How to Run an S&C Program To Facilitate Success in Your Sport


Success = opportunity meets preparation

Most youth coaches and volunteer parents know their sports inside out. They run efficient practices, paying attention to form, fun, drills, and competitive opportunities. Where the coaches usually need help is to design and include strength and conditioning (s&c) effectively in their sports programs.

You don’t need a different s&c program for each sport. Almost 95% of all sports deal with movement, and training players to move better enhances their performance and athleticism while reducing risk of injury. When you make better athletes they have the opportunity to be better players.

The s&c program creates a strong base of fitness and is geared to strengthen and prepare players specifically and efficiently for the desired sports goal. It increases motor skills and fitness levels. Essentially s&c extends your athletic program.

You may need to include an s&c expert whose role is to facilitate the coaches to prepare the athletes to succeed on the field.  If you are responsible for your s&c program, following are a few tips.

  1. There are two major parts of your training world that you need to focus on everyday: core and flexibility for best results and more efficient training.
  2. During the training week focus on 5 trainable attributes: speed, power, endurance, strength, and agility (timing and tempo). Always work on improving body mechanics.
  3. Make the program appropriate, safe, and progressive: pay attention developing each player as both an athlete and a person.
  4. Athletes, especially between ages 8-20, have different biological and gender adaptations to training volume and intensity in the development of key muscular and energetic components (physiological energy systems) that will have the greatest impact on their competitive performance. Aerobic fitness does not increase much for boys and girls between ages 8-13, but boys ages 14-16 and girls ages 11-13 show greatest increase in aerobic fitness, reaching max at age 19 (girls 17). The training plan will consider these factors.
  5. Emotional age is important: readiness for a program depends on your player having a desire to participate, a belief that it is worthwhile, maturity to closely follow coaching and instructions, and discipline.
  6. Design a periodized program that varies in intensity and volume throughout the year, with the lowest volume and highest speed in season.


Addressed in point 1. (above) here is an example of a progressive and comprehensive core workout progression. All can be done out on the field or in a gym without equipment. Follow them in this progression for best results, particularly as power is preceded by strength:

  1. Core stabilization


Side bridges and planks


Wall sits

  1. Core strength

Push-ups (can begin against a wall)



  1. Core power (elasticity)

Overhead medicine ball toss

Ice skaters

Cone agility sprints (5-10 reps)

Teach your athletes to climb, crawl, sprint, and jump with moves like those below:


Jumps in place



Box drills (avoid depth jumps)

Jump squat


Band rows

Bear crawl/crab walk

Forward and backward sprint


Squat (king-3 count down, 3 count up)

Jump rope

Have a great season!

Email me at with any questions about your programs

* exercises (as push-ups and jumping jacks) to develop strength and flexibility that are done without special equipment



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