Sports Fitness Training for Peak Performance
Sports fitness training is designed to prepare athletes for the physical demands of competition. Physical fitness for one sport is not exactly the same as for another.
What exactly does it mean when coaches and sport scientists talk about training programs that "match the demands of sports"?
They mean that training activities must closely simulate the specific nature of each sport. For example, training for basketball is very different from training for marathon running because what it takes to be great for each is very different. Intermittent bursts of speed for basketball vs. long-term sustained running tap different energy sources.
Programs can be built to target basic fitness components of strength, power, endurance, agility, and flexibility. Motor (movement) efficiency also comes into play to develop coordination, or skill--another performance-related component of fitness.
Fitness programs are adjusted for intensity (how hard), duration (how long), recovery (how much rest), and other training variables.
An effective strength and conditioning program is a carefully designed regimen of activities progressively intensified to prepare athletes for peak performance. Strength-targeted training improves joint stability, increases muscle size, and contributes to power development.
The overall positive effects of cardio-based sports fitness training include: (a) more efficient use of oxygen, (b) improved use of fat for energy, (c) increased muscle size to exert greater force,(d) improved blood flow, (e) greater lung capacity, (f) increased size of the heart to pump more blood in one stroke, (g) better coordination, and (h) stronger bones, ligaments, and tendons to reduce injuries.
To further boost each athlete's success,
also require appropriate adjustments.
While a primary focus of any fitness training program is to generate sport-specific changes within the muscles and support systems of athletes, fitness activities should also improve psychological preparation, sport skill development, and other qualities that will transfer to sport performance.
Sports Fitness topics include:
Physical Demands of Sports
Types of Fitness Training
Warm Up Activities
Weight Training System
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Martens, R. (2004). Successful coaching (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Powers, S.K., Dodd, S.L., & Noland, V.J. (2006). Total fitness and wellness (4th ed.). San Francisco: Pearson Education.