Tag Archives: student-athletes

Who’s Training Your Student-Athlete?

24 Sep

Last week, I received a call from the mother of a high school freshman basketball player, asking about post-workout nutrition for her son.  Apparently, he had been advised – by one of the young men in the high school weight room – that he should drink a protein shake following his workout.  After discussing the benefits of post-workout protein (and carbohydrate) supplementation with her, I inquired about his training regimen.  She proceeded to tell me that the creation, design, and supervision of his workout was provided by one of his friends – a junior basketball and baseball player.

REALLY?!?  Your son is a 14-year-old, Strength training novice, and you entrust his safety and development to a 16-year-old?  Unfortunately, this situation is much too common.  There’s no way kids should be supervising kids, when it comes to Strength and Conditioning.  Nor should they necessarily be training independently.  No teenager is qualified or knowledgable enough to train anyone (including himself or herself)!  Truth be told, most coaches aren’t adequately equipped to train student-athletes, either.

So, why aren’t more parents and coaches seeking the guidance of qualified, Strength and Conditioning professionals to work with their children and players?

Cost:  Sure, there’s some cost involved in athletic performance training.  But money and time “spent” on Strength and/or Speed & Agility training at Athletic Performance Training Center is NOT an expense, it’s an investment; and when you invest, you get a return.  Conversely, what is the cost of not working with a qualified, Strength and Conditioning professional?  If you have cost concerns, discuss them with your trainer – almost everything is negotiable.  I’d rather negotiate cost than turn an athlete away.

Control:  Many parents and coaches want to keep everything “in-house.”  They are simply unwilling to allow “outside” individuals to interact with and influence their athletes and teams.  They seem to have a “try to do it all myself” mentality – believing they can figure it out for themselves – and may perceive it as a weakness to ask someone else for help, or to say, “I don’t know.”  The addition of a Strength and Conditioning professional to a coaching staff – even as an advisor or consultant – can add value to any team or program.  I take great pride in working with several area high school and college athletic programs, on a consulting basis.

Internet.  The information age is a double-edged sword.  The emergence of the internet has made it easy to access Strength and Conditioning information and videos.  However, there’s more to athletic performance training than mimicking and implementing You Tube videos.  In order to ensure that training is purposeful and goal-oriented – maximizing effectiveness and safety – it’s helpful to have a working knowledge of foundational, Exercise Science and its practical application.  This requires an understanding of, and an ability to communicate, not only what to do, but also how and why to do it.

Lack of Awareness:  Simply stated, many parents and coaches don’t know what they don’t know.  They may not be aware of the information and resources available, and the competitive advantage their athletes can gain through athletic performance training.  A qualified, Strength and Conditioning professional can help athletes, teams, coaches, and parents build strategies to improve athletic performance through the development of:

  • Strength and Sport-Specific Power
  • Speed, Agility, and Endurance
  • Balance, Coordination, and Flexibility
  • Injury Prevention Strategies
  • Nutrition Education
  • Confidence


Your thoughts?

Related links: What to look for in a Trainer, What is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

%d bloggers like this: