Strength and Conditioning for Sport

Strength and Conditioning for Sport       
Prepared by  Prepared by: Aaron Holt, Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach, Australian Institute of Sport, Sport Australia (formerly Australian Sports Commission)
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Julian Jones, Head of Strength & Conditioning, Australian Institute of Sport and Ross Smith, Operations Manager, Strength and Conditioning, Australian Institute of Sport
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 26 October 2017
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Community Sport Coaching
Sport Australia


Strength and conditioning in sport is a deliberate practice focusing on a number of key human performance attributes including, speed, agility, endurance, strength, power, stability and flexibility. The ongoing development of these traits in training requires thorough planning, monitoring and management in order to achieve improved performance by elite athletes—ultimately in their major competitions. The ‘planning’, ‘monitoring’ and ‘management’ processes also maintain a strong focus on injury prevention—and rehabilitation post injury. 

A strength and conditioning coach's role is to work in conjunction with the sports coach (and athletes) to design specific programs that will address the particular needs of an individual athlete, team, or sport.  Ideally this practice will also be undertaken in collaboration with other high performance service provider disciplines.

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Strength and Conditioning staff develop and deliver training programs for all Australian Winning Edge athletes. This covers Canberra based athletes as well as decentralised sports across Australia.

Each athlete's program is individually tailored to meet their specific needs. These programs are designed by the AIS Strength and Conditioning staff, in consultation with sports medicine practitioners and sport coaches, to allow each athlete to progressively achieve their optimal performance.  


ASCA LogoAustralian Strength and Conditioning Association. The ASCA is the lead body for strength and conditioning coaches in Australia, representing over 6000 accredited coaches coaching athletes/teams across all levels of athletes.

The ASCA conducts professional coach education courses (Level 1,2,3) that are recognised through the National Coach Accreditation scheme administered by the Sport Australia. The association also publishes The Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning (JASC) which is a refereed research publication that covers all aspects of Strength and Conditioning. The aim of the journal is to provide members and readers with the most up to date information. Each issue of JASC can include Original Scientific Research Studies, Reviews of the Literature, Exercise Highlights, From the Field articles, round table discussions and interviews with leaders in the industry; all on a wide variety of strength and conditioning topics. 

The aim of the ASCA is to 'bridge the gap between sports science and practical application'.

ESSA 100pxExercise and Sport Science Australia. ESSA is a professional organisation which is committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Australian State Institutes and Academies of Sport

SASI_30px    South Australian Sports Institute (SASI)

TIS_30px    Tasmanian Institute of Sport (TIS), referred to as Physical Preparation

VIS_30px    Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS), referred to as Physical Preparation

WAIS_30px    Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS)


  • American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM members range from academics to students and from personal trainers to physicians, their association of sports medicine, exercise science, and health and fitness professionals is dedicated to helping people worldwide live longer, healthier lives.
  • Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCa). Offers strength & conditioning programs for high school, collegiate, and professional athletic programs across the United States of America (USA).
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association. The NSCA was founded in 1978 and is the leader for strength and conditioning professionals, who include elite strength coaches, personal trainers and dedicated researchers and educators, in the USA. They have an active voice in the communication of news, evidence-based research and educational material, through generated research and publications and certified courses. Its headquarters—the NSCA Performance Centre, Colorado Springs—serves as a proving ground for the testing an application of scientific principles to optimise sports performance. The Centre boasts contemporary facilities for athletes of all ages and skill levels and is dedicated to the enhancing athletic performance. A function of the Centre is also to educate and train aspiring coaches, further development to qualified candidates, through offering multiple internships and assistantships each year.  
  • The United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association. The formation of the UKSCA in 2004 provided a focus for the creative and professional energies of UK Strength and Conditioning practitioners, which in turn has raised professional standards within the industry and provided a clear pathway for aspiring coaches to enter this dynamic field. The UKSCA aims to establish and maintain high professional standards for UK Strength & Conditioning Practitioners, through the promotion and dissemination of good practice, knowledge and relevant research.   

The ASCA launched its Pro Structure in 2007 to identify individuals who possess the qualifications and experience to design and implement safe and effective strength and conditioning programs for athletes either in an individual or team environment. By adopting this Professional Coaching Structure, ASCA Professional Coaches will be distinguished and recognised as working within the recognised sporting structures.

The ASCA offers a range of courses, providing non-accredited introductory level education (Level 0) and professional accreditation (Levels 1-3) for strength and conditioning coaches.

A range of Australian organisations and Institutions offer specific strength and conditioning courses, internships, or volunteer coaching opportunities for aspiring professionals. These include:

Professional Accreditation

In December 2017 the Australian Sports Commission (now Sport Australia) announced the introduction of a national accreditation scheme for sport scientists (including but not limited to physiologists, biomechanists, performance analysts, skill acquisition specialists and strength scientists) and strength and conditioning coaches. The schemes will be run in partnership with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) and the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association (ASCA). In order to continue receiving funding through Sport Australia's Sport Investment Agreements national sporting organisation will be required to ensure that all sport science and strength and conditioning staff have relevant accreditation with ESSA and/or ASCA by the end of 2018. The scheme will be reviewed after 2 years. 

Where possible, direct links to full-text and online resources are provided. However, where links are not available, you may be able to access documents directly by searching our licenced full-text databases (note: user access restrictions apply). Alternatively, you can ask your institutional, university, or local library for assistance—or purchase documents directly from the publisher. You may also find the information you’re seeking by searching Google Scholar.

Academic Articles


Conference Proceedings

  • Proceedings of the 2016 International Association of Computer Science in Sport (IACSS) Conference. The International Association of Computer Science in Sport Conference 2016 took place between July 31– August 3, 2016 in Brasilia, Brazil. The aim of the conference was to promote the inter-disciplinary field of sport science and computer science in order to face challenging problems in sports and exercise sciences, supported by formal models, analytical approaches and computational support. (IACSS)

Electronic journals


Clearinghouse Videos

Please note a number of the resources below (as indicated) are restricted to ‘GOLD' AIS Advantage small AIS Advantage members only.
Please see the Clearinghouse membership categories for further information.


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