Playing Catch, not “Catch up”

By Nunzio Signore (B.A., C.P.T. NASM, F.M.S.)

Conditioning tests can vary from sport to sport and rightfully so.  A baseball player’s conditioning needs are completely different from Lacrosse/Hockey players.

Conducting conditioning tests that are not specific to the sport being played is pointless not to mention the possibility of injury and non-specific energy system stress (Ex. testing a baseball player on a six-minute mile when a baseball player never runs more than 12 seconds at a time).CatchUp

A well thought out strength and conditioning assessment however cannot only show us aerobic/anaerobic capacity and upper and lower body strength, it can also reveal muscular imbalances and gauge the “mental toughness” of which the athlete is capable.

When joining a team or getting ready for the next season, an athlete who is not prepared for the specific testing carried out by his team, may be trying to “Catch up” with other more prepared athletes and often have his or hers playing time restricted until the athlete is considered ready by their coach/trainer. Another interesting fact is, that besides the end of the season when an athlete is the most fatigued, spring training is the other time of the year when an athlete that’s been “slacking” or simply doing an inefficient program will get injured.

At RPP, we base our conditioning around the specific energy system demands their sport places on them. We do the same in regards to their lifting program (although most sports all require upper and lower body strength and power, thus are not that different from sport to sport and shouldn’t be.)

We recommend that our athletes strength train 2-3 xs/week in the off-season and 1-2xs/week in season to maintain the strength they acquired during off-season training. This reduces the risk of injury as the season progresses and also distinguishes between an athlete that finishes the season as strong as he started, and one that “gasses out” three quarters into the season.

Will You Be Ready?