I ended my most recent column describing the importance of improving both the anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (conditioning) systems for most team field and court sports.
The reason I’m discussing team sports is simple, they tend to fall in the middle of the black hole of conditioning and require the development of both systems. But the big mistake many coaches make is they don’t realize that most of these team sports (football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball etc..) rely heavily on the aerobic system.
Coaches and athletes need to understand there is a lot more to conditioning than just going “HARD.” And they also need to understand that you can’t improve both effectively and all at the same time.
A smart program will build an aerobic foundation and then interweave high-intensity and low-intensity methods over time to build a more resilient and better-conditioned athlete.
Building a strong aerobic foundation is actually very sport specific. As many repeat sprint ability studies show, focusing on improving the factors that improve an athletes repeat sprint ability (aerobic system) is actually more beneficial than just using sprint repeats (anaerobic system) in improving an athletes’ ability to recover between high intensity efforts in their respective sports.
The fact is the bigger and more stable an athlete’s aerobic foundation is going into a season, the more resilient they’ll be. Increased aerobic capacity will improve the athlete’s tolerance to all bio-motor abilities required for sport performance on and off the field or court of play, thus improving their on-field performance.
The great thing about this is that once a solid aerobic foundation is built, maintaining it becomes easy. Allowing the athlete to now build speed, power and strength on this strong foundation.
Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.
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