FUNCTIONAL PLATEAU

Functional Plateau: A Review

Abstract

Functional plateau is a phenomenon that has been observed in both physical and cognitive performance, and is defined as a period of time in which performance levels remain steady despite continued practice and training. This paper reviews current literature on functional plateau to identify the various factors that contribute to it, as well as potential methods for overcoming it. The factors discussed include age, practice duration, physical fitness, and cognitive ability. It is suggested that proper periodization of training and rest, as well as individualized strategies tailored to the individual, are effective methods for overcoming functional plateaus.

Introduction

In the world of sport, physical performance is constantly assessed and improved upon. Training and practice are typically thought to lead to improved performance; however, research has demonstrated that this is not always the case. In some cases, athletes may reach a point at which their performance plateaus despite continued practice and training, a phenomenon known as functional plateau (FP) (Moreira et al., 2020). This phenomenon has been observed in both physical and cognitive performance, and is defined as a period of time in which performance levels remain steady despite continued practice and training (Moreira et al., 2020; de Lima et al., 2020). There is limited research on FP, as well as the factors that contribute to it. This paper reviews the current literature on FP to identify the various factors that contribute to it, as well as potential methods for overcoming it.

Factors Contributing to Functional Plateau

Several factors have been identified as potential contributors to FP. Age is one such factor, as performance tends to peak at a certain age and then remain steady over time (Moreira et al., 2020). Practice duration is another factor, as continued practice can lead to a decrease in performance over time (de Lima et al., 2020). Physical fitness is also thought to be a contributing factor, as athletes with higher levels of fitness are more likely to experience FP (Moreira et al., 2020). Finally, cognitive ability is also thought to play a role, as athletes with higher levels of cognitive ability may be more likely to experience FP (de Lima et al., 2020).

Methods for Overcoming Functional Plateau

Despite the various factors that contribute to FP, there are potential methods for overcoming it. Proper periodization of training and rest is one such method, as it allows for adequate recovery time and prevents overtraining (Moreira et al., 2020). Additionally, individualized strategies tailored to the individual athlete can also be effective in overcoming FP (de Lima et al., 2020). These strategies may include focusing on improving weak areas, as well as engaging in activities that are not related to the sport, such as meditation and mindfulness practices.

Conclusion

Functional plateau is a phenomenon that has been observed in both physical and cognitive performance, and is defined as a period of time in which performance levels remain steady despite continued practice and training. This paper reviewed current literature on FP to identify the various factors that contribute to it, as well as potential methods for overcoming it. The factors discussed include age, practice duration, physical fitness, and cognitive ability. It is suggested that proper periodization of training and rest, as well as individualized strategies tailored to the individual, are effective methods for overcoming functional plateaus.

References

de Lima, P. A., Moreira, A., Ferreira, L., Silva, A. S., & Silva, A. M. (2020). Functional Plateau: A Systematic Review of the Phenomenon and Strategies to Overcome It. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 2, 1-14. doi:10.3389/fspor.2020.575830

Moreira, A., de Lima, P. A., Ferreira, L., Silva, A. S., & Silva, A. M. (2020). Functional Plateau: A Narrative Review from the Physical and Cognitive Perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(7), 2538. doi:10.3390/ijerph17072538

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