Competitive sports

As kids begin playing competitive sports at earlier and earlier ages so to does the demand for training, and sport specific training seems to be at an all time high. However while trainers are great for helping in the category of weight loss or better overall health they often times do not have the tools to provide a great sport specific plan. The key to success is to match the demands of the activity with the exercise needed for those specific skills. The most common mistake that is made in this field is training for aspects that do not translate to your specific sport.

Traditional exercises like bench press or curls while they may have some benefit in gaining overall strength it is often relied on way to often as the end all. In defining the needs analysis of an athlete it is very important to understand the specific dynamics of that sport, the current fitness level and measuring and stating clearly the goals. For my athlete I decided to choose a baseball player because that is what I grew up playing and in college and I have first hand seen many of the sport specific training exercise need to compete at a high level. Baseball just like many sports has a wide arrange of positions and skill sets.

As a team you rarely ever practice together as it seems pitchers, infielders and outfielders have their own specific plan and exercises. The initial step in designing an exercise program is to create a needs analysis. For sport specific training this requires an evaluation of the sport to determine what activities will transfer into actual improved performance. Watching game film and other footage as well as doing outside research to find out what dynamic skills are most used is a great way to begin to prepare in the right ways. The next step in creating a sport specific program is to identify the athlete.

By identifying the athlete you can begin to form your plan by incorporating their current fitness level, training status and experience, as well as any previous injuries, as this will all contribute to the program. (“Creating a needs,”) A common flaw by some individuals is finding a workout plan somewhere and just diving into it, however everyone is different and even if you were just looking for better overall health and do not even play a sport this can not end well, because the workout may be out of your comfort zone or you are not advanced or capable of realistically doing the fitness plan.

If you cannot complete your workout properly or are beyond the current level of fitness, then it makes little sense to include these exercises in the program, at least at that particular time in the training cycle. By evaluating your athlete beforehand you now know what the athlete can or cannot do. While testing is a great starting point if testing is not done for the right reasons then it is pointless. Some examples of good questions to ask include, what is the purpose of the test? What does the data provide? How will improvements related to the test ? data affect performance?

Does it match the activity, sport or position? Does the athlete know how to perform the ? test? And finally is it safe/ valid and reliable? (“Creating a needs,”) These tests should always be meaningful otherwise what is the point? Finally in order to truly have a great needs analysis, the needs and goals need to be easily identified? You may want to break these needs down in a variety of different ways by attributes or characteristics for analysis. Once this has been done then you can identify the type of exercise that addresses that specific need and begin putting in the work to get better.

In addition to the items discussed in formulating the certain factors needed when conducting a needs analysis for an athlete’s resistance training program. Some other key components to keep in mind include VO2 max, BMR, BMI and one repetition maximum. VO2 max is a measure of the maximum amount of oxygen that you use during physical activity. This measurement is very important as it determines your fitness level by calculating how efficiently your cells use oxygen for energy. There are several ways that you can use to measure VO2 max but many require uncommon equipment such as a treadmill or a specially calibrated exercise cycles.

(Parks) Knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) will help you to determine how many calories your body needs while you are trying to lose, maintain or gain weight. Your basal metabolism is the amount of energy your body uses when it is at rest. Your BMR is affected by a large number of variables. Including gender, age, height and weight. BMI measures your weight in relation to your height, and is closely associated with measures of body fat. You can calculate your BMI using the formula: BMI equals a person’s weight in pounds divided by their height in inches squared, multiplied by 703. (“Calculate bmi,”)

Finally one repetition maximum can be used for determining an individual’s maximum strength. One rep maximum calculators are used to predict a one rep maximum lift. The accuracy of these tests however can be very inconsistent. I personally am not a big fan of max reps because never in sports do you need to do this it, however it may be a helpful tool in getting a specific number and also depending on the sport. In conclusion, just like anything in life, it will come with its fair share of trail and error but with the right set of tolls you chance at success it far greater.

While many people today are playing sports at a high level the need for advanced training to spate yourself from your peers is almost necessary in today’s world. By having a needs analysis for a specific sport it allows you to only focus and match the demands of the activity with the exercise needed for those specific skills. In defining the needs analysis of an athlete it is very important to understand the specific dynamics of that sport, the current fitness level and measuring and stating clearly the goals in order to truly get what you wan tout of your fitness plan.

Reference: Creating a needs analysis for sports training programs. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. ncsf. org/pdf/ceu/analysis_for_sports_training_programs. pdf Parks, D. (n. d. ). How to calculate vo2 max from running. Retrieved from http://www. livestrong. com/article/343028-how-to-calculate-vo2-max-from-running/ Calculate bmi. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. livestrong. com/calculate-bmi/

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