Sport-specific training is an important topic that has been researched and discussed more in recent years. Simply defined, it is focused on training programs that incorporate in muscle groups and exercises that will help an athlete within their particular sport. Some sports are more focused on the upper body, the lower body, or core, while other sports use a combination of all three. Athletic trainers and strength coaches must train their athletes with a mental depiction of what sport they play, and how their bodies will be utilized when they are competing.

In order to train an athlete specific to their sport, the trainer or coach needs to think about the main muscle groups that are used in that sport. If the trainer is not familiar with the sport, then they ought to research and watch the sport in order to observe properly what the focus needs to be in the athlete’s individualized program.

The trainer must also take into consideration whether the athlete’s program needs more of a focus on strength, power, speed, or a combination of all of these. The program will also need phases that focus on each of these individually while the athlete prepares for their preseason, season, or going into the postseason. Furthermore, the exercises must mirror movements and patterns that the athlete will perform in their athletic competitions. Whether that is throwing, hitting, sprinting, jumping, etc., the athlete must be prepared by their trainer/coach to perform at their very best. Therefore, sport-specific training is absolutely essential to their overall success as an athlete.

Taylor Rowden is a Strength Coach at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, California. Taylor graduated from the Master’s University with a degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on sports injury and exercise science.