What is strength and conditioning? Is it just a fancy way of saying, “fitness”? What’s the difference between personal training? Within the health, fitness and sports industry the term can be thrown around quite loosely which leaves the average athlete and sports parent a little confused. So, what exactly is strength and conditioning?
Strength and conditioning (S&C) can be understood as the practical application of sports and exercise science to improve sports performance. Hence, it is generally grounded in evidence-based principles combined with theory and philosophy. S&C refers to the wide range of training methods which include strength training, energy system training, speed, agility and power training that ultimately facilitate athletic development, injury prevention and improved sports performance .
What is a strength and conditioning coach?
“A strength and conditioning coach in Australia is an accredited Australian Strength and Conditioning Association coach who develops the physical capabilities of competitive athlete populations” .
What are the main benefits of strength and conditioning?
1. Improve sports and athletic performance
S&C coaches have two primary goals. The first is to improve athletes’ sports performance from a variety of ages (youth to Masters athletes). S&C coaches design periodised and integrated training programs in conjunction with a support team and sports coaching staff to meet individual and team performance goals/needs using a range of methods (resistance training, conditioning/energy system training, speed and agility drills, flexibility, mobility, warm up and warm down) in a variety of settings .
2. Reduce risk of injuries
The second primary goal is to reduce the risk of injuries and to improve the injury-resilience of athletes. S&C coaches can identify potential risks of injury, design programs that address the identified performance limitations and facilitate the ‘return to play’ of injured athletes in conjunction with a support team and medical staff .
3. Enhance general health and recovery
Additionally, S&C coaches can monitor the wellness of athletes and provide general advice and information regarding healthy eating, eating to support training goals, as well as basic physiological recovery methods to support performance .
- American Kinesiology Association. (2018). Strength and conditioning coach. Human Kinetics. https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/strength-and-conditioning-coach
- Australian Strength and Conditioning Association. (n.d.). Scope of Practice. In https://www.strengthandconditioning.org/. Retrieved September 5, 2021, from https://www.strengthandconditioning.org/documents/asca-scope-of-practice.pdf
- Cissik, J. (2011). Strength and Conditioning: A Concise Introduction. Taylor & Francis Group.