One of the coolest features of being a college athlete in the United States is the environment you become accustomed to in order to enhance your game or performance. In essence you are treated like a professional athlete and on the flip side, you are expected to act and behave as one. With that being said regardless of the sport you compete in; you have access to some of the best coaches and facilities from around the world. Many head coaches will have a team around them to help develop each athlete individually and collectively as a team. Often at most colleges you have the head coach, assistant coach, strength and conditioning coach, nutritional coach, physio (known as an athletic trainer) and many more that make up the full team. Each staff member within the team will work within their speciality to help improve and modify you, to take your performance to the next level.
Strength and conditioning is a huge aspect in the US that you will work on regardless of the sport you play. Even if you go to the weight room before becoming a freshman in college, you will need to forget everything you have ever learned, because this is a different forte altogether. You will never do a movement or exercise ‘just because’ people in the gym do it. Every detail is designed to take into account the sport you play, the movement patterns you create, the position you play, and what the main emphasis is required for the sport you play.
With many sports, there will be different components that make up the program for an athlete. For example, if you are a soccer athlete you will have an endurance-based program, and around this will have specific strength training, plyometrics, and speed play incorporated within. Whereas a golfer, works predominately on strength and flexibility with both basic and golf-related exercises. In many instances, it is common to see golf athletes complete regular yoga sessions as well as early morning runs.
The bonus of being a college athlete means that most weight rooms or gyms are specifically designed for athletes only to use them! The facilities are state of the art and contain all the required equipment with everything you ever needed. The coaches will push you to be better and create the program specifically for you. In general, but not limited to, the things you may work on as an athlete within strength and conditioning are:
- Improving overall strength
- Improving overall endurance
- Improving power output
- Improving SAQ (speed, agility + quickness)
- Improving acceleration
- Improving plyometric movements
- Improving mobility & flexibility
- Improving reaction time
Check out the video below of a previous Wake Forest Team Men’s Soccer team and the types of workouts they get up to in the spring season and the women’s soccer team at Washington State University during their spring workouts!