From little league sports too high school sports and even pro sports, a coach serves an integral role toward the outcome of the game. But more importantly than the game itself, coaches also serve as an integral role in the athlete’s life.
And with said, there isn’t a more formidable and malleable time for an athlete than high school. Our bodies are changing, growing, and evolving to the next stage of life.
As sports have evolved, the requirements to stay competitive and put athletes in the best position to not only succeed in the present moment but also in their future endeavors has risen as well. With that in mind, when it comes to high school athletics, bringing on a professional strength and conditioning coach for their athletes is a necessity.
There are countless benefits to using a professional strength and conditioning coach, but here are four of the biggest reasons to make this a non-negotiable thing.
Athletes are getting a tailored and sport specific program
The requirements and intangibles to succeed in football are slightly different compared to succeeding in soccer. While there are many great coaches and gym instructors for these schools, the majority of them do not have a background nor solid educational background in exercise science or a related field.
Having your athletes lift weights and run is one thing, but having them lifting and running on an applicable program tailored to them is an entirely different narrative.
Designing an effective, safe, and efficient program requires numerous factors that can often be overlooked by someone who isn’t in the industry. For example, training a 13-year-old freshman on the football team is dramatically different from training the 18-year-old senior on the football team.
Unfortunately, with many high school programs, it’s generically laid out in a template that everyone falls into which is a big red flag. Besides the sport itself, an athletic program needs to take into account age, training experience, and reasoning before being handed out.
Looking further into a program, you have to also factor in things such as stability, mobility, technique, and power in order to meet your athlete where they are.
To do all of these things effectively requires one to be very knowledgeable and current with the latest research for their specific area.
Lower risk for injuries and setbacks
It’s an unfortunate but inevitable reality that many high school athletes will encounter some sort of injury or setback in their sport. While going injury free without any setbacks is most likely a fairy tale, the chances of you dramatically lowering the rate of injury improves with the use of a professional strength and conditioning coach.
Lifting weights, sprinting, and many other athletic activities can be dangerous when not properly coached up. The biggest benefit of enlisting the services of a professional strength and conditioning coach stems in the area of risk management and preventative measures.
You can’t prevent someone from experiencing a freak injury during gameday, but you can have a solid recovery program laid out that reduces the chances of those things happening.
While a regular coach will mention the typical every day things such as the importance of stretching, the strength and conditioning coach is trained to keep an eye out for the small and intricate signs that the everyday person overlooks.
Participating in sports is not only taxing on the body but can also be taxing on the mind. Proper management of your athletes comes from being prepared and trained on how to respond to these unique situations where the issues aren’t readily apparent to the eye.
Going beyond athletics, when a school enlists the services of a qualified strength and conditioning coach, they reduce their overall liability. Lastly, the school is improving their overall prestige because they are making the effort to go above and beyond what’s required by establishing a high commitment to the well being of their athletes.
It frees up the coach to do what they do best
We only have so much time in the day and within that particular day, we only have so much mental energy to allocate toward things. One big issue that schools without a qualified strength and conditioning coach run into is the potential (and likelihood) of overloading the particular sports coach.
Having a soccer coach, for example, take time out of his day to design and craft a 12-week training program for his team isn’t the best use of his nor the athletes time.
He’s simply not in his zone of genius.
However, the strength coach can come in and oversee the training and conditioning of the team while the coach spends more time with the actual strategy and tactics to better his team.
Athletes learn valuable lifelong lessons
When you think of lifting weights and running sprints, you may solely direct your attention to the physical benefits. But, learning the ins and outs of the weight room teaches these student-athletes valuable principles that will make them successful one and off the field.
You want your students to win all the games and become the best athlete possible, but more importantly, you want them to maximize their potential and ability as they steadily inch closer to adulthood.
In the weight room, you’re maximizing your physical potential, but you’re also learning about consistency, confidence, and persistence which are transferable to other domains of life. In the weight room, patience is essential and instant gratification is a rarity which serves these kids well because a lot of our world doesn’t operate under those parameters.
PE teachers and sport specific coaches are being overworked in some cases and not maximizing their unique skills often times due to juggling so many different hats.
Using a professional who has expert knowledge in strength and conditioning ensures that your athletes receive the best attention and teaching possible in that specific field and sport.
When this happens, the school, the coaches, and especially the students win because they are truly equipped and positioned to have the best chances of succeeding at the next level.