Any athlete who wants to improve their play on the diamond, mat, court, or field is going to want to hit the weights. While the old school way of thinking was that athletes should only practice their sport, good coaches now know that a big part of sports performance training takes place in the gym. This is because the gym is where base qualities such as strength, speed, aerobic capability, and more are built. Here are few sports performance training recommendations you can add into your workout.
Before you can worry about which gym exercises your sports performance training should be comprised of, you have to first realize what the goal of your workouts are. While which specific athletic quality to focus on will vary on both what sport you play and what level you compete at, here are a few basic needs every sportsman needs to consider:
Now that you know the basic qualities your sports performance training needs to address, you can start picking gym movements to put into your workouts. While it may be enticing to pick fancy-looking exercises, you’re almost always going to be best served sticking with the basics. This is because they’ll give you the most overall development, are the easiest/simplest to perform correctly, and leave you the least susceptible to injury.
Here’s a list of a few key movements that should be integrated into the gym portion of any sports performance training program:
While overall programs can vary greatly, below is a sample sports performance training workout that targets most general athletic qualities. This would be used during the off-season.
Day 1 – Explosive Upper / Strength Lower
Day 2 – Explosive Lower & Full Body / Strength Upper
Since this is an off-season workout, conditioning can be kept simple. Do any form of moderately intense aerobic cardio for 20-30 minutes, 2-3x/week. You can save sprints, intervals, and more for the pre-season, as that’s when they’ll best be utilized. Of course, this is again going to depend on the sport and if this sort of conditioning is even necessary.
In the end, if you focus on simple gym exercises and building the proper physical qualities, you can minimize your time working out, reduce the chance of injury, and prepare yourself for the upcoming season. However, do know that this is only part of your sports performance training, and you should also strive to improve your skills specific to your sport, as well.