Strength and conditioning, but what about skill?

In recent years, members of the strength and conditioning industry have become more involved (than ever before) in the development of combat athletes. Fighters often turn to strength and conditioning coaches in search of greater strength, power, speed, and endurance.

At face value, the extra attention (from the coaches) and the eagerness of the athletes should be commended. Unfortunately, many athletes make the mistake of focusing too much attention on the supplemental work, and not enough on the actual skills of their respective sports. The S&C coach who doesn’t truly understand the specifics of the sport is also at fault. He must understand the intensity and steep learning curve of the combat sport.

Strength, power, and added endurance mean little if the athlete lacks skill. Superior skill is the ultimate equalizer, and regardless of what you read in an advertisement, there is absolutely no substitute for skill training with an experienced coach. As a fighter, much of your development takes place inside the ring or cage. Even the best book, video, or web page can’t provide you with live sparring.

The video clip below shows the importance and danger of skill. Watch how Donald Curry counters the jab with a perfectly placed left hook.

Milton McCrorry never has a chance to brace for the punch, as he is hit before he even knows it. All of the strength training in the world wouldn’t have saved him, nor would the most sophisticated periodization model. Curry beat him with skill. The counter left hook is a thing of beauty when properly executed. Developing the skill and instinct to land this punch without conscious thought requires many hours inside the ring. You can’t buy this ring experience in a book. It only comes to those who put in hours of work at the gym.

The lesson to be learned is simple. Each piece of the puzzle is valued, but no single piece should stand in the way of skill development. Supplemental work is supplemental. Do not make the mistake of putting supplemental work in place of your actual sport/skill.

Ross

Please like & share:

9 comments:

  1. Good point Ross, many athletes focus to much time in the weight room and not enough on the actual sport. You can do 500 burpees in less than an hour, but without the knowledge of how to execute a technique, it doesn’t mean crap.

  2. Another great blog post. I’ve been checking out your website for a couple of months now and have found nothing but great things. Not only great work-out tips but also great motivational posts and posts like these putting everything in perspective. Great website I really love it. Keep it up!

  3. great example of this in the Casamayor/Katsidis fight tonight. Don’t want to give anything away for those who haven’t seen the fight, but that left hook was a thing of beauty (won’t say who threw it, ha)

    Watch the fight if you haven’t.

  4. Josh,

    I agree for the most part, but it is worth mentioning that conditioning IS one of the primary weapons within the arsenal of Katsidis. His strength/conditioning is also largely the reason that he was able to recover after the brutal first round. Taking shots like that can take a LOT out of the body. Katsidis has to be in VERY good shape to recover and come back so strong for the next 8 rounds.

    With that said, Casamayor certainly did land a tremendous shot at the end.

    Definitely an amazing fight. Katsidis almost always guarantees a war with his style. I believe he could have gotten Casamayor out if the stuck with his body attack after knocking him through the ropes. He seemingly abandoned the body attack after however, and it WAS the body attack that had been working so well. The left hook to the liver started the knockdown.

    Anyways, great fight for both men. They will both have big fights after this bout. Casamayor has always been under-rated. He is a VERY smart veteran who knows how to fight. His stellar amateur background is a huge reason for his success. You can’t buy experience. It must be developed the old fashion way.

    Ross

  5. “I agree for the most part, but it is worth mentioning that conditioning IS one of the primary weapons within the arsenal of Katsidis. ”

    oh ya, no doubt. Not taking anything away from Katsidis. The guy is tough as nails! Love watching him fight.

    ” I believe he could have gotten Casamayor out if the stuck with his body attack after knocking him through the ropes.”

    Was saying the exact same thing to my dad last night while watching the fight. We couldn’t understand why he gave up going to the body after it was working so well for him.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *