the following training.
Competitive period can be stopped few times by short brakes. Coach skill is to fit these brakes into fluid and operational training plan. Operational plan should be related to real training situation, which means that brakes in competitive period can have very variable content. In some cases is intensified training process, in others that is competition period, in third recovery character is used.
In some sport branches, completely justified, competitive period is shared into three periods:
  • Phase of early competitions
  • Phase of main competitions
  • Phase of late competitions.
This share only confirms huge variability in competitive period structuring. Coach mustn’t be a slave to the programs. His basic assignment is to find every day new solutions, adaptations and methods.

"Basics of sports training", Vladimir Koprivica

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