Islander Strength & Conditioning Principles


Strength & Conditioning Summer Manual

Strength & Conditioning Camp

Islanders Sports Performance Clinic Information and Sign-Up

Form Follows Function - Athletes should train movements, not only muscles.  The goal of training the bench or squat will be to increase force output, not more defined arms or bigger quads.  Gains in size are a secondary result to strength gains.  The purpose of strength & conditioning workouts will be to train athletic movements through:


  • 1. Ground-based Movements - sports are played standing up, so training will be done standing at least part of every workout. This can be accomplished through a variety of exercises ranging from plyometrics and Olympic lifts to med ball work.
  • 2. Multiple Joint Movements - Exercises that involve more than one joint are superior to single joint movements for athletes due to their efficiency and similarity to actual competition; specifically, exercises that focus on the hip joint, where the strongest muscles of the human body are located. Snatch, clean, jerk, squat, dead-lift and all variants are the basis for increasing hip extension forces. (Competitive Olympic lifters, on average, have vertical jumps exceeding 36 inches are also among the fastest athletes in 25-meter sprints.).

Decrease Rate of Injuries - You can't play or train to your best ability if you are hurt.  With that in mind, strength & conditioning focuses on safety in a threefold manner:

  • 1. Safe Training Environment - proper warm-up, awareness of other lifters, use of spotters, collars and safety pins always in place.
  • 2. Work to Correct Imbalances - use of a combination of rehab/pre-hab, mobility/flexibility and posterior chain exercises to prepare the body for the positions/situations most common to sport.
  • 3. Proper Technique - proper training technique is a must. We teach athletes to properly stabilize, move and catch bodily and external weight in the aim that they will be more durable in generating force, absorbing landing forces or contact and stabilizing involved joints as required for their every-day sport movements.

Posterior Chain Strength - the posterior chain is all of the muscle systems on the back side of the body.  Most of the movements in sport require athletes to push away, drive forward or get up.  As a result, many athletes walk into a weight room anterior dominant.  To correct this imbalance, exercises to train the posterior shoulders, upper back, low back, glutes, and hamstrings must be done, and done with INTENSITY.  A strong posterior chain enables the athlete not only to stabilize joints and better decelerate for injury prevention, but generate more force as well (aids in both athletic movements and rate of injury!).  

TRAIN HARD - "Undertake something that is difficult; it will do you good.  Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow."  --Ronald Osborn  Most of those outside, looking into athletics only see the glamour and the glory of the competition.  They want to be an athlete because they want to be cool.  In reality, NOTHING about the journey leading up to that victory is very cool.  The work that it takes to be successful is ugly, sweaty, dirty and guttural-it is almost impossible to look good doing it.  You have to sell out and go for it to meet tough training or practice objectives.  The goal of Islander Strength & Conditioning is for the effort it takes to perform to be much less painful than the effort required in training-better to sweat in practice than to bleed in battle!  By training hard as a team, we strive to become the mentally and physically toughest competitors in the Southland Conference.