Each individual player is different and these differences require consideration when designing a training plan. There are many factors which can differ between individuals and thus affect the training plan e.g. age, training age, genetics, body morphology, gender, and position. The principle of individualisation proposes that training be catered to the individual to take these differences into account and provide the most effective training plan possible (Bompa and Haff 2009).
For example, a training plan designed for an 18-year-old female with a training age of 3 years may not be the ideal plan to develop a 25-year-old male with a training age of 6 months. Differences in recovery rate between players may also be evident; it has been shown that while 80% of players who strength-trained were recovered by day three following training, 20% of players had not recovered (McLester et al, 2008).
Whilst individualisation is the ideal strategy, the coach may not have the time nor resources to successfully individualise the conditioning programme for the whole squad. Where possible, individualising the training should be considered as it yields greater training results. Coaches who ignore individualisation run the risk of overtraining the less advanced or mature players while undertraining the more advanced and experienced players (Sharkey 2006).