Dynamic Correspondence. Is Your Training Relevant To Your Sport? Tom Archer

Updated: Mar 15

Performance Coach Tom Archer has worked with athletes ranging from Olympic hockey players to professional motorsport drivers. In this piece he talks training transfer, opens up some questions and gives plenty of us programme writers something to think about...

Tom putting IndyCar and former F1 star Max Chilton through his paces

So, what is dynamic correspondence and how can it help my training?

Dynamic Correspondence was outlined by the Father of plyometrics, Verkhoshansky & Siff, in his 2006 book ‘Super Training’ and is a term which refers to an exercise or training programme's ability to directly affect an athlete's sporting performance - also know as the ‘transfer effect’.

Verkhoshansky outlined a 'model of 5' criteria.

The aim of these criteria was to help coaches efficiently select the appropriate exercises that would yield the desired outcome for their athlete.

As an athlete you need to make sure the exercise or movement you're practising away from the track/field/ice/other event arena is going to provide the wanted and needed adaptations to improve performance in the arena you're focusing on.

For ease of reading:

1. Where I mention 'exercise', I refer to the selected mode of training for your event.

2. Where I mention 'skill', I refer to the actual physical action of your event.

Keeping South African Olympian Dirkie Chamberlain on a tight leash

Below is an outline of each criterion – with a few posed questions to help guide application to your own training

The 1st criterion mentioned is:

‘Amplitude And Direction Of Movement’

Within this criterion we look to analyse the movement patterns of the body as well as an understanding of the direction of movement and within which planes of movement.

So, think of your current program:

1. Does your selected exercise require triple extension of the ankle, knee and hip?

2. Does the skill you're comparing against also require the same level of extension and/or flexion?

3. Does the exercise require force to be produced within relevant planes of movement?

4. Does the given exercise you're doing in the gym use the same muscle groups you require for the skill?

E.g. During an Olympic Snatch we see triple extension joint movements which are similar in a basketball jump shot

The 2nd criterion is: