Although the Static SJ-IMTP is an accurate and reliable measure of an athlete’s Dynamic Strength Index, it can be problematic to conduct due to the requirements of complex and expensive equipment (i.e. force platforms). Nonetheless, it provides the strength and conditioning coach or sports scientist with novel information regarding the athlete’s force producing capacity.
The practice of hydration testing has been implemented for the past couple of decades, with new and more advanced technology capable of detecting smaller changes in an athlete’s hydration status becoming available in more recent years. Hydration status can influence a range of physiological functions in the human body relating to both performance and health, therefore, regular testing is advised. Many forms of hydration testing exist, most of which are discussed in this article. For any practitioner, it is essential that they fully understand the validity or reliability of the testing method, and how this can be compromised in different situations.
Youth Strength Training
Youth strength training is a topic of interest for many researchers, clinicians, practitioners and coaches. When to start, how much is enough or too much, and what to prescribe is constantly debated and put under scrutiny. However, at present, a compelling body of scientific evidence supports participation in appropriately designed youth resistance training programmes that are supervised and instructed by qualified professionals. Moreover, the benefits of strength training starting at younger ages can eventually have long-term implications for an individual’s healthy lifestyle and future sports participation.
Maturation is simply the process of children growing and obtaining adult stature. All humans experience maturation differently, but we notice the greatest change after puberty. Females tend to mature sooner than boys, but post-pubertal boys will experience greater increases in strength and power due to testosterone and other androgen hormones. An appropriate strength and conditioning programme will increase the motor skills, coordination, strength and power in children and adolescents. Adolescents may be prone to overuse injuries during periods of rapid growth in height and mass. Maturation should be measured in youth athletes to properly monitor their growth and well-being as athletes.
Tactical Strength & Conditioning
Tactical strength and conditioning is the application of strength and conditioning principles in a tactical (e.g. military, law enforcement, etc.) training environment [1, 4]. The term “tactical athlete” can refer to police officers, Tier 1 soldiers, firefighters, or even emergency medical service personnel. Despite promising growth over the past few years within various tactical organisations, there is still a fair amount of confusion as to what exactly tactical strength and conditioning should look like. Highlighting unique challenges, identifying common solutions, and exploring current and future research will make it easier to optimise the performance of tactical athletes at all levels.