Compiling the annual plan

Articles > Compiling the annual plan

Structuring and compiling the annual plan is of great importance, as it focuses on the milestones the coach and athlete have during the following year. Usually the annual plan should be put together during the transition period, that preceeds the following training year. The new plan must be made based on the previous year achievements of the athlete and the performance during the main competition. Analyzing the main competition of the previous year, the coach should take into account all possible factors, that influenced the result of the athlete and and based on this knowledge modifications should be included into next annual plan.

The quality of the annual plan reflects  the coach´s methodological knowledge, experience, and lates theroretical gains in the field. A coach must develop his/her plan by him/herself and is only as efficient as he or she is organized.

The compilation of the annual plan is effective if the following steps are used:

  1. Basic information about the plan (this is useful for determing the effects and goals of the plan)
    1. The duration of the plan
    2. Target sport
    3. The profile of the athlete
  2. Analysis of the previous performance of the athlete. This helps predicting the following year´s performance more accurately and favours general periodization.


Table. Performance analysis of the male rower.

Planned Achieved
Performance 2000 m rowing ergometer 6. 17 6.18
Tests Power clean (kg)Snatch (kg)Squat (kg)

3000 m run

Adam test

175 kg107,5 kg145 kg



170 kg107.5 kg150 kg




For physical preparation you need data of general, specific and biomotor ability and you ave to cnsider wather those performance data indices corresponds to the specific needs of your discipline. Data for this must be collected from competition results and different kinds of testing that a good coach organizes ata the end of different training stages. Continuous, well designed, reliable testing strategy can indicate to lots of shortcomings in the annual plan that might not be visible without testing. Usually, marked improvements in performance occur during the preparatory period and most of the tests are done during that period. In the competition period, however coaches rather rely on competition results than running an additional test. This brings the coach to the situation, that competition results can not be compared with those tests that were run during the preparatory period and despite athlete performs at nearly expected level during the competition, his performance development has stopped due to increased competitive stress and limited recovery.


  1. Predicting athletic performance.

Predicting the performance of the athlete during the annual training cycle is important for multi year planning in order to see whether the athelte adapts to the trainings at the desired level. Predicting athletic performance is also important in comparison to top level performances to predict the time athlete is able to compete at top level. Of course in this disciplines where performance can be measured objectively, the prediction is also easier.


Table 1. Predicting performances  for two athletes.

Average performance at the Olympics
I place II – III place IV – VI place VI – IX place
Single scull 6:53 6:56 7:05 7:15
Previous year This year Next year Third year Fourth year
Athlete I 7:25 7:16 7:10 7:00 6:55
Athlete II 7:45 7:25 7:15


Using the prediction model like this:

  • Athlete and coach can see whether everything goes like planned – if everything goes well an athlete might fight for his first medal after three years and probably for the gold in four years. While for the secon athlete, initial two years are planned and then the new prediction would be made, due to his lower initial performance, which makes longer prediction less reliable.
  • Is there any deflection from the initial prediction? If yes, can it be eliminated, or the following year predictions should also be modified either in positive or negative direction.
  • Depending on the athlete current condition and expected performance increase – what is the level that the athlete is able to achieve?


If compiling a yearly plan, one should also define the objectives of the annual plan (Bompa 1999) before setting up competition calendar.


Reference: Bompa T. Periodization. Theory and methodology of training. Human Kinetics, Chicago, IL. 1999.