Sport specific training, depending on your age, can conjure up some different—and sometimes weird—pictures in your head. A lot of this strange stuff depends on the sport in question, and some of it might depend on how many bad movies or coaches you’ve been exposed to.

The rules have changed over the decades. In World War Two era boxing and baseball, weightlifting was not allowed. According to the trainers of the day, weights would make you muscle bound and slow. These days we know that isn’t the whole truth, but that one statement stands to give you an idea of how far we have come.

So to start, sport specific training (SST) isn’t the idea that you can practice your punching while holding a 10lb dumbbell or adding a weight to your bat and lo and behold, you have more power behind your punch or swing. Stated simply, SST is practicing the facets of your sport.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some sports and what they entail, and go from there.


Defining Sports

In Supertraining, Mel Siff defined sports as a limited set of movements. If you’ve read anything I’ve written here before, you’ll note that I often talk about exercise and the body from a movement context. As such, you’ve seen a list of what we are capable of in terms of actual movement. And if you’re a sports fan or competitor, you can ascertain that every sport has a different set of movements, some sports have a broader set of movements, others have a narrow set of movements, and NONE of them encompass the entire spectrum of human movement. But that’s not a bad thing. That’s why we have the gym.

Defining Sports Specific Training

Now that you know what a sport is, figuring out specificity in training becomes simple. Sports specific training is training the sport and the components therein.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at two different sports and break down the majority of their motions and talk about how to train for them, as well as what to do when not training the sport itself.

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