The importance of strength and conditioning in athletes has infiltrated sports teams of all types and ages. It is common place to see teams conditioning before or after practice. But, perhaps this is not done with the best expertise.
Exercise Science is a discipline that involves research and deep knowledge of the human anatomy. Some coaches just do the same exercises they were taught as young athletes without questioning what the purpose of the exercise is.
Having your athletes condition with bad form may actually be breaking them down rather than building them up. The athletes perform exercises without correct cues on how to position the body and doing just enough to count that malformed pushup as a rep. I call this the “better than nothing” approach. This mentality will not build a strong team that has an edge on their competition.
It pays to do your research on correct form and have verbal and possibly visual cues for your athlete to follow. It may benefit to use the first couple of practices to teach the basics of core movements and correct individual form rather than jumping right into high-intensity plyometrics and heavily timed exercises. If this is not the coaches area of expertise, perhaps bringing in an expert a couple of times during preseason would be beneficial. This is the variable that can lead to a healthy,successful season, versus an injured team.
I encourage you to do the best you can for your athletes this season. Take the time and effort to assure that every athlete is up to speed, even if it takes some one-on-one time after practice.
To read more related to this topic visit this article published in Inside Lacrosse.