The fundementals of the game aren't just about your technical ability and how well one player can read the game. There is a physical aspect that can't be ignored. Preparing your body physically will give you more confidence to express yourself and try new ideas because you feel stronger and less afraid of injury.
When you introduce strength work first and combine it with skill in a young player developing his or her skill. The performance outcome over time is going to be far greater than someone that just focuses their attention on just playing the game.
It's important to note that strength training doesn't always have to mean lifting heavy weights in the gym, it also includes holding positions and performing bodyweight exercises. Such as planks, pushups, chin ups, pull ups and many more core exercises that builds up the muscles you need to protect your body.
When you incorporate strength train in your training routine, you strengthen your Neuromuscular System (strength training involves both nerve and muscle adaption). This results in a greater force and power output during dynamic movement where speed is key. This really helps in facilitating improvements in the capacities of force , power, endurance and speed production needed in the modern game.
Being able to withstand the physical force of an opponent without being put off balance is a crucial requirement. Strength training facilitates this ability and also gives you a greater degree of confidence to withstand your opponents's physical pressure.
Before I entered my first season as a college player at Oregon State, I never took strength training serious. I would barely spend any time in the weight room because at the time i didn't realize how important it was. I thought just training on my own in between my team training sessions was all I needed. Little did I know I was making a huge mistake.
Seeing the transformation of my game and my body after 3 months into my freshman season, I was kicking myself that I took so long to incorporate strength training into my routine. I felt the noticeable difference in how much better my body felt. I was more explosive in my movements, more confident putting my body in danger of a tackle. I took these lessons and habits to heart and never looked back. I made sure to put the time in every year I was blessed to play this game at the Professional level. I truly believe without strength training I wouldn't have made it as far as I did.