Don’t be fooled, all sports training is not created equal. And, what most people consider sports training is actually just sports inspired fitness. What’s the difference? Real Sports Training (Athletic Engineering) understands what is required of an athlete at a given sport/ position and is capable of developing them, regardless of their current skill level, into a top-level athlete. Sports Inspired Fitness Training (SIFT) is the equivalent of learning how to play the violin… on a drum.
How do I identify a SIFT program?
You’ll know its SIFT when: the trainer has to mention other trainers names or programs to sell their own; it’s Football training, but ain’t nobody ever gettin’ hit; it’s Baseball training, but kids aren’t getting beat up by balls, swingin and missin, or making horrible throws; it’s Basketball training, but nobody can do anything with their left hand; It’s Volleyball training, but nobody’s hitting or serving the shit outta the ball (regardless of whether it lands in or out of bounds); it’s ANY kind of training where an athlete isn’t being asked to go as hard as they can possibly go at something while being positively reinforced and encouraged to fuck it up as many times as it takes to get it right.
That and, SIFT tends to over-emphasize things like form, technique, agility, footwork, conditioning, and other more fitness-related concepts. Yes, these things are important, but, they’re not the things that are going to transform you into an elite top-level sport-specific athlete. If they were, every athlete with a trainer would be top-level, and sports, across the board, would be way more competitive.
You may also begin to notice that the athlete you see in training is almost never the same athlete you see on game day. More specifically, they’ll beast or look real good in training, as well as, against lower levels of competition. But, whenever you watch them play against athletes and or teams that ovbiously don’t suck, they never look as good as they did in training. Now, sometimes this can be because an athlete hasn’t yet reached a high enough level of development. However, you’ll know its SIFT when your trainer can’t produce a scale rating or developmental plan that details where your athlete is, where they need to be, and exactly how they’re going to get there.
And, finally… you’ll know its SIFT when, after “training” throughout their entire high school career, they still can’t get recruited to 1 of the 358 American colleges and universities classified as Division I for NCAA competition.