One of the most common phrases I hear from parents/coaches is that they want their athletes to be bigger, faster, and stronger. There are many ways to go about achieving these results, however there are two things that must happen. The first is you must talk to your athlete’s about proper nutrition protocol and the correct amount of calories to be taking in as well as what foods work best for a certain energy response. The second thing that must occur is strength training as this is how you will build the muscles that you need for your relevant sport.
If you are not talking about your nutrition protocol to any athlete of any age, you are missing the boat as far as what you can expect performance wise out of them. You cannot expect your athlete to perform with poor nutritional choices or not enough calories. The speech should also be had about foods that supply a longer duration of energy aka low-glycemic foods versus short duration food aka high glycemic foods. Most coaches/parents never address this with their players and the results show on the field. Poor nutrition leads to poor performance and things like not being able to pay attention to directions on and off the field.
As far as the strength training side goes there are a variety of options. The goal is to train an athlete for the sport that they are playing as well as the position they are playing. This means that not all athletes have to do power cleans, bench press, squats, and deadlifts to be a successful player. Strength training should incorporate a variety of things such as unilateral as well as compound movements, utilizing bands, TRX, kettlebells, and so forth to keep the athlete progressing throughout the year. An athlete should be warming up properly prior to physical activity as well as stretching and foam rolling post activity. In order to keep an athlete healthy all of these modalities are important and each one serves a very valuable purpose. Any athlete should also consider things like deep-tissue massage and rest days to make sure the body heals properly.
Strength training should focus on things like mobility, range of motion, and deficiencies in an athlete’s range of motion. All of these can impair performance on the field. A combination of higher repetitions and lower repetitions should be utilized when figuring out what time of year is appropriate for such variances. If an athlete is consistently training, practicing, and having games, utilizing higher reps might be beneficial to help with ligament tendon strength as opposed to heavier workloads which can take long to recover from.
The same goes for if an athlete is having performance issues and nagging injuries, a few days of rest might be in order. The recovery side of training is equally as important and a good strength and conditioning coach will constantly be monitoring an athlete’s overall well-being. This will be indicative of adjusting training protocol to let the athlete recover and succeed on and off the field.
If you or an athlete you know is struggling with how to put the correct training protocol together, please feel free to reach out to Xcellerated Speed Training for guidance. We offer the knowledge, the experience, and the results to get you to the next level.