Strength training is commonly referred to as weight training.  It involves body movements where a force is exerted using muscles or muscle groups throughout the body, to create the force in the aim of becoming stronger in that movement. Strength training includes movements like squats, lunges, press ups, sit ups, body weight based exercises or gym based machine exercises. The how, what and when of strength training must be specific to the individual and their stage of growth and development, fitness and ability – therefore, it must be individualised. To do so follow our basic coaches tips listed below, and seek the assistance of a specialist in this area.

Basic Coaches Tips for Strength Training

  • Always start each session with a good warm up.

  • Each exercise should be instructed thoroughly, a show-tell-do approach works well.

  • Demonstrate the exercise, while providing key teaching and technique points, then ask the players to perform, providing additional key points and teaching to gain correct movement pattern and technique.

  • Always ensure correct technique is performed, provide key teaching points to correct players movement to elicit correct technique.

  • Start with body weight resisted exercises then gradually progress to weightlifting exercises with appropriate load and intensity. Seek professional assistance if not an area of expertise.

  • Progressively and conservatively increase weight training load and volume. Seek professional assistance if not an area of expertise.

  • Exercises performed should ensure good muscle balance and symmetry across the bodies muscle groups. Training both agonist and antagonist muscle groups and both upper and lower body. Eg; Squat, lunge, press, pull and push exercises.

  • Start with two sessions per week with a potential third session depending on players other training and practice commitments. Ensure players have adequate recovery between training sessions. Two sessions per week.

  • Do not perform; maximal, single lifts (1RM’s) or overhead lifts until players are post adolescence and physically capable.

Things to note

  • Pre-adolescent players should only be performing body weight and calisthenic based exercises. These players need to be monitored at all times ensuring, appropriate exercises with correct technique are performed that are suitable for a players stage and phase of growth and development.

  • Fundamental movement patterns developed correctly in pre-adolescent players will provide for a good platform to build upon in later years.

  • Post adolescent players should be monitored closely with exercise and training load, set appropriately for the stage and phase of the individual’s growth and development.

  • Supervision and good instruction is important in early stages of a strength training programme.