Coaching athletes for a living, I realized early on that one of the most important things to consider is specificity.
Not any old weight training will necessarily improve YOUR sport, or any. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might -at best- waste your time, and unfortunately you can -at worst- get injured because of it.
For instance standard bodybuilding training will not improve soccer performance, to the contrary, it’ll probably slow you down. But does that mean strength training on the whole will slow you down? Not at all.
Correctly applied, strength performance training for sports -specifically, for YOUR sport- will make you faster, more explosive, more injury proof and help you outlast or outsprint your opponent.
So what does sports specificity actually mean? Is it only a fancy term people throw about to sound smart? Well no, not quite. First, you’ve got to ask some questions.
Here are the basics…
1. What is your sports’ main strength quality? Is it Power? Power endurance? Relative strength? Maximal strength?
2. What is the main energy system utilized in your sport? This is quite different from a soccer winger to a soccer goalie. From a Shot-Putter to a Judoka. And it’s absolutely crucial to get this right. Get it wrong and you’ll pay for it later…
3. What are the prime movers in your sport? Meaning, where are the main engines powering your movement? Because those need to be emphasized…
4. It’s also really good to know the most commonly injured areas in a particular sport, so you can focus on those during the G.P.P. (General Preparatory Phase)
I might go into all these in more detail in later articles down the line. For now, please realize that performance training for sports is a rather complex affair, and needs to be taken care of by an established, experienced professional.
Good luck with your athletic career,
Mark Kislich, Olympic Coach
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