Ok, just kidding a bit, of course we want athlete to be reactive on the field and in training, but not off of it. When we say athlete what we mean is a sports person of any type that is looking to improve their performance. Essentially what we are talking about here are athletes entering formal resistance training programs both before and after injury.
In a nutshell what we would ideally love would be for an athlete to come to us and say “I’m ready to train, I’m not injured, I’m willing to work hard to get better” but what we often find is that athletes come to us and say “I’m broke…fix me!” or “my physio told me to do this gym training thingy to rehab my (insert condition), I need to be back playing in 3 months”.
Let me tell you what is going on with athletes these days…
– They sit too much
– They don’t have proper nutritional intake for their sporting demands
– A lot of the time they carry excess bodyfat that hinders performance and can increase risk of injury.
– They don’t perform any supervised resistance training to become stronger, more mobile etc.
– They don’t know how to recovery after a training session or match/run
– Then when they don’t get to their expected level of performance they simply perform more of what they are doing e.g. running more mindless miles, doing more and more mindless sessions and stretching the same muscles each time etc.
In spite of these points they expect to perform optimally. We are always big advocates of training smarter rather than just training more. Quality should always precede quantity when it comes to athletic training.
The benefits of a resistance training program will always outweigh the negatives, in fact I actually cannot think of negatives. I mean, who does not want to be stronger during a game, or leaner, more explosive off the mark or even improve their running economy?
I suppose the big one when it comes to gym based resistance training is that it may help reduce the chances of injury. You can’t compete/run when you’re injured. An athlete with stronger muscle tissue, better movement skills, good core strength, etc. is a more robust athlete.
While an injury is always inevitable at some stage in sport, resistance training is simply a tool to help create strength and good movement ability so that you can lower your risk of getting injured, perform optimally and be healthier.
I keep a graph in my head of what happens an athlete when they become injured and then take up resistance training (red) VS an athlete who is injury free firstly and takes up resistance training (green). It looks something like this…
The message is that when you are injured it is tougher to get back to your baseline performance level. You may increase your bodyfat levels, your hip mobility may become poorer and your strength may decrease due to your inability to train hard.
However, if you have been resistance training and so happen to get injured, then you are still a lot higher than your previous baseline. Think of it as a safety net.
You have more potential to increase sporting performance prior to injury than after injury. The bottom line is that if you are a serious sports person who is looking to increase their performance, then do not be reactive…be proactive and get yourself into the gym with a professionally designed program