What is a strength and conditioning coach

Ive been asked this many times and i think its important that its clarified as to what exactly i do.

First we have to ask the question what is strength and conditioning?

It’s is the physical and physiological development of Athletes for elite sport performance. Our job is to bridge the gap between the theory of training and applied training, helping athletes to get faster, stronger, more flexible and keep going longer so they perform better and steer clear of injuries.

Strength and conditioning isnt just confined to sweaty weight sessions in the gym. While it is part of what we do and strength important for building a well rounded athlete we have to throw, plyometrics, speed agility, endurance, muscular balance and mobility/flexibility.

We differ to sports specific coaches in that we work along side and recommend and over see the best course of action to raises the athletes physical capacities. The main aim is to identify what the athlete needs in order to raise their performance.

Some sports have been doing physical training for a long time and others are just learning how strength and conditioning can benefit them. There is a strong need for education on what S&C is and how it can benefit every sport.

Strength and Conditioning has finally achieved an identity in the UK after years in the wilderness. The profession has been undervalued in the past and now sports coaches are finally waking up to the reality that it can make all the difference. For years strength and conditioning has been carried out by the technical coach but some are starting to realize there is greater expertise available.

Only now are people starting to realize that we are not personal trainers, fitness advisor’s, PTI’s or fitness guru’s and that we offer such a deeper degree of insight and intervention.

If the parkour community or any sporting community needs to realize the expertise is out there waiting to be made the most of. Cutting through bad advice is hard because so many trainers pass themselves off as experts, of course your going to believe them. And before you know it they have you running till you spew and juggling pink dumbbells on a swiss ball.

“A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again.” – Alexander Pope

Time for a another choice Q&A question

Q: you mention alot about improving maximum strength to improve power and endurance how does that work??

A: First of all, athletes have to be strong, so the more muscle they have and the greater maximum strength they have, the more power they can potentially produce. But, given that once you’ve got that, then you need to train for peak power and use exercises and loads that develop peak power more specifically. Using conjugate method we look to improve strength, power and endurance all in the same training cycle. Strength training sets the potential for endurance and power, because of the added muscle mass and neural efficiency. I use this example. Imagine max strength is a glass and power/endurance is the fluid that fills it, the bigger the glass you more you could potentially fill it.

How maximum strength effects muscular endurance can be generally (and simplistically) divided into absolute and relative mechanisms.

  • Absolute endurance: the number of repetitions performed at an absolute sub maximal resistance is a function of maximum strength – a stronger person has an advantage, especially as the load approaches maximum.
  • Relative endurance – at a given percentage of maximum strength, repetitions are typically approximately equal producing equal relative work (Shaver 1971, Huczel and Clarke 1992)

all for now

Will Wayland

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