In recent years, Strength and Conditioning has undergone unprecedented growth, almost all teams at any sporting level have a strength and conditioning coach on staff; As happened with physiotherapy, our profession begins to take on the importance it deserves within sport, and why? Because our work has shown the results that can be obtained and how vital our work can be (yes, there are still a high number of incompetents … as in all professions)
Here I show you the graph on which the idea of today revolves:
I will explain a little better, the blue line shows our area of work, physical preparation (adaptations at the physiological and psychological level); the orange line represents sports practice; and the red line… my friend, the red line represents the BS of our industry, it represents the strength and conditioning coach who one day read the specificity rule and decided to combine a basketball with an RFE squat, or confidently state “You have to do exercises that simulate your sport, the squat is not functional ”; with this, I am referring to any action or program that completely wastes the time of the athlete.
The reason why such a movement has arisen is unknown to me, however, looking at a wide variety of coaches around the world, I have come to several conclusions; Now that our job seems to become important, a large number of people want to be part of it, which is good; However, this causes a large number of individuals without the necessary technical knowledge and a slight knowledge of the sport to want to gain importance and attract the attention of players and potential clients. My second conclusion is that we have gotten drunk on the «importance» of our job, and we wanted to feel more important … and what is more important than the sport itself? Nothing, that is why we look for the constant similarity to sports gesture in the strength and conditioning program.
Strength and conditioning became important for the results and notable improvements in the athlete at the level of performance; these improvements occur after training that is limited to seeking physiological responses, and to obtain these responses, a stimulus must be produced. We have fallen into aesthetics, and what is attractive to the eye, and we have moved away from the results that have made this, our profession, something important. Thus, it is true that as strength and conditioning coaches we must monitor all the activities of the athlete, we must not step out of our line of work. Let’s not invade the line of our sports and skills coaches, nor create an imaginary line to become more important, because this line, the only thing it will achieve, is to harm our athlete and our reputation. Now, don’t get me wrong, specificity IS important, but we must differentiate true specificity, from the BS that we constantly see on Instagram; true specificity, limits to the practice of the skill itself, such as sprinting and jumping, seeking physiological adaptations, challenging the athlete to become better at the task.