A common question that comes up with coaches and athletes is how do I make sure my strength and conditioning program is "sports specific"? When it comes to strength training and conditioning, there are three primary things you need to think about improving:
Force enhancement via strength training
Energy system improvement via sport-related conditioning runs or drills
Skill improvement via sport-specific skill training
In support of the three factors above I also recommend some basic flexibility training, developing, and maintaining a nutritious personal eating plan, as well as staying well hydrated.
The development of muscular strength is the general progression of increasing the muscle’s ability to produce force. Sports skill development, on the other hand, is the specific learning of how to best coordinate and apply these forces.
In other words, strength is a non-specific adaptation developed in the weight room whereas sports skills are a specific adaptation developed through guided practice on "the field".* As a result, a powerful athlete is developed physically in the weight room, which by a separate process is developed mechanically on "the field".*
Unless you are competing as a power-lifter, Olympic style weight lifter etc, anything you do in the weight room will have zero direct transfer to what you are doing on "the field" of play.*
With the above in mind, here is a simple formula to keep your training on the right track.
Key points to remember too S.P.I.C.E. things up
1. Strength train in order to reduce injury, and resist fatigue in the safest method possible.
2. Practice your skills.
3. Improve flexibility- perform strength training through full range of motion exercises. One may augment this with a simple, basic stretching routine to increase range of motion around a joint.
4. Condition the energy systems used to play your sport (running intervals, cardiovascular exercises and speed training).
5. Eat nutritious foods and drink plenty of water to ensure the body has the proper amount of nutrients in order to grow stronger.
These five basic concepts will go a long way in keeping your training simple, safe, and focused on success.
TAKU's NOTE: *(“The field” implies any athletic playing space the wrestling mat, tennis court, Fighting cage, boxing ring etc.)