Sport Specific Training Explained

Jan 20, 2023

Edited By: Danielle Abel, MSN, CSCS

How Should You Train if you Compete in Sports? Sport Specific Training Explained

Have you ever thought, "if playing a sport is the most sport specific, and the goal is to get better at a sport, then why wouldn't you just do the sport to get better?"

It might make logical sense that playing the sport is most sport-specific, but certain movements won't be encountered very often while the sport is being practiced or played. For example, a corner kick in soccer might only be experienced every 20 to 30 minutes. 

In this video we covered this concept in a short, 90 second video for you if you're a visual learner. 

Adaptation Potential

The timeframe between when you experience the movement first to when you experience the same movement next may be too great to provide enough practice to develop adaptations that enhance the performance of that particular skill.

Whereas with training, you can create an environment that facilitates repetition and immediate feedback of a particular skill, say 10, 20, or even 30 times in a row.

Facilitating an Adaptation Environment

Repeatability and feedback are what drive improved performance. So, when you compare this to sports practice or in a game, the skill may not be very encountered very frequently, which leaves limited opportunity to actually practice the skill to improve performance due to the lack of repetition. 

You actually don't always want to be replicating sports movements as closely as possible all of the time. Instead, different elements of the sport can be identified as opportunities for improving specific needs of the sport, for example, increasing overall maximal force output. This allows for an opportunity to progress performance in a way that complements the specific needs of the sport without it directly mirroring the needs of the sport. 

Support Available 

Are you studying for the CSCS exam, or do you just like learning about strength and conditioning for athletes? Then you might want to check out our Facebook Group "Strength and Conditioning Study Group" here. 

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