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Finish First Insider, Issue #33
November 14, 2008
Welcome Back

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Athlete Specific vs. Sport Specific

By Coach J. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

The sports performance industry is saturated with companies promoting ‘sport specific training’ for athletes of all ages, sizes, and ability levels. A simple web search for the same three words will provide almost a million different results. Companies have entire marketing campaigns built around their ‘sport specific training’ and have used these buzzwords to influence millions of parents, athlete, and coaches. It’s no wonder why so many parents and athletes are searching and requesting ‘sport specific training.’

Yet, most of these same people don’t really understand what it means, but rather what the companies want them to think it means. In reality, is sport specific training the answer? What does it mean? What is athlete specific training? Which one is better?

I’d like to begin by defining what ‘athlete specific ‘means. At Finish First Sports Performance, athlete specific means using a training system, from evaluation to programming to implementation, that addresses all of the needs of the athlete as a unique individual.


This means that through a comprehensive evaluation, a performance coach can identify the specific needs of the athlete, such as movement impairments, functional limitations, general physical fitness levels, strength levels, power levels, sports goals, plus many more specific advanced items.

In an athlete specific training system, the performance coach also analyzes the specific demands of the sport (sport specific training: specific movements, specific energy system-conditioning needs, common injuries, gender concerns and any additional relevant programming considerations).

The results of these specific evaluations are used to design a program for the unique athlete. No two athletes are exactly alike, so each one needs to be evaluated to determine what specific needs he/she may have. The programs should reflect these needs and the implementation (coaching) should be specific to motivate each athlete. During implementation, the coach should note the athlete’s progress/response to the programs and adjust accordingly.

(In Finish First Insider, Issue #8, May 2008, I specifically addressed the definition of sport specific training. To prevent repetition on this issue, please take a few minutes and read the previous newsletter)

In other words, sport specific training is merely addressing the specific needs of the sport. A comprehensive performance training program needs to be specific to the athlete AND the sport. If the athlete is de-conditioned, then the program must first condition the athlete before even addressing any of the sports needs.

Any program not addressing the specific needs of the athlete is not fully addressing the developmental needs of the athlete, which may prevent the athlete from benefitting from more advanced training protocols as he/she progresses in training. This could prevent the athlete from achieving his/her goals and may increase the athlete’s risk of injury.

At Finish First Sports Performance, all programs are athlete specific. We begin with an athlete specific comprehensive performance evaluation, then devise an athlete specific program, and follow up with athlete specific implementation. If you are not getting this type of service in your programming, you are not getting true sports performance training.

Link of Interest

I recently came across a quality link to an educational site hosted by the NCAA about the ACL and ACL Injuries. The site features video about the ACL and exercises for risk reduction.

The truth about ACL Injury Risk Reduction is that all quality sports performance programs should reduce acl injury risk through sound training fundamentals and through athlete specific program design!

NCAA ACL Feature

Motivational Sports Quotes

The Six W's: Work will win when wishing won't. -- Todd Blackledge

If you sacrifice early, you'll win late. -- Charles Haley

If you are going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price. -- Bud Wilkinson

Upcoming Event

**Street Survival Self-Defense Class
November 15, 2008; 8am - noon; $75

As a result of the Street Survival Self-Defense Class on November 15, 2008, the Finish First Sports Performance training center will only be open for workouts from noon to 4pm.

There are 3 spots left for the class! Sign-up today!

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, CSCS, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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