Stronger Athletes

Dear StrongerAthletes: Sport-Specific Training

October 22 "If you are killing time, it is not murder, it is suicide." -Lou Holtz

Dear, I understand your stance on the principle of specificity, that you cannot directly better a specific sports skill (hitting a baseball, throwing a football, tackling, shooting foul shots) by doing a particular lift (i.e. the belief that doing power cleans will make you a better tackler because you're more explosive).

However, couldn't you argue that lifting can supplement sports skills? For instance, if a defensive lineman works hard to improve his hand strength by doing forearm and grip work, he will be better at shedding blocks as long as he couples his new strength with his line techniques.

Secondly, about your June 17, 2003 article on a sample workout, it sounds like you used that program for all of your athletes. But don't certain sports emphasize different muscle groups. Actually, many positions in a sport may require different muscles. A pocket quarterback will want to build his back and shoulders, so they're more responsive to getting smashed by linemen. A wide receiver will want to work on his hand strength for catching, and he will work his legs more so they will be responsive to building speed and acceleration. -Jay Tusch

Jason, Thanks for your comments.

First we think you are on the right track with grip strength for defensive linemen. Hands are a very important part of the teaching progression at that position and therefore any additional hand strength will aid the player at that position. That logic should apply to all positions regardless of type of player: a stronger player is a better player.

The drop-back QB would be better served to work on a quick release and skilled associated with passing or sack avoidance, not necessarily altering his workout from that of the option QB.

Thanks for your comments and good luck to you.

***No Liability is assumed for any information written on the website. No medical advice is given on exercise. This advice should be obtained from a licensed health-care practitioner. Before anyone begins any exercise program, always consult your doctor. The articles are written by coaches that are giving advice on a safe, productive, and efficient method of strength training.***

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