Nov 11, 2021The Foundation for the Future Begins in the Weight Room
Winning starts in the weight room. We’ve all heard that from the mouth of a sports coach at one time or another. And, sure, there’s truth to that on the field. But once the clock strikes zero and the referees change out of their uniforms and return home, that phrase — winning starts in the weight room — still holds true.
Ask any strength and conditioning coach and they’ll tell you the lessons learned from the weight room will stay with the average student than, say, calculus. Of course, that sort of thinking is a tad biased but is also colored in shades of truth. After all, how many people go on to use calculus in their day-to-day lives? And then ask yourself how many people use foundational strength and conditioning concepts in their daily lives? Just playing on the law of averages, I’d tend to go with the latter more than the former.
Looking at it through that prism, establishing a strength and conditioning program at your high school — and not only for the student-athletes but also the remaining study body and staff — could very well be the class that has the longest-lasting impact on the students who participate.
When students start strength training at a young and appropriate age, they create a foundation for their future athletic performance. Strength training helps them develop basic motor skills such as muscle movements and coordination, which play a significant role not just in athletics, but in everyday life as well.
In terms of the student-athletes, a comprehensive, well-organized, properly administered strength program results in muscle-tendon units that are more resilient to the stresses sustained in athletic activities. In other words, strength training allows athletes to better prepare their bodies physically for all of the sweat and hard work they are putting in at practices and games, and also allows for athletes to increase their stamina, flexibility, and overall performance on the field or in the gym.
Another benefit of strength training in students is an increase in confidence and self-esteem. Being confident on the field, court, and even the school hallways is a vital part of mental strength for students and are something strength training can boost. Strength training programs help students focus, gain attention, and become more motivated and dedicated. It also teaches students about goal-setting and achievement, dealing with failure, and the importance of a team-oriented atmosphere in helping one another reach their goals.
This boost of confidence and determination helps students’ sports performance as well as ordinary avenues of life.
In this month’s issue — the Strength and Conditioning Issue — we cover all the nooks and crannies involved with building better strength and speed in student-athletes. While you’ll hear no argument here that winning starts in the weight room, we might also say that winning starts with reading Training & Conditioning.