Tuesday 17 July 2012

Functional Strength Training to Maximize Sport Success
10,000 hours of what?

Posted by at 9:00 AM



Functional Strength Training to Maximize Sport Success


365 days a year of playing your sport seems to be the current mind set of many athletes  and parents of prep athletes:  One would think this is a  sure recipe of success to get to the next level .  A recent popular book  theorizes that one needs at least 10,000 hours of repetition at something to become skilled at it.  But does this apply to training for sport?


I suggest that the 10,000 mark may be accurate  but we need to look at how that time is spent. Far too much time is spent at the sport specific skill and not enough time on developing athleticism in general.   Often a high level of a sport specific task is not attainable because of an athleticism deficit. 


When learning a layup in basketball , there are  pieces of athleticism that come in to play. Is the athlete strong enough to  jump off one leg and land with ease and safely, can the athlete run and plant  on one foot, can he change his power from loading in to the plant leg and exploding back up..changing his direction of motion from horizontal to vertical?


Too much time is spent in the “off “ season on continuing to play the game.  Much more time needs to be spent on developing athleticism-becoming a better athlete.  Functional strength training is the most effective training method to maximize athletic potential.  Strength and balance training to increase fluidity of motion and ability to load and explode. 


 Much time too is spent in the weight room but all too often is it time spent lifting heavy weight at a slow speed, in only one plane of motion..one needs to question how much this type of lift develops the explosiveness and speed needed in athletic activity and  question if it possibly even hinders this explosiveness. I have seen all too many times agile athletes become not only slower in speed but less quick and less athletic even though they are the “squat champ” at their high school weight room. 


If you are training athletes, if you are an athlete in training, if you are a parent of a prep athlete...look closely at how much time is spent increasing athleticism:  loading and exploding... quick change of direction ability...powerful moves in multiple directions(tri-plane strength) ...instead of placing so much importance on  bench/ squat numbers and instead of being just a gym rat working on sport specific tasks.   Increase your athleticism and you will increase your abilities in your sport without picking up a bat, ball or stick and you will have a competitive advantage.


To learn more about functional strength training click here.