When taking on a new athlete, there is generally an interview process whether it's with the athlete themselves, their agent, their coach, and many times their parents.
Asking questions is a smart move. You can tell a lot about what type of program you are getting into by detail of the trainer's answers.
Sometimes the questions are broader, "Can you tell me about your program?" And sometimes they are more specific, "What's the difference between your program and others?" A very popular question is, "Is your program sport-specific?"
All valid questions, but here is an infographic by Chris Beardsley to help you navigate and ask the right questions when looking for a well-administered strength and conditioning program.
The infographic asks four basic questions based on the principles of specificity, individuality, variation, and progressive overload. It finishes with a question based on the athletes level of enjoyment in the program.
Every time you answer yes to a question, it moves to the next. If all questions are answered with a yes, all arrows lead to: "This program could be a good fit for you!"
Anytime you answer no throughout the process, the arrow points to "It is probably not right for you."
Great trainers and programs can explain and show you how their program follows each of these principles. You should also be able to experience the program on a short trial basis to see if it fits you from a psychological standpoint (did you enjoy the program, dig the program culture, and fell like it will get you where you need to go).
Selecting the right program is essential in all athletes development. The window is small, and the choices are vast. Educate yourself, ask the right questions, and use the infographic above to guide you.