Why Strength and Conditioning Coaches Should Take Play Seriously

by Rick Howard MEd, CSCS,*D
NSCA Coach March 2018
Vol 4, Issue 1

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Athletic performance can be enhanced through the use of implementing various unstructured, semi-structured, and structured play from the 12 types of play. These can be performed in the weight room, at a sports practice, or even at home.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

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References 

  1. Côté, J, Erickson, K, and Abernethy, B. Play and practice during childhood. Condition of Children’s Talent Development in Sport. Morgantown, WV: Fitness Information Technology; 9-20, 2013. 
  2. Ginsburg, KR. The importance of play in promoting healthy child development and maintaining strong parent-child bonds. Pediatrics 119(1): 182-191, 2007. 
  3. Howard, R. Games to support physical literacy and long-term athletic development. NSCA Coach 2(3): 18-19, 2015. 
  4. Howard, R. Integrative neuromuscular training for youth. NSCA Coach 2(2): 18-19, 2015. 
  5. Jayanthi, N, Pinkham, C, Dugas, L, Patrick, B, and LaBella, C. Sports specialization in young athletes: Evidence-based recommendations. Sports Health 5(3): 251-257, 2013. 
  6. Miller, E, and Almon, J. Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School. College Park, MD: Alliance for Childhood, 2009. 
  7. Support the physical development of children. State of New South Wales. Retrieved December 1, 2016 from https:// sielearning.tafensw.edu.au/MCS/CHCFC301A/12048/chcfc301a/ lo/9246/index.htm.
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Rick Howard, MEd, CSCS,*D

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Rick Howard is a doctoral candidate at Rocky Mountain University in Health Promotion and Wellness. He is an Assistant Professor in Applied Sports Scie...

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