Athletes require intense practice, strength, and dedication to accomplish the various physically demanding feats they engage in. Many athletes begin their journey in high schools, where they are mostly trained by head coaches or assistant coaches. However, such coaches are usually not explicitly trained for strength and conditioning, which can lead to various injuries, such as sprains, dislocations, swollen muscles, and fractures. So, why don’t schools and colleges prioritize strength and conditioning coaches for athlete safety if there are so many potential injuries they could encounter?
That is precisely why strength and conditioning coaches are now taking the world of athletics by storm as they utilize their official certifications to ensure proper training regimens with safe practices. Here are some undeniable reasons why such coaches are essential to improve sports performance.
- Prioritizes Safety Procedures
One of the most prominent roles a strength and conditioning coach must play is to prevent injuries. However, they can only manage this when they have extensive knowledge and experience regarding body and muscle function along with movement. They must also be able to devise and oversee workout plans that include proper form when stretching, lifting, and spotting to improve athletic performance and ensure they do not strain themselves too much.
However, coaches can only achieve this knowledge when they have the required credentials and certifications in CSCS and exercise science. You will need to apply to one of the various strength and conditioning graduate programs and receive a Master of Science in Applied Exercise Science degree. It will help develop your strength and conditioning knowledge and ensure that you can create awareness and a safe environment regarding weight lifting so that athletes prioritize proper form and complete body control before adding resistance.
- Improves Athletic Performance
Several athletes may follow their own workout programs and think that squatting and benching are all they need to build muscle and stamina. However, that is not necessarily the case. Strength and conditioning coaches understand the different variations in exercises that can target various muscle groups and help athletes improve their performance. Some athletes may also ignore rest days in an effort to push themselves harder and ensure they can keep building muscle. However, they fail to understand the importance of recovery periods as it prevents exercise-induced fatigue and soreness that can potentially hinder their performance.
Strength coaches understand the significance of maintaining a balance between exercise variations, recovery periods, and the pace that can help athletes improve performance safely and efficiently. Furthermore, technology has also made it easier to track performance and monitor important metrics. A regular athlete or coach may not be able to analyze this information to ascertain how well an athlete is doing. That is not the case for a certified coach who can extract relevant data and utilize it to improve their performance.
- Creates Balanced Programs For Recovering Athletes
Sometimes athletes encounter injuries and must continue training after a particular recovery duration. They might not understand their limitations and could push themselves too hard, further deteriorating their physical health. Strength and conditioning coaches can prevent that from happening by cooperating with the athletic trainer. The core role of an athletic trainer in such a case would be to evaluate the athlete’s condition on a daily basis and ascertain the details of their treatment and the amount of pressure they can endure once they make a comeback to the gym.
A strength coach can communicate with the athletic trainer to devise a well-structured program to help the athlete return to their training with certain limitations. They can understand the extent to which the athlete can push themselves while making progress and avoiding making the injury any worse.
- Provides More Freedom To Sports Coaches
Sports coaches already have their primary focus on how well an athlete is performing in the sports department. Their core function is to figure out strategic game plans to help athletes win. However, in the absence of a strength and conditioning coach, they have the additional responsibility of overseeing and managing the workout programs of the athletes as well. It can cause them to deviate from their actual job function, and they may not be able to create individually tailored programs for various athletes to help them increase their strength and stamina. It may prevent them from performing well during the game too.
Having a strength coach means bypassing all such hassles and allowing the sports coach to focus on game planning, with the strength coach solely focusing on the athlete’s physical and mental health. They can provide special attention to each athlete and develop tailored programs based on their current condition and endurance level.
- Creates A Thriving Sports Culture
A strength coach must provide attention to more than just the athlete’s physical regime. They must also ensure their mental health is on track and does not hinder their progress. One of the defining qualities of a good coach is to be perceptive enough to pick up on deteriorating performance arising due to mental blocks. Some athletes may be fearful of not being able to achieve specific goals, while others may view themselves far too critically, resulting in them exceeding their physical limitations.
Neither of these situations can create a healthy environment for athletes to thrive or feel comfortable with their progress. That is where strength coaches can help them achieve their goals while educating them on embracing the process of slowly improving each day. They also educate them on employing safe practices within the gym that can prevent them from exerting themselves too much.
Strength and conditioning coaches can contribute enormously to an athlete’s performance. They can tailor specific balanced programs that have rest days and workout variations to target different muscle groups. They can also implement safety procedures to prevent injuries that may hinder athletes and monitor their performance to ensure they are improving consistently. However, if they do get injured, they can help them make a safe comeback with certain limitations to prevent further damage. Athletes may also suffer specific mental blocks that the coaches can help them overcome so they can continue to progress without any issues.