Biology of Sport
eISSN: 2083-1862
ISSN: 0860-021X
Biology of Sport
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3/2022
vol. 39
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Practices of strength and conditioning coaches in professional sports: a systematic review

Anthony Weldon
1
,
Michael J. Duncan
2
,
Anthony Turner
3
,
Robert G. Lockie
4
,
Irineu Loturco
5, 6, 7

1.
Human Performance Laboratory, The Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2.
Centre for Sport, Exercise and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
3.
London Sport Institute, Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom
4.
Center for Sport Performance, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA, United States of America
5.
NAR – Nucleus of High Performance in Sport, São Paulo, Brazil
6.
Department of Human Movement Sciences, Federal University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
7.
University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom
Biol Sport. 2022;39(3):715–726.
Online publish date: 2021/08/30
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The practices of strength and conditioning (S&C) coaches have been reported in various professional sports. This study aims to comprehensively assess this available evidence to help establish whether theoretical, practical, and evidence-based guidelines align with the practices employed by these experienced S&C coaches. Three databases were searched (PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane) until November 2020. Studies surveying the practices of S&C coaches in professional sports using a survey design with common questions, written in English, and published in peer-reviewed journals were reviewed. Eight studies (n = 318 S&C coaches) were finally included. All studies adapted a similar survey, providing a strong basis for comparison between sports. Periodization strategies were widely used (89%), with training volume consistently reduced during the in-season period. Olympic weightlifting was commonly used across sports, except in baseball (29%). Plyometric exercises were predominantly prescribed for speed development (74%) and lower body power (68%), which were mostly programed as complex training (45%) and conducted all year round (52%). Flexibility exercises were mostly performed before practice (83%) for 6–10 min (40%). Physical tests were mainly conducted during the preseason period (66%), with body composition (86%) being the most used test. S&C coaches generally adhered to current guidelines and research in S&C concerning training prescription and physical testing. Whereas, intersport differences were also noted and further discussed. Results of this study can be used by S&C coaches to plan, implement, and review their professional practices. Furthermore, may inform the development of general and sport-specific guidelines, and future research in S&C.
keywords:

Team Sports, Individual Sports, Performance Training, Coaching, Strength Training, Physical Training

 
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