⇒ A coach’s confidence and ability in observational analysis develops over years of experience around a sport, as well as through a reflection method known as nested thinking (see HERE). Regardless of experience and knowledge, training decisions should be made based on a combination of factors. Do not be overly distracted or influenced by one specific monitoring strategy (e.g. an athlete’s subjective report) or metric (e.g. HRV), aim to take multiple factors into consideration.
⇒ Experience and intuition may be of greater use with a sport like swimming, because of the individual nature and consistent environment, but in the team-sports environment, there are many variables that make monitoring readiness a difficult task. It is important for a coach to work with the athlete directly and other members of the support staff to analyse objective data, subjective reports, as well as reflection and discussion to assist and improve the decision-making ability in training prescription and competition strategy.
⇒ Although morning HRV was not sensitive to change, nocturnal HRV measurement (i.e. through the night) has shown an association with performance potential (see HERE).
⇒ It is important for a coach to recognise and admit mistakes, respecting that perfection is impossible. As a coach gains experience, they must reflect and grow; fine-tuning educated intuition and observational abilities. A coach needs to learn to notice slight signs or signals related to athlete body language, performance ability in training, and be mindful of the comments that come up in conversation with an athlete before, during, and after training.