As I see it, strength and conditioning coaching for amateur sports clubs is an afterthought. Skills training and sport specific drills are always going to be, and should be, the priority.
But there’s more to a team than just being good at the skills, you need to be physically fit for your environment, FOR YOUR SPORT, and there’s a whole host of other disciplines that sports coaches should be looking at, not necessarily to hire a team of professional nutritionists, physios, strength coaches etc. But you must review your sports club, see what you can outsource either partially (buy a book/dvd, learn it and implement it) or fully (hire someone else to come in on an hourly rate, rather than a full time salary).
Just because your club is amateur doesn’t mean you should treat your athletes as such…..every pro athlete starts out as an amateur and I’m sick of hearing people blame pro athletes in the UK as being unfit to compete on a global stage, as we really should be focusing on improving the grassroots.
Here are a couple of things you must review AND START TO IMPLEMENT in your club. Many are low cost, some are high cost, but it is an investment in the pride and the FUTURE of your team.
If you get injured, you shouldn’t be using the magic sponge, you need a dedicated physio, and to be fair, most teams have a good physio….on match days at least. But if you get given rehab exercises….do you do them? If you’re a coach could you learn a few exercises that help prevent common injuries and teach them to your athletes?
If you plan on playing the whole season whilst healthy and injury free, then you need to warm-up correctly, not just jogging around and passing a ball, but really focused, targeted and INDIVIDUALISED warm-ups…..do you do this? Do you warm-up correctly? If you’re a coach could you learn more efficient and healthier warm-up techniques?
If you want to get in shape, lose body fat or put on some muscle, you need to consult a nutritionist. Do you look at what goes in your mouth? Do you care? If you’re a coach do you own any books on diet and teach your athletes how they should eat?
If you want to progress to an elite or professional level you must have a strength and conditioning coach, or a solid program at the very least. Is your body strong enough? Could you improve and do you know how to improve? If you’re a coach, could you learn a simple but tough workout to coach your team through 2-3 times a week?
There are a load more things you can do to improve your club, but to summarise:
1. Review your club. Pick 5 things that you could improve upon and find ways to learn how to do it or get someone else to do it for you.
2. Learn how to improve yourself and/or others. Work as a team.
3. In 20 years from now, all amateur clubs will have some sort of coaching framework for each discipline. Don’t wait, progress to the future now.
Take a step back and improve yourself as an athlete/coach/parent/teacher or whatever, or the other guy will win EVERY time.
Join the gym for athletes at rawstrength.co.uk
ONLY SERIOUS ATHLETES NEED APPLY