Sports Specific

Sports Specific

Morris County NJ Sports Conditioning Clinic

By Jose Fuentes/Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist

I’ve  noticed  in  almost every sports performance clinic  in NJ strength coaches putting  athletes through  massive amounts of weight lifting with very little work on speed training to get faster rather than bigger!

How would lifting heavy loads will  helps a player  get faster within a 5 to 10 yard range?..

Among many other mistakes done by these ‘so called tough trainers gurus’ I’ve also  observed volleyball players flipping 200 lbs tires or dragging a sled with 150 lbs . Are u people serious?..If you are an elite D-1 player or professional football or basketball player. You’re getting paid to be fast. Not to break power lifting records! It takes speed and strength in the right combinations to excel at any sport. Nonetheless, it’s your 20, 40, 60 yard dash test that counts to get drafted! It is not how much you can power lift. On the other side of the scale, I admire many strength conditioning clinics in LA and Chicago, Detroit that sports specific their training cater to each individual’s sports. Few weeks ago, I was listening to an Elite world champion hall of fame athlete. Boxer Manny Pacquiao and one of the secrets to be able to get faster to stay on top of his game, has been simply STAYING AWAY FROM WEIGHT LIFTING FOR HIS SPECIFIC SPORT. His strength Coach from LA has done a superb job at understanding the science behind the sport that has made Manny a billionaire! 

 Speed And Agility And Sports Specific: 

One of the major differences that separates my training system from tough weekend coach warriors is the extra time I spend on speed and agility. Please don’t confuse strength and power versus speed. Of course there is always time to get my athletes stronger and more powerful. But my job is to develop in each student an optimal combination of size, speed and strength!

My agility work focuses on rapid changes of direction, ankle break away techniques and lots of foot work. This is all necessary for each sport. Agility drill duration should be determine according to the sports demands. For example; my basketball, tennis and volleyball agility drills cover 5 to 10 yards between markers with two or five direction changes with proper foot, ankle, knee, hip and neck mechanics.

Leg speed is extremely important in sports such as soccer, tennis and basketball. Therefore, speed drills should emphasize technique and the length for each drill should be appropriate for the sport. For example there is not need for a tennis player to run 40 yards because his side of the court is not that long. Therefore, improving the athlete’s speed by either increasing the strength  of the leg push off to gain a longer stride or increasing how quickly the leg cycles through the stride or both. I can train both stride length and frequency. Don’t confuse strength training with conditioning . Although both may include running drills . The purpose of sprint training is to improve sprint mechanics and therefore speed. The purpose of conditioning is to improve your cardiovascular system. 

In summary here is an outline of what I refer in order to build a program to maximize speed and agility:


1-Does your sport require efforts of long , slow duration, or fast powerful safe executions?


2-Does your sport requires more muscle strength or more muscle endurance?


3-Do you perform one specific movement repetitively or the movements constantly change?


4- Does your sports require complex skills, or are the movements more general


5- Are several joints involve in each movement?


6- Does your sport includes contact and collision?


7-Is your sports played indoors, outdoors?..On what type of playing surface?