Strength and Conditioning is an important pillar in performing successfully on “game day” for all types of athlete.

As strength and conditioning coaches, our number 1 goal in helping the athlete is injury prevention. It doesn’t matter how strong and fast we make an athlete if they continue to get injured.  There’s no way to prove your ability through performance when you’re on the sidelines nursing a torn muscle.

Sport is repetitive in nature, involving very similar actions, performed over and over and over again.

In footy for instance, we run constantly, kicking (usually) with our dominant foot, often jumping many times in a match or training session off the same leg. In tennis, hitting forehands with the same hand, rotating the same direction time after time after time. These repetitions create tightness and muscular asymmetries over time, which in turn can lead to a decrease in power output, decreased performance and an increased chance of injury. Strength and conditioning should target these movements, restoring symmetry to your body and working on these tight spots.

Compounding repetitive stress through training and competing, should an athlete spend long periods sitting at a desk for work or study, their hip flexors will become tight and overactive from being in that flexed position all day.  With the glutes becoming stretched and inactive, these combined lead to an anteriorly tilted pelvis. A weak inactive glute can cause many problems since other muscles work overtime to produce more power than they ultimately should be  in order to compensate.  Hamstring injuries are a common occurrence as a result of this.

Without the intervention of a good strength and conditioning coach an athlete usually won’t get back to a neutral position.

A great strength and conditioning program (with a great coach overseeing it) will improve mobility, stability, strength, power, speed, endurance and movement patterns ....that is to say, it will increase performance. At ESS we aim to do all of these whilst being able to identify weakness and asymmetries and correct them.

Ultimately, while we as strength and conditioning coaches love to see our athletes getting stronger and faster, if we can simply keep you on the park by preventing you from getting injured, we have achieved our main responsibility to you as an athlete.

Darren Rowland

Darren Rowland joined ESS in 2013 after being accepted as one of twelve interns in the ESS Coaching Mentorship Program. Darren showed great enthusiasm and promise as a coach and after successfully completing the twelve month internship, secured the role of Assistant Coach for the ESS Athlete Development Program.

In 2014, Darren was appointed a full time role as Strength and Conditioning Coach for ESS and was promoted in 2015 to a Senior Coaching Position working alongside the Head of High Performance for the Athlete Development Program. Currently Darren manages the AFL, cricket, fencing, and snow sports programs together with assisting high grade motorsport and athletics programs. Combining the knowledge gained through his education background, with his practical experience and expertise as a coach, Darren takes a strong approach to biomechanics, exercise physiology, motor control as well as exercise rehabilitation. Darren is committed to ensuring his knowledge and practices are cutting edge by regularly keeping up to date with the scientific literature and continuing education programs. His commitment to continued self-development as a coach ensures he is at the forefront of performance programming for athletes. This commitment has enabled Darren to work with an extensive list of athletes from grass roots level to national and international representatives.

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