Sport Specificity

Nothing is strength & conditioning is truly sport specific. The only thing which is sport specific is the game or event. Everything else are the support mechanisms to elicit a better performance outcome.

Strength & conditioning programmes which profess to be sport specific because the athlete has a ball, stick or racket in their hand while performing a movement in the gym is bs… The specificity comes from the reverse-engineering the actual (not perceived) demands of the game or event. From a physiological and biomechanical (and perceptual) perspective, what is actually happening on the field, pitch or court? If you don’t know this from either a quantitative or qualitative point of view; then find out! This is the information which should drive your S&C programme.

Whether the athlete plays basketball, soccer or lacrosse, they all need to apply and absorb force, they all need to accelerate and decelerate, they all need to rapidly change direction and we could keep going here… They are hardly specific to each sport.

However, the specificity will likely come in the form of: bilateral/unilateral exercises, knee/hip dominant, acceleration/max velocity focus, greater anaerobic/aerobic demand, anterior/posterior focus, upper/total/lower body focus, gym/field based focus etc etc.

Don’t attempt to replicate the game/event during the S&C session. Use the S&C dedicated time to develop the physiological and biomechanical mechanisms which will improve the key performance indicators on the pitch.

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