Today we are going to discuss the benefits of strength training as it applies to sport. First, let me explain an important concept… specificity. Specificity is defined as the quality of belonging or relating uniquely to a particular subject. For example, you do not get good at playing the piano by playing the trumpet. Basically, this concept implies that if you want to become good at something you need to practice the task at which you are trying to improve. Let me give another example, if you want to get good at playing basketball (this can be any sport but basketball is the sport of choice for today’s post) you need to play basketball and also focus on demanding attributes of the sport. The most specific thing you can get to playing a basketball game is actually playing a basketball game, but there are also skills that can be developed independently to help your skills in an actual game. Examples of these skills could be ball handling, free throws, rebounding drills, shooting drills, defensive drills, etc. These drills are all part of the sport, but can also be focused on independently to practice and perfect. These would be considered sport specific drills because they closely mimic the sport. You can also have segments that don’t necessarily mimic the sport itself, but still contribute to the demands the sport, such as conditioning. Many coaches implement conditioning drills in their practices to help keep the athletes conditioned for a game setting. This is not necessarily a skill such as the sport specific skills listed above, but it is still an attribute that helps contribute to the sport and overall athletic preparedness. Now let’s discuss ,a not always but quite often forgotten topic, strength training as it relates to athletic performance. It seems that strength training is often overlooked when it comes to athletic development. I believe one reason is because it is not necessarily a “sport specific” task. Strength training is a general adaption, but also very beneficial to athletic development…let me explain. By strength training, athletes become stronger. Strength is defined as the ability to produce force against an external resistance. As you get stronger you have to ability to produce more force. As force production goes up so does the ability to generate power. So by getting stronger you have the ability to generate more force and more power. With the ability to generate more force and power, movements such as ,but not limited to, jumping, running, and changing direction all improve. Not to mention being able to defend and drive to the hoop all improve as you are now a more powerful and forceful specimen. The point is that although strength training is not necessarily specific to sport, unless in is strongman, weightlifting, powerlifting, crossfit, etc., it is still a beneficial adaptation worth training. In conclusion, to become better at your sport, or whatever you want to become better at in life, you need to practice that sport and the demands of that sport. No matter what sport, basketball, football, volleyball, golf, etc., the ability to generate more force, via strength training, is never a weakness. On top of practicing your sport, do not overlook the benefits of strength training, the rewards far outweigh the risks. That is it for the day! And remember…only stronger!