As the high school football and volleyball seasons wind down in many places, I thought that this would be a good time to address program design. After a season, most strength coaches look back and see if there is anything that they should do differently the following season. This evaluation process often forces coaches to look at the physical preparation of their athletes and their off-season programs. Many times a team will have a series of injuries to it’s players and often many of these will be similar injuries. Some seasons a team is hit with a rash of ankle injuries, sometimes it’s shoulder injuries, and other seasons it’s another body part. Regardless, it forces the staff to evaluate their program and decide if changes need to be made to help prevent more injuries. This is a great example of how strength programs should always be evolving. There is no perfect program. If there was, everyone would use it.
Evaluation Leads To Evolution
What things should you look at in your program? While every sport & situation is different, you should evaluate your program for each of the following:
- Injury prevention exercises
- Muscular strength exercises
- Power exercises
- Speed work
- Agility work
- Sport specific conditioning
- Flexibility/mobility exercises
- Adequate recovery
In your particular sport or situation, not all of these may apply. However, in most sports you should address each of these items to ensure that your program is complete. So sit down and take an honest look at your program for the last few months and the last year. How does it address each of these areas? Do you spend too much time/effort in some areas and not enough in others? If so, make adjustments for the next year. It will make your program better and your athletes better.