Athletes Need to Train For Power, Strength, Speed and Agility to Develop a Competitive Edge |

Competitive athletes can improve their performance by focusing on the four conditioning goals of athleticism.Athleticism is a general term used to describe exercises and games requiring physical skills. The components of athleticism can be broken down into four basic conditioning goals:*Strength
*AgilityAs an athlete it is crucial to understand the importance of each, and how each component relates to the others. Having been involved as a competitive athlete and now an active coach for over four decades, I can see that each of these four basic components is essential to optimal performance on the field.It has been said in training circles, that there are three topics which will spawn an instant debate. Politics, Religion, and Training techniques. American strength coaches and exercise researchers often work independently and often in direct competition with one another. There are different “camps” of training methods, each working in direct competition. I have witnessed extremely heated debates between coaches from differing camps. There are a number of Internet forums that are defenders of the ultimate training program. In the U.S., researchers seek publications and compete for grants, often keeping their data and ideas to themselves for fear that another lab will publish similar studies. There is often a sense of competition between coaches and researchers in the US rather than cooperation.Watch an NFL football game, and then ask yourself some questions. Which team used only free weights? Which team used only machines? Which team followed training methods from the “HIT” camp? Which team used only Olympic- Lifts? Which team followed “Power lifting” protocols? Can you tell just by watching the game? Does it matter? What I see are individuals who display some great “athleticism”. They obviously have trained the four basic components at some time during their athletic career. If competitive athletes want an extended professional career they better pay close attention to the components of “strength, power, speed, and agility.So which training program do they use? Which one is the absolute best? What do you the aspiring athlete want to use? This is what I have learned after four decades of training. Are you ready for the best kept secret in the world of strength and conditioning? OK, here goes…THEY ALL WORK !!!! I know, “you can’t handle the truth”.Why did the old USSR/Eastern Europeans dominate world arenas in Olympic sports, especially in strength-power type event? Because Soviet coaches worked together with the exercise scientists to field test and apply their theories. There was no “gap” between the scientists and the coaches as there is in America. In addition, the Soviets were firm believers in coaching athletes to learn basic movements prior to teaching them complicated sport-specific skills.Competitive Athletes need to train for the big four: Strength, Power, Speed, and Agility. Master these areas and you will have an edge over your opponents.