Training in general and specifically, Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) could be compared to a game of poker… you need to know when to play the right card. It’s a game of risk and reward. You need to know the ‘numbers or percentages of win/loss’ when you play the card, to determine if the payoff is worth the investment.
The cards are metaphors for training methods and/or training principles and knowing when to play or use each card is the art of coaching. Playing too many hands too frequently and not thinking two or three steps ahead is foolhardy, whatever the short-term windfall or result. This would be seen practically as poor programming and not showing seamless integration between micro, meso and macrocycles.
The most effective coaches understand the cards they are dealt, the best combination of these cards, when to play each one and the adaptation which occurs from playing them. AND, the elite coaches know when to keep that ‘ace’ up their sleeve to elicit a championship performance when needed.
In the end, Kenny Rogers was right!