Last week we talked about the importance of training in movement patterns. This week we will briefly explain the first principle of sport conditioning. SPECIFICITY – The Specificity Principle simply states that training must go from highly general training to highly specific training. The principle of Specificity also implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill. To be a good cyclist, you must cycle. The point to take away is that a runner should train by running, a swimmer should train by swimming and a fighter should train by fight specific training.
Sport-specific training is any type of training that closely mimics the movement of your sport and is performed to make you stronger or more skilled in that particular movement. There are several characteristics that make sport-specific training different from general strength and conditioning. Sport-specific training must duplicate an actual motion in your sport. While the focus can be either very narrow or somewhat broad, the motions used in a particular exercise must be identical to the motions used in the actual sport.
The central nervous system is the controller for all the movement in the human body. Anytime you want to move, the central nervous system is responsible for telling the correct muscles to fire in order to execute the desired movement. The CNS is capable of evolving in the same way that muscle groups are capable of evolving. Consistent development of movement patterns will cause CNS adaptation. The more you repeat a movement, the more efficient your CNS becomes at performing that movement. When you spend time developing a sport-specific movement, your CNS will deactivate muscles not needed to execute that movement and simultaneously allow the muscles that are necessary to contract with maximum force.
The goal of all these movements is the same – utilize perfect motion for several repetitions to ingrain specific movement patterns into your CNS. By practicing these movements over and over, the execution of these movements becomes autonomous. The goal is to train them so frequently that the moment you consciously recognize an advantageous position, your brain automatically sends signals to your body to execute the movement.
For example: A wrestler drills the double leg take down, single leg take down, high crotch series, arm drags (Just to name a few) OVER AND OVER again. When a wrestler is in a match and the brain recognizes an advantageous position and it will trigger the body’s CNS to execute the takedown.
In summary, get specific, know what you are aiming for and train as you fight and fight as you train.