Skill Training Periodization in “Specialist” Sports Coaching—An Introduction of the “PoST” Framework for Skill Development
Across sports and movement science, training periodization has been recognizedas key for athlete development and performance. While periodization with regard tophysiology has a proven history, the structuring and periodization of motor learning andskill development is seemingly less researched and practiced. Despite the existenceof numerous theoretical accounts underpinning skill acquisition training and morerecently emerging periodization models, a cohesive framework to practically supportcoaches in the context of “specialist coaching” appears to be needed. The use of“specialist coaches” for individualized, one-on-one or small group trainings displays agrowing trend in team ball sports. Despite limiting the replication of game-representativeenvironments (i.e., by constraining the number of involvedathletes in training), “specialistcoaches” in performance sport constantly aim to achieve marginal gains and refinementsin athlete development. In order to support these “specialist coaches” and fill aresearch gap on skill training periodization, the current paper seeks to review andtransfer contemporary skill acquisition training theory (driven by the constraints-ledapproach) into a practically-applicable “Periodization of Skill Training” framework (“PoST”framework). This framework provides valuable conceptual and practical support for“specialist coaches” in performance sport; which will in turn, enhance, and refine adaptivemovement variability for sport skills and manipulate skilltraining environments (i.e., overthe course of macro- and micro-cycles, and for the planning of single training sessions).Practical examples from soccer goalkeeping (i.e., a “specialist coaching” context, oftenconstrained to a small number of players in the training environment) will underline theproposed framework.