This is a short and brief list of goals that I believe any Strength and Conditioning Program should have. This was put together to help educate sport coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers or anyone else who works directly with athletes. They are not in any specific order, but all are incredibly important for athletes.
- Identify athletic limitations through a screening process
Before any kind of training can begin, it is incredibly important to sit down with the athlete/team/coach and identify what their goals are, so we know exactly what we are training to achieve. Then, we need to assess the athletes and observe what their physical limitations are. The FMS movement screen is a great way to do this, but we also need to observe them doing athletic movements. This is where watching the athlete play their sport comes into play.
2. Create a Foundation for the Future
When building a house, the foundation always comes first. When building a badass athlete, the foundation also comes first. Too many times, we see people go 0 to 100 mph with their training and this is usually when we see injuries occur. It should be a slow and gradual process.
3. Develop mobility, flexibility and joint stability
Sports are often played in deep ranges of motion so we need to prepare to be in those situations. Building strength on top of poor mobility/ joint stability is a disaster waiting to happen.
4. Injury Reduction NOT Injury Prevention
We can greatly reduce the amount of injuries that occur through smart training, but preventing injuries is impossible. The environment that athletes compete in changes frequently. A wet turf, a muddy field, a slippery court are all examples. These environments impact how athletes perform any kind of movement, such as deceleration or change of direction, this makes injuries inevitable.
5. Energy system development
Knowing the energy demands of the sport and your baseline levels of energy metabolism is extremely important when prescribing Energy System Development. The three main energy systems used to fuel the body are: Phosphagen System, Glycolytic System and Aerobic System. These three energy systems work together to make sure we have a continuous and sufficient supply of energy to perform our sport at a high level.
6. Develop strength, speed and power
A stronger athlete is a better athlete. As performance coaches, this is where we spend most of our time with our athletes, and for good reason. Developing strength takes a long time. This is one of the biggest competitive edges you can give to your athletes, both physically and mentally. A more confident athlete is a better athlete.
7. Improve overall athletic performance
Helping the athlete become better at his/her sport is KING and why I saved it for last. This is the final product of all the training we have done. The culmination of everything coming together leads to this final product of developing the best athlete/team and helping them reach their athletic potential.