A sports specific fitness training program is fundamental to an athlete’s development and success. A sports fitness training program is designed to prepare athletes for the physical and mental demands of competition and to help them achieve their peak performance. The focus is to generate sport-specific changes within the muscles and support systems of athletes.
The benefits of sports fitness training include:
- Improved athletic performance
- Less fatigue and quicker recovery
- Reduced muscle soreness
- Ability to practice longer
- Fewer injuries and faster recovery
- Improved psychological preparation for competition
- Greater confidence
Sports fitness training regimens vary from one sport to another to match the demands of each unique sport. Conditioning exercises and routines are designed to closely simulate the specific nature of each activity. Athletes must then divide their time and energy amongst these various types of training for improved sport skill development.
Muscular strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, muscular endurance, and energy fitness are all taken into consideration during this type of training. For optimal performance a sports specific program will also include motor movement exercises to develop coordination.
Sports fitness training programs are developed by manipulating training variables, such as intensity, duration, recovery, volumes, tempo, etc… A well planned periodized training program will balance these variables over the desired length of time with the goal of peak performance when it counts.
There are two main parts to an athlete’s sports fitness training program:
- Improved joint stability
- Increases muscle mass
- Increased power development and performance
- Stronger bones, ligaments, and tendons
- Reduced injuries
- Better coordination
- Improved confidence and mental strength
- More efficient use of oxygen
- Greater lung capacity and function
- Improved blood flow
- Improved over-all heart capacity and function
- Improved gastro-intestinal function
- Improved use of fat for energy
- Faster recovery
Sports periodized fitness programs are designed with several phases and cycles that allow more time for the athlete to make substantial improvements. Adjustments are made as we identify the athlete’s strengths and areas for improvement.
A single program suitable for all athletes is not possible due to the individual needs of each athlete. Many factors must be taken into consideration: gender, age, strengths, weaknesses, objectives, training facilities, etc… When done this way, sports fitness training programs will help the athlete to succeed.