Sports training for athletes has come a long way. The human body is such an amazing thing. It is incredible what it is capable of when it is nourished and trained well. This is most obvious with athletes. We live in a time where the awesome training techniques that professionals have used for years are finally becoming mainstream. I’m talking about sports specific training and it is without a doubt the way to go when training for a specific sport or activity.
With sports specific training you are actually training your body in the planes of motion and situations that mimic your sport. You train for endurance and power in conjunction to the skills you need in your sport. Conventional training had athletes going to weight rooms and ‘lifting’ no matter what sport they were participating in. That makes absolutely no sense and unfortunately is still being played out at many high schools and colleges today.
Also, very often the lifting that is being done is just aimlessly throwing the weight around and seeing how much you can lift. This serves no purpose except that you can then say how much weight you lifted, how does that help on the playing field?
Too many coaches just pass on to their athletes what they did when they were playing without realizing that there is a much better way. Things have changed and they have changed for the better. We now know that sports training versus just working out is the way to go. For example, coaches will have their football player’s bench press to train for football. Think about this, how often does a football player need this skill? When does he get down on the field and bench press another player? It doesn’t happen.
You may think this would help a lineman and it might if all he had to do was push his opponent away one time but that is not what he needs. He needs the strength and the endurance to outlast his opponent at the line and bench pressing does not help with that at all. He needs to be trained for his sport.
I get frustrated when I see the exercises that young athletes are told to do by their coaches, like the deep squat. I can’t believe people are still doing this dangerous and useless exercise in the year 2007. When you go below a 90-degree angle when you squat you are doing major damage to your knees and there again when in your sport do you need this skill? I can’t think of one sport where the player does this, can you?
Sports specific training is so much safer because you’re training your body for the demands of your sport so that when you are in the game your body is ready for those unique demands when they happen. The results are just incredible. For example, I have athletes who have increased their vertical jump by 3 inches in just 5 sessions, I have seen wrestlers who couldn’t keep their opponent down become vice like on their opponent.
Core and balance training are also a big part of sports specific training. You may not even realize it but these components are necessary in every sport there is. It is unbelievable the difference it makes to have a conditioned core. Conventional training does not even address this at all except to maybe throw in some sit-ups and, trust me there are no sit-ups in core training.
Like I said, the body is an amazing thing and it is capable of amazing things but you need to work with it, not against it. You need to train it, not punish it. You need to train for your sport, not just workout.