Strength: the capacity to create and maintain force. It is arguably the most valuable physical quality for sports. Athletes need to learn to improve their force production to move powerfully. Football, baseball, volleyball, soccer, and generally any ball or combat sport athlete must learn to transfer the most force possible. Through training, this can be developed in a safe and controlled environment to maximize the potential to produce force in the athlete’s given field of play. Here is how a well programmed training plan can benefit athletes:
It is necessary to maintain posture and position when transferring force. Energy transfers better through a baseball bat than a pool noodle. In other words, it is vital to learn to be stable through the trunk to transfer force.
Strength is needed to demonstrate active range of motion. There are two types of motion: active and passive. Passive range of motion means that a joint can pass through a full range of motion with assistance (a therapist moving your shoulder). On the other hand, active range of motion is if one can take themselves through that same range under their own control. Strength and stability must be present to do this.
Greater strength creates more force and speed. This is perhaps the most applicable reason for athletes to strength train. Put simply, the athlete who can apply the most sport specific force has a greater advantage. If all else is equal (genetics, size, experience, technique, etc.) the stronger person wins. The best part is that this is a component that is largely trainable.
Injury prevention. As we all know, weak things break easier, so having strength in muscles and connective tissue helps stabilize and control muscles when forces are encountered. Not to mention, if an injury were to occur, a strong person will recover faster than a weak person.
Psychological benefits. The psychological benefits of strength training are improved based on someone's ability to execute skills and overcome challenges. There is something to be said for learning to work hard and develop the ability to work through difficult things. Toughness and resilience are strong predictors of an athletes success and based on my experience these are things that can be improved in the weight room.
Strength can teach someone to relax. If you do not understand tension (state of muscular contraction), then it is difficult to understand the absence of tension (relaxation). In sport, too much tension at the wrong time or in the wrong muscles can be a detriment. Think about if a football player had the same tension in the huddle as he did when he was making a tackle. How long would it take for him to be exhausted? It is a learned skill to turn tension on and off and can be an advantage to learn.
We specialize in creating training programs to help athletes improve their strength and see real results on their field of play. Click below to find out how.