Sports Article: Sports Conditioning... Is it appropriate for
By Karen Goeller, CSCS
This article is not for reprint without
written permission from the author.
the Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Books!
Sports Conditioning offers the
athlete an edge over the competition. The purpose of sports conditioning is to
complement current sports training.
Sports conditioning is most often more demanding than general fitness
training. Sports conditioning is ideal for children who strive for greater
performance in any sports activity. It is meant to enhance an individual's
strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, speed, and power, which can be
carried over into all sports. Athletes usually perform exercises with weights,
fitness bands, medicine balls, bodyweight, etc.
Athletes and coaches are constantly seeking an advantage over the competition
to help them achieve an edge. Many teams and athletes can gain an edge over the
competition through intense sports conditioning programs. A good sports
conditioning program incorporates general strength and sport specific movements
in addition to injury prevention exercises.
Besides improved performance, the conditioning program is an important step
in injury prevention. Many athletes are not aware that sports conditioning is a
necessity for injury prevention. Conditioning can help develop the strength,
flexibility, and agility necessary to protect joints from injury. In recent
years more coaches and parents have come to realize the benefits of a
conditioning program. Coaches and parents should keep in mind that even if the
athlete is properly conditioned, there is still a chance of injury.
Sports conditioning is not the same as general fitness. Traditional fitness
training is great for helping people look good and achieve basic fitness goals
such as weight loss, strength gain, cardiovascular endurance, and more
flexibility. Athletes need a more sports-oriented training program besides the
general fitness. Sports conditioning programs must include unique exercises
that simulate the skills of their sport.
Sports conditioning should be directly related to the sport in which the
individual participates. A good sports conditioning program includes strength,
power, speed, quickness, agility, movement skills, deceleration, balance,
reactivity, and anaerobic capacity. Besides meeting the specific skill
requirements of the sport, a good sports conditioning program should meet the
individual needs of the athlete.
The only way to train for peak performance is to have a plan. The
conditioning should be complementary to the demands of practices and the game
itself. The goal should be two-fold, peak performance in games and future
goals. The intensity and extent of an individualized program should take into
account the physical needs of the athlete and their goals after a careful
evaluation, the time frame established to reach the goals, and the amount of
hours each week an athlete can regularly devote to a program.
Sports conditioning is a year-round commitment for many athletes. It often
includes four training seasons each year: pre-season, in-season, post-season,
and off-season. The most important aspect of sports conditioning is
establishing a good fitness base. Once the athlete has a high level of general
fitness they can begin to train with more advanced and more sport-specific
Youth sports conditioning is a fast growing trend in today's fitness
industry. Keep in mind that sports conditioning should be directly related to
the sport in which the athlete competes. Most sports conditioning programs are
designed for athletes who are training to improve their performance, but they do
offer injury prevention benefits because the athlete will become stronger, more
flexible, and more ready to compete. Make sure you find a quality program with
qualified trainers because your child's health and happiness should always come
By Karen M. Goeller
Karen Goeller has been
training athletes since 1978. She has an
education that includes training in emergency medicine, physical therapy, and
nutrition. She has held certifications that include NSCA-CSCS, Fitness Trainer,
EMT-D, Nutritional Analysis, and many Gymnastics Certifications among others.
Besides being author of the Gymnastics
Drills and Conditioning books, Karen is the author of the
Swing Set Fitness books. She has also published
journals, training programs, and
articles. Her books are used by fitness
experts, coaches, teachers, and athletes worldwide. Karen has worked for world
famous gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, owned a gymnastics club for ten years, and
has been featured in several newspapers and on television many times. She offers
sports performance training and private
gymnastics training in NJ. For
more on Karen visit
You may also be interested in....
Sports Conditioning Animated E-Books