“Sport specific” strength and conditioning has been a hot topic as of recent years.
Nowadays, baseball players are being trained differently than football players, they’re both being trained differently than soccer players, and so on.
As appealing as this sounds – “Wow, training that suits MY sport?” – is it really necessary?
Is it even an optimal way to train young athletes?
The answer is neither yes nor no.
When one designs a strength & conditioning program, the first factor that should be considered is the individual athlete – more specifically, the athlete’s strength & weaknesses. Only after that should the sport they play be considered.
The reason we believe that this is the best method of creating a strength & conditioning program is because all athletes are different. They each have their different needs, strengths, & weaknesses. If athletes are grouped together by sport they may be missing some key aspects of training.
At GameChanger, when a new athlete begins training with us, we’ll screen a number of different movement patterns. What we’ve seen over the years is that athletes will have different weaknesses that require different stretches and exercises to correct.
For example, if an athlete needs to improve hip mobility, then they’ll need to spend more time doing hip flexor and adductor stretches.. If they have tight shoulders, they’ll spend more time on internal and external rotation drills, so on and so forth.
And these situations occur regardless of the sport they play.
Another consideration is the age of the athlete. The younger the athlete, the more general their program should be. Those who are younger need time to practice very basic movements, both with bodyweight and an external weight. This is because: a) young kids usually don’t have movement deficiencies that need correcting, and b) young kids need to learn the basic movements before doing anything else more complex or specific.
Once we address the individual needs of the athlete as well as their age, we’ll see if the sport (or sports) they play should require anything specific in their training program. For example, baseball players need to focus on developing rotational power.
Stay clear of any program that designs “sport specific’ programs without accounting for the individual needs of the athlete.
Your athlete will benefit more from our individualized training than and “sports specific” program. All athletes are different, they shouldn’t be treated the same solely off of choice of sport.