Frequently Asked Questions
What's the basic concept of strength and conditioning?
The concept behind strength and conditioning is to train athletes systematically over a period of time in order to improve athletic performance, as well as decrease occurrence of injury. The implementation of a strength program will develop stronger athletes who are more powerful and efficient in their movements, as well as more resistant to injuries over time.
Why is building strength important to athletic development?
Every sport involves the application of force. Increasing strength is the best way to make an athlete faster and more powerful, as it allows them to transfer force more efficiently. Speed, power, and explosiveness can only be developed marginally if an athlete lacks general strength.
Why is strength and conditioning important at the High School level?
A strength and conditioning program at the high school level has numerous benefits for athletes, coaches, and administration:
Injury Prevention - One of the most important goals of the strength and conditioning profession is to decrease the likelihood of injury through the systematic strengthening of an athlete’s body. A certified strength professional has been educated in the development of injury-prevention in programs, and can therefore improve athlete’s durability on the field, court, mat, or track through various techniques in the weight room.
Reaching Athletic Potential - With proper strength training and conditioning, athletes are provided with an opportunity to reach their potential and prepare themselves for high level varsity athletics. For some high school athletes, proper development in high school could lead to collegiate careers.
Safety considerations - Athletes who have not been instructed on proper lifting technique are in danger of acute, traumatic injury through the improper handling of weight room equipment. They’re also in danger of suffering from chronic injuries overtime if incorrect movement patterns or faulty programs are in use.
What are the benefits of a strength program?
A properly implemented strength and conditioning program:
Decreases instance of injury by through the development of total body strength
Improves athletic performance
Teaches students about proper body mechanics and movements (something that will serve them their entire life)
Offers support to sport coaches and their programs
Aids the athletic department in ensuring the weight room is a safe and productive environment for student-athletes
Creates an environment that encourages hard work, discipline, and mental toughness
What are some principles that guide the strength program?
Specificity is the principle of training that states what you do in the gym should be relevant and appropriate to your desired outcome.
Overload refers to the amount of load or resistance, providing a greater stress, or load, on the body than it is normally accustomed to in order to increase fitness.
Progression is the way in which an individual should increase the load. It is a gradual increase either in frequency, intensity, or time or a combination of all three components.
What is the impact of sleep on performance?
Getting enough sleep each night is not only critical for athletes, but teenagers in general, as they require more sleep than adults. Sufficient rest allows the body to rebuild muscle tissue broken down through training during the day, and, along with nutrition, is the most important recovery mechanism for athletes. High schoolers require an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Not only does the body rebuild muscle, but important regulatory hormones are released that affect mental alertness, hunger, and growth.
What is the impact of nutrition on performance?
Proper nutrition is key to enhancing and maintaining athletic performance. Without enough fuel, the body will begin to cannibalize muscle and struggle to maintain its basic functions. Focusing on eating a variety of foods, (mainly fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains) will supply an athlete with energy for performance and increase their ability to recover.