Strength and conditioning: what is specificity?

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Dan Cleather

The principle of specificity is one of the least well-understood concepts in strength and conditioning. Broadly, the principle of specificity states that any training conducted by an athlete should be specific to their sport. This maxim should be interpreted in a general sense. All sports require an athlete to have a number of qualities to be successful (for example, skill, speed or strength). Therefore, any activity that improves a quality that is necessary for a given sport is specific to that sport. Where the confusion lies, is in the fact that the term sport-specific is sometimes interpreted too narrowly.

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