Ideally an athlete would continue to improve performance indefinitely over time, however improvement slows as the athlete approaches their genetic limits. Measuring performance is complex—performance may be temporarily depressed following aggressive training for multiple reasons, physiological and psychosocial. This reality may be vexing to the strength and conditioning coach, who, as a service provider, must answer to sport coaches about an athlete’s progress. Re-cently an evaluation mechanism for strength and conditioning coaches was proposed, in part to help coaches establish their effectiveness within the organization. Without formal guidance and realistic expectations, if an athlete is not bigger, leaner, stronger, etc. as a result of training within a specified timeframe, blame is often placed upon the strength and conditioning coach. The purpose of this article is to explore possible causes of what may be perceived as athlete non-responses to training and to provide guidance for the coach on how to handle those issues within their domain. A process of investigation is recommended, along with resources to assist coaches as they consider a broad range of issues, including enhancing existing testing methods, improving athlete behaviors, and adjusting processes designed to bring about performance improvement.
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Gleason, Benjamin H.; Hornsby, William G.; Suarez, Dylan G.; Nein, Matthew A.; and Stone, Michael H.. 2021. Troubleshooting a Nonresponder: Guidance for the Strength and Conditioning Coach. Sports. Vol.9(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9060083