Difference Between Training and Working Out, Something The Best Athletes Know!!!

CHRIS ZUPPA | Times (12/04/2008 St. Petersburg) St. Petersburg High School high School's Gabriel Moton Photo via Newscom


Being a physical education teacher, and former coach, at a prominent high school in the suburbs (an area surrounded by highly successful athletes and programs) gives me ample opportunity for contact with coaches who truly understand the "path" toward success.

Regardless of what sport they coach, I consistently find beneficial pieces within their rhetoric that these coaches use to inspire and improve athletes under their direction. They are the kind of things that not only apply to "their" sport, in this case basketball, but to any athletic endeavor.

Just such a piece was sent to me today by a friend and colleague. One that helps to clarify how important proper training is, and has a strong relationship with a concept I coined (the Circle of Achievement) in the book for which I am seeking publication.

Below is this piece as it was given to me, minus the references and link to basketball movement training drills.

Naperville North Basketball

Training Versus Working Out, by Alan Stein

A couple of weeks ago a colleague of mine, Nick Tumminelo (a brilliant trainer in Baltimore and owner of Performance University), posted this on his Facebook page:

"Do you know the difference between training and working out? Training is when you have a progressive plan with measurable goals and continual challenges. Working out is anything that makes you sweaty and tired but not necessarily better because it lacks consistency, direction and specificity."

I couldn't agree more. This concept is so applicable to your pre-season training program because it lays the foundation for your success this season. Picture a pyramid. A wide base (foundation) yields a higher peak. Your strength & conditioning foundation gives you the ability to perform your basketball skills at a higher level, perform them with more efficiency, and perform them for the entire game (without letting fatigue play a factor).

That is why the best players and the best teams are in the best shape!

I am certainly a staunch believer in working hard. Intensity and consistency are the keys to success in anything... especially training. But you have to be working towards something to make it effective. You have to have a plan. You have to have goals. You have to make progress towards those goals every workout.

Working out just to workout, with no direction, will give you mediocre results at best. Puddles of sweat and aching muscles are only valuable if they are taking you closer to where you are trying to go.

Don't just work hard. Work smart.

The idea of an athlete (or coach) having a "progressive plan with measurable goals and continual challenges" as an essential part of training is, well...perfect! The only thing I could possibly add, if at all, would be to make sure this progressive plan, measurable goals, and continual challenges happen on a daily basis. In this sense the athlete, and team, are climbing that ladder of success one day at a time, improving just a little bit each and every day.

Great piece, Alan!!!

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