As Biokineticists we can design sport specific conditioning programs for athletes in order to help them better their performance or to return to sport following an injury.
The consideration for sport specific rehabilitation has been of great importance recently. This importance has been made more apparent by the increase of specificity of athletes to specialise on one sport. Many patients and recovering athletes have realised that after a full rehabilitation process, the return to full activity is not complete. This has been emphasised by the lack of the specific demands required by each individual sport. Hence a sport specific program is required.
The main focus of sport-specific conditioning is to achieve optimum athletic fitness for a specific sport.
Many sports conditioning programs suffer from a lack of understanding of the basic principles, misapplication of these principles or the implementation of non-scientific methods. These programs will involve specific movements, skills, techniques and drills found in the individual’s sport as well as preparing the body for both the mechanical and metabolic demands placed on it.
Objectives of a sport-specific conditioning program:
- Attainment of general athletic fitness.
- Sport specific fitness.
- Achievement of specific anaerobic and aerobic fitness.
In each of these sport specific programs the fundamentals would include an anatomic component to address biomechanical issues, certain metabolic demands need to be addressed and lastly, specific muscle and force couples need to be analyzed and put in place.
The benefits of a sport specific program would include some of the following:
- Improved performance.
- Increased self-confidence in the sport of choice.
- Increased strength and resilience.
- Improved cognitive skills.
- Increased technique and power.
- Decreased risk of injury.
- Faster and fuller recovery.
Without an adequate general athletic fitness base, any athlete will experience difficulties in maintaining and improving their required return to play, staying injury free or achieving high performance parameters.