Currently, little is known about strength and conditioning programs at the high school level. Therefore, the purpose of this research was to explore current practices in strength and conditioning for varsity high school athletes in selected sports. Specifically examined were: who administers programs for these athletes, what kinds of training activities are done, and whether the responsible party or emphasis changes depending on the gender of the athletes. Coaches of varsity soccer, basketball, and softball/baseball in three large Idaho school districts were asked to complete an online survey. Sixty-seven percent (32/48) of the questionnaires were completed and used for the study. The majority of coaches (84%) provided strength and conditioning opportunities for their athletes, although only 37% required participation. Strength training programs were designed and implemented primarily by either physical education (PE) teachers or head coaches. Compared to coaches of male athletes, coaches of female athletes were less likely to know the credentials of their strength coaches, and they were less likely to use certified coaches to plan and implement their strength and conditioning programs. Most programs included dynamic warm-ups and cool-downs, plyometrics, agility training, speed training, and conditioning, and most programs were conducted three days a week (76%) for sessions lasting between 30 and 59 minutes (63%). Compared to their female counterparts, male athletes were more likely to have required training, participate in strength training year round, and train using more sessions per week. This study provides additional information related to the practice of strength and conditioning in a sample of high school athletic teams.
This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Volume 26, Issue 1, 174-183. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31821852b7
Reynolds, Monica Lynn; Ransdell, Lynda B.; Lucas, Shelley; Petlichkoff, Linda M.; and Gao, Yong. (2012). "An Examination of Current Practices and Gender Differences in Strength and Conditioning in a Sample of Varsity High School Athletic Programs". Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 26(1), 174-183.