Strength and conditioning—referred to as S&C— is not a replacement for routine sports training; it’s a valuable supplement. Strength and conditioning enhances performance levels and reduces the risk of injury. The training plan should have a clear goal for improvement, whether it be cardiovascular, strength, agility—or a combination of the three—tailored specifically to the needs of the athlete or client.
Strength and conditioning can’t be pigeonholed into one type of exercise. Because the athlete’s needs are as individual as his or her performance, S&C must reflect this. A coach, trainer, or therapist, must be skilled in the physical demands of the athlete’s chosen sport or activities. He or she must be aware of range of motion, muscle strength, flexibility, and power—and how they all work together during performance. If the trainer, coach, or therapist, knows the sport inside and out, he or she can design a supplemental training plan for the athlete to achieve his or her goals while avoiding injury.
S&C can make or break a player’s performance. Once an athlete is at a professional level, it is the small changes and supplements to his or her normal training schedule that can improve his or her skills. This might provide just the advantage needed for a win. It’s not about weight lifting, or sprints, it’s about the appropriate exercises prescribed to enhance certain areas of performance while keeping the athlete safe.