Vern Gambetta

The S&C Wasteland

Now is the time to take a step back and look at the approach to Strength & Conditioning as it has evolved. Basically what we see happening is that we have the means to an end (Strength Training) become an end unto itself. Instead of having sport demands and qualities of the individual athlete drive the training the emphasis is on chasing numbers in the weight room. One or five rep maximum has little to do directly with sport performance. In fact many times the emphasis on one quality, strength, is developed at the expenses of other qualities. The end result is less athleticism and also more injuries of the type we are seeing today. We need to wake up and redefine what strength & conditioning is all about. S&C coaches need to be performance based, to see the big picture to prepare the athlete for the demands of their sports. In the last two weeks I have spoken with three different swim coaches and two soccer coaches at the collegiate level that do not want their athletes to go near the existing S&C programs because they are not meeting their athletes needs. To me this is alarming; it is a call to action that we must heed. You can say that this is the exception, but I see it more as the norm. All of us need to look in the mirror and re-examine why we do what we do or we will go the way of the dinosaur.

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