High performance is where it all meets. This is where all of the training, learning and developing from the previous 3 stages meet. Unfortunately many chose to begin this stage earlier in the developmental process of their athletes who do not make it to this stage of success as a result of burnout or injury.
Excluding early maturing sports, the highest performances in a well trained athlete do not occur until they are in their early to mid 20’s. This is when the physiology and cognitive abilities are mature enough to collaborate all training and produce the maximum results.
Motor skills should be solidified before this stage and become natural and effortless. Technical and tactical softball skills are being refined and mental training should be a regular component of training and preparations.
Physical abilities should be periodized to meet the needs of softball and are scheduled around a single yearly training plan. Quadrennial plans are used for Olympic athletes and include 4 years of training for the ultimate goal, while professional athletes use personal trainers and adhere ideally to programs set by their clubs.
High performance athletes are now planning their training and competitions with the following considerations:
- performance enhancement teams
- international events
- national events
High Performance and Recovery / Regeneration
It is now a mater of refining training around competitions and focusing on recovery / regeneration as they participate in a heavier schedule. Burnout and over training need to be regularly monitored as athletes might be more prone to it due to their schedule.
- resting heart rate
- ability to sleep