Will my performance training in one sport transfer to other sports?

Most of the time, in order to get better at your sport, the best method is to play that sport.  There will be things that can help, such as cardio training, SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) training and whatnot. These drills should be geared specifically for your sport.  Now, if you are wanting to do another sport (usually a good thing), how much transfers over? Well, it depends on how similar the sports are. If you are already doing SAQ training then you should be stronger, more agile and quicker than you once were. Place those demands into your newly aquired sport and see what fits. Yes, some will transfer, but each sport has its own set of demands, such as type of strength, how much & what type of cardio and what types of agility forces are needed. While some of the demands will transfer, you may be surprised at how using your body (and its systems) differently will not necessarily mean an easy transition.
Depending on your experience level, fitness levels, and the similiarities of the sports some or much of your performance from one sport can transfer over to another sport. A sport with completely different motor skill demands and energy system demands might have very little cary over. For example being a really good tri athlete might not prepare you very well to play baseball and vice versa. In the realm of motor learning and motor skill development we learn sports by combining together various motor skills we have acquired over our life into a combination that allows us to perform the motor tasks demanded of us by the sport. For sports with similar motor skill task demands like baseball and golf, or hockey and lacrosse training for one sport will help prepare you in general for the other sport. The more similar the demands, physiologically, mechanically, and motor skill wise, the greater the carry over.
Despite having some general commonalities no sport is without it's unique demands, motor skill, energy system, and rules and technique wise. An effective strategy to improving general over all sports is to maintain appropriate levels of fitness and to participate in a wide variety of sports activities to develop as many generalized motor skills as possible.
Paul Winsper
Sports Medicine
If you have established proper technique along with a robust base of health and fitness, your training will transfer from one sport to another. Movement patterns are often mimicked in many sports, however, every sport is unique when it comes to the requirements to play the sport effectively (some sports require more strength, speed, agility, or conditioning, etc.) - so time to create that specialization is always beneficial. As you transfer from one sport to the next, it is certain that athletic attributes and general health and fitness will transfer too. What you may need to focus on are the specific differences in the requirements of each sport (for example, football requires a different type of strength and power than volleyball). If you have a baseline of conditioning, this makes the transfer from one sport to another easier, and allows your training to become more specialized to the sport you have transferred into.

Continue Learning about Sports & Athletic Performance

Sports Physicals 101: Who Needs Them and Why
Sports Physicals 101: Who Needs Them and Why
For many students, the back to school routine usually involves seeing their doctor for a yearly checkup. Once kids reach middle school, high school an...
Read More
How can I find a coach for my child?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
If you’re thinking about enrolling your child into a sport, typically, the coaches are provide...
More Answers
Calories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer Sports
Calories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer SportsCalories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer SportsCalories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer SportsCalories Elite Athletes Burn During Summer Sports
Learn how many calories top athletes might burn playing these summer games.
Start Slideshow
What Motivates You to Help Athletes?
What Motivates You to Help Athletes?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.