There are many elements of physical fitness: body size and composition, flexibility, speed, agility, muscle strength-power-endurance, and cardio-respiratory endurance. Athletes involved in the more physically narrowed down sports, like track and field, or swimming, require only focus on one or two of these, but athletes in sports requiring a greater variety of abilities, like basketball, soccer, or gymnastics, have to be concerned with every aspect of physical fitness. Regrettably, training in one area (say, speed) doesn’t cross over to another area (like flexibility). Separate focus must be devoted to each.
The best general training routines recognized to sport science will not befit each athlete precisely. Different athletes react to training differently. Modify the programs in order to achieve the needed results for your physical evaluation.
A varsity cross-country runner might be able to run incessantly for one to two hours, but find himself totally breathless after 15 minutes of full-court basketball play. This is an instance of the training precept of specificity. The runner’s
physiology is exquisitely tuned for long, moderate-intensity exercises but is totally out of sync with the recurrent full-scale exertions called for in basketball. The distance runner’s leg muscles are adjusted for energy efficiency and have greater than normal sums of glycogen (muscle sugar stored for fuel). In counterpoint, the basketball player’s muscles are chemically conformed to his needs wherein he can bear recurrent short bouts of maximum effort with a low intervening time to catch for breath. Most sports call for at least some short, high output bursts. Hence, practically every athlete must include specialty training in their total program of physical training.
The best kind of specialty training is recurrent all-out dashes holding out 10 to 30 seconds each, having a 3 to 5 minute rest between every work interval. Specialty training isn’t designed to burn out the athlete, but instead, to train his muscles to hold out repeated high intensity work well, without fatigue. Since the work periods are quick and the rest interval comparatively long, the heart rate might never reach maximum levels. You must try to keep body speeds of 90 to 100% of your maximum.
Specialty training is hard and demands a high level of motivation. Therefore, the above methods are suggested merely for the two month pre-season training time period. Specialty training is incorporated about halfway into this period and must be progressively stressed up to the time official practice starts.
The fundamental exercise modes for specialty training are running and swimming (if your major sport is swimming). You’re encouraged, however, to have your own specialty training drills; ones that exactly simulate your own competitive moves. Since straight-ahead running is popular to several sports, specialty drills utilizing running would often be effective.