Fitness

What Do You Need To Win For Sports?

It’s something we’ve all seen. As instructors yell about toughening up and being tough in the fourth quarter, a line of players drags through agility ladders, mat drills, and 20-yard shuttles.

Athletes stutter through drills, gazing down at their feet, standing upright and without using their arms. Simply put, they are in a state of survival.

The idea is to improve speed, agility, strength, and stamina so that you can go all day. While these objectives are reasonable and should be prioritized, they cannot all be accomplished simultaneously.

Overcome adversity by training for sport.

Mental and physical toughness are important goals to pursue, but they can be achieved without sacrificing speed and agility.

Athletes who train aerobically with few to no breaks do not improve their speed or agility. They’re not even being conditioned in a way that translates to anaerobic (rapid glycolysis) or phosphate system-driven sports like football, basketball, or baseball.

This type of training would only benefit them in a sport where they would have to move at 60-70 percent effort for long periods with no rest. Most sports do not have this aspect.

The typical football play lasts 4-7 seconds, with a 35-second gap between them. Baseball players are frequently asked to provide a burst of energy followed by a lengthy recovery period.

This training method grossly misunderstands how speed, agility, and sport-specific conditioning are developed in programs.

Fatigue will be conquered by form and function.

Athletes must execute drills with proper form and put 100 percent effort into each action to enhance speed and agility.

As a result, each repetition should be performed from a fully recovered, non-fatigued state. We want athletes to deliver 110 percent in each drill, but exhausted athletes aren’t as fast or powerful as anyone who has worked out to exhaustion knows.

This is why, in a basketball game, coaches may decide to rest a player, or why the great running back rarely plays defense for the entire game.

An athlete’s conditioning must mimic the physiological demands of their sport for them to be more conditioned to tolerate fatigue. Running for miles will offer little to nothing to help an athlete’s ability to avoid tiredness late in a competition for most sports (cross-country being an obvious exception).

“In a game, the athlete will be weary and have to put these moves together at high speed,” many of you may be thinking. This is correct.

On the other hand, the athlete will rely on gains in speed or agility made while not fatigued. Once these movement mechanics have been programmed – improved neuromuscular recruitment, rate of motor unit firing, shortened stretch reflex time, and so on – the benefits will be more readily available on the playing surface, even when tired.

The following elements will allow your players to get the most out of these improvements:

  • The number of times they’ve done the speed and agility tasks in a non-fatigued state and the number of repetitions and practice they’ve put in.
  • How well-prepared they are to cope with the physiological demands of their sport

Plan to Win by Making Smart Decisions

So, how about toughening up your athletes and getting them better prepared for the sport? This is a necessary component of every off-season regimen, but it necessitates a little more imagination. The attitude that “if it’s hard, it’s good for them” is a prescription for a tough, slow squad. We are more intelligent than that.

Planning is the initial stage in creating a conditioning program. Like the resistance training plan, the strategy should follow a periodization scheme. It should also be compatible with the resistance plan’s physiological demands.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Combine interval conditioning with high-rep hypertrophy phases and short sprint, agility, and speed work with low-rep peak strength phases.
  • As the season approaches, make sure your conditioning develops on previous phases while also recreating the metabolic needs of the competitive season.

Too many coaches give their athletes exercises and gadgets. A good plan is well-organized and builds on itself while adhering to measurable training objectives. It also progresses to a full conclusion. Regardless of how fantastic the workout selection or equipment is, the strategy will fall short if these vital factors are missing.

Three Things Every Game-Ready Athlete Should Do

Here’s a quick rundown of what coaches need to know to develop their athletes faster, more agile, and in better playing shape:

1. Distinguish Training Variables

Speed, agility, and conditioning should not be practiced simultaneously until the competition is near. Conditioning is not the same as agility or speed training. They’ll need time to heal.

To guide your programming and recovery, follow the concepts of general adaption syndrome (GAP):

  • The body reacts to effective training in shock, alarm, and resistance. After proper healing, the body enters the resistance phase and grows stronger and more adaptable.
  • Shock, alarm, and exhaustion: The body breaks down if not properly recovered. Training produces a sunburn-like effect. If you burn your skin and don’t let it heal before exposing it to another long period of exposure to the sun, it will break down even more. Allow it to heal, and it will adapt by producing more melanin, making it more resistant to future sun exposure. Resistance exercise and conditioning have similar effects on the body. 

2. Employ Gradual Overloading

Begin gently and with good form. This should be hardwired. After that, increase the volume or load. Do not follow a regimen merely because a successful athlete follows it.

Victorious athletes can handle more load and technical skill-based activities. Poor form is the number one cause for not getting significant results in the gym. Begin by learning the basic motions.

3. Keep in mind that specific adaptations to imposed demands are required.

Only certain difficulties that are faced frequently will cause the body to adapt. To summarize, train for the exact improvement you desire. Run a twice a week, but not every week. This is also why ground-based training outperforms many current fads, such as stability balls and wobble boards.

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