Some people say: “Practice sport to be in shape.” This is a way of thinking that is usually accepted by population. However, in sport performance, the adage is: “Be in shape to practice your sport.” How do professionnal and elite amateur athletes do to be in shape?
They have a strength and conditioning coach who assess their physique and then decides with the sport coaches which physical quality should be trained and in which sequential order so that the athlete be ready for a specific competition.
Some people might think that it’s very simple to prepare a program for athletes because they are extremely in shape and they can do almost any training because of that.
A few questions to take in consideration
What they don’t know is that the strength and conditioning coach has to take a few things in consideration. Here are a few questions that he must ask himself and create the program accordingly.
-How old is the athlete?
-What is his or her objective in term of development?
-What sport and position does he or she play?
-What level of skills does he/she have?
-Is this athlete completely healthy?
-Where is the athlete in his/her competition calendar right now?
-Is he/she a starter or a back up?
-Does he/she have a lot of technico-tactical training for his/her sport?
-If so, how can we manage both so that the athlete responds well to the trainaing load?
-Does the athlete have other sources of stress (allostatic load) that might alter the response to the strength and conditioning and sport specifi trainings like (improper nutrition, lack of sleep, social conflicts, a heavy school schedule, etc.) ?
-Is the risk-reward of the exercises in the program fit the contextual aspects found in the previous questions for this athlete?
The art and science of strength and conditioning
Strength and conditioning coaches have to take in consideration aspects that are related to: sports physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, sports psychology and they also need to have the experience to match the science with the answers regarding contextual questions eneumerated above. This is the art part of it!
The best strength coaches
The best strength coaches are the one that ask the best questions and answer them before preparing a training program for their athletes. Here’s the link of the Youtbe channel of a great strength and conditioning firm that follow a lot of good athetes in Canada: https://www.youtube.com/user/FonctionsOptimum/about