The Long-Term Performance Plan
The long-term performance plan serves as a “10,000” foot view of the timeline and preparatory phases leading up to the bout or specific competition period. It is to be used as a general guide and is best served as the canvas for illustrating how each phase will transition or sequence together. It may be tempting to resort to using more complex or highly detailed layouts that are analogous to a more traditional annual planning template, and you can certainly choose to do so if you wish, but bear in mind the large number of changes that are likely to occur and the significance that even one small alteration can have on the overall timeline which in turn will likely make you resort to having to start that particular planning sequence from scratch. This is a previously noted and well accepted reality for coaches who work within the domain of team sport at both the University or professional level since they already have to plan around practice schedules, games/matches and travel, however, the amount of people and training sessions involved with MMA fight preparation often surpasses that of traditional team sport, or lends itself to being a bit more chaotic since many lead MMA coaches are not yet used to sequencing out their training plan in its entirety given the amount of disciplines that need to be learned/refined as well as the number of people involved with the preparation for the bout in its entirety. Despite these issues, it should not be assumed that this is the cased with every situation within the MMA community or that it will continue to be over the long-term, as the future holds great promise for enhanced collaboration between coaches and practitioners both due to the increased amount of high-quality information that continues to come out from the research based practitioners and also due to the inevitable maturation of the sport and how it embraces proper physical preparation moving forward. It is my suggestion that laying out this “bird’s eye” view as it pertains to the dates and general phase sequence gives the practitioner a sound reference point to build off of and serves as a natural precursor to a more specific breakdown of the contents of the individual phases themselves as well as their constituent parts.