What is Sports Specific Training

In the pursuit of improving one’s athletic ability, training is vital. But for high-performance athletes pursuing excellence in their sport sports-specific training is the key to success. 

 

What is sports-specific training? 

Training that is specific to one’s sport or activity, focusing on a targeted set of movements to help build muscle memory. Every sport has distinct actions that one needs to master in order to reach elite levels, these movement patterns must be trained. Some common examples include: 

  • Basketball: vertical jump height/power
  • Baseball pitcher: shoulder girdle power and speed
  • Golf: rotational trunk control and power 
  • Soccer: cutting, acceleration/power, agility/footwork
  • Marathoner: endurance, aerobic conditioning 

Each sport is different and each sport requires a different variety of plyometric training (building speed and power, i.e. jumping/explosive movements), strength training, endurance training, agility training, balance/stability training, and motor control training. The goal of sports-specific training is to simulate the demand and movement of the in-game action so that it can be properly translated from practice to field/court/race.

Is sports-specific important? 

If you work out regularly and you have relatively good strength, endurance, and balance/motor control, you might think… do I really need sports-specific training program? The answer is always YES. If you decided you want to run a marathon, would you just pick up and run a full marathon right away? No - you would need to give yourself months to begin training with a sports-specific program. 

The same goes for ALL sports! General strength and endurance will only get you so far. That gives you a good foundation, but then from there, you need to be able to train the specific components of your sport in order to improve your performance and decrease your risk of injury. 

How MAVEN can help: 

At MAVEN, we provide sports-specific training to help get you prepared for your sport - whether you’re new to your sport and training for the first time, a well-seasoned athlete who is trying to maintain your training, an athlete who is trying to prevent a future sports-injury, or an athlete returning from an injury. 

We perform sports-specific testing, which includes our VALD dual force place system. This is on top of other sports-specific return-to-sport tests, that can help us detect asymmetries and give insights into an athlete’s movement strategies, strength, power, and control. We use these systems and tests to track your progress and help us both modify and individualize your training program. If you’re someone who is rehabbing from an injury, this will help us to determine your readiness to return to your sport. 

From there, your Doctor of Physical Therapy will help individualize a training program specific to you and your sport to help you reach your performance goals!