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The Four S’s of Sports Performance: Strength, Stability, Speed, and Skill

Strength Stability Speed and Skill

Sports performance is based on an athlete’s technical skills and physical capabilities. Elite athletes want to push their bodies to become faster and stronger. You can hone technical abilities and optimize fitness with targeted conditioning and training. A complete training program includes the following elements of sports performance: strength, stability, speed, and skill.


The adage “use it or lose it” applies to muscular strength. Muscle mass naturally decreases over time, so athletes must consistently work on all major muscle groups throughout the week. Plus, strength training does more than bulk you up. It is also important for building stronger bones, managing weight, and decreasing the risk of injury.


Stability refers to the body’s ability to rebound from a disturbance in equilibrium. In the most basic sense, it’s about shifting your center of gravity. For example, you can reposition your center of gravity when knocked off balance. In sports training, a lot of emphasis is put on core stability. While core stability is crucial, athletes also need joint stability, balance, and posture. 


Going fast requires many body systems working together. First, your sensory system perceives and processes the environment. Then, fast twitch muscles give a sudden burst of energy to accelerate. However, maintaining maximum speed results in the build-up of lactic acid. So, speed endurance training is important in order for an athlete to be able to maintain max speed for as long as possible while increasing their lactate threshold.


Each sport has specific skill sets, such as breath control, flip turns in swimming, or passing and shooting in basketball. Better technique means increased physical efficiency. You can do more with less energy over extended periods as your skills improve. Significantly, proper skill technique also reduces the risk of injury.

Which sports need strength, stability, speed, and skill?

Fast-paced athletics need a combination of technical ability and physical fitness. So, improving strength, speed, and skills helps in any sport. Activities that need optimal physical performance include: 
Track and field 
Skating and hockey
Martial arts

Sports Performance: Strength, Stability, Speed, and Skill

Successful elite athletes train these components of sports performance: strength, stability, speed, and skill. The first step is identifying your current level in each area and developing a growth plan. Next, we’ll work with you through our Elite Athlete Performance Plan to identify specific goals and design an individual training program. Schedule a consultation online today.

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