Few words in the English language can match the array of meanings that the term 'conditioning' enjoys, but there is only one connotation in the worlds of sports and fitness: namely, to improve the ability to perform. Conditioning often has a pivotal role between top success and an 'also-ran' in any sporting competition.
Exercising to improve fitness and performance is a most personal matter. Amateurs and those without the guidance of a certified instructor risk wasting energy or even harming their long term interests, by conditioning inappropriately. Proper and planned conditioning is the hallmark of every professional sports person, no matter whether a court game, team event or individual athletics which is involved.
Two basic steps define professional success in conditioning: the first is to tailor each program to the type of sport in which an athlete wishes to excel, and the second is to establish a baseline of relevant parameters at the outset. Power and strength matter most for some professionals, while agility, flexibility and coordination are more relevant for other sports. Speed and endurance are other alternate considerations for athletes.
The baseline is always relevant no matter which goals are chosen for a conditioning program, as proper evaluation of progress is not possible without such data. The type of exercises, and the frequency and duration of sessions will also depend on baseline evaluation of relevant fitness parameters.
A personal trainer always adds value to anyone's conditioning, for it is difficult to decide on appropriate exercise and to measure effects on your own. Conditioning is not for professional athletes alone, and should be used by anyone who would like to enjoy the fruits of better fitness and sports performance.