University of Technology Sydney

96303 Conditioning the High Performance Athlete

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines the role of resistance training, aerobic/anaerobic conditioning, and other contemporary techniques that are used to prepare high performance athletes. Students develop a strong understanding of the fundamental principles which underpin the training response, as well as learn to critically evaluate emerging techniques within the strength and conditioning field. Additionally, this subject equips students with an in-depth understanding of training prescription that can be utilised in any field that prescribes exercise (e.g. exercise physiology, physiotherapy, exercise rehabilitation). The strategies and interventions explored in this course focus on enhancing performance, increasing robustness, and reducing the risk of injury for high performance athletes - core skills essential for professionals working in high-performance sport. Students will engage in problem-solving and critical thinking activities which promote independent learning and the effective translation of expertise into practice.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Articulate the mechanical demands and physiological responses to a range of training modalities.
B. Assess the physical capacities critical to sport performance and injury reduction, and apply this information to develop individualised training programs.
C. Design and implement structured training programs to improve physical capacity/function and increase robustness in the context of long-term athlete development.
D. Integrate objective and subjective information to modify physical training programs that are responsive to the needs of the individual athletes.
E. Select and evaluate quality information sources relating to athlete preparation, with a particular focus on the critical appraisal of techniques with limited scientific evidence.
F. Critically evaluate training programs designed for high-performance sports performance, and communicate program design to a range of stakeholders.

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Adapt to an extensive array of stakeholder circumstances and integrate evidence to empower optimal and sustainable sport, exercise and health outcomes for service users. (1.2)
  • Expertly solve problems by applying advanced methodologies of sport, exercise and health interventions in a logical and systematic manner; and the ability to document decisions appropriately. (2.2)
  • Demonstrate expert judgement, legal responsibility and ethical accountability to practise within the ethical boundaries of high performance sport professions and in accordance with professional practice, governance and privacy obligations to uphold ethical practice and the values of sporting excellence, fairness and athlete safety and wellbeing. (3.1)
  • Expertly apply high-quality knowledge and technical and non-technical skills within sport, exercise and health professions to contribute to the safe development of specialist and non-specialist audiences. (4.1)
  • Expertly integrate expertise and synthesise evidence to determine the validity and reliability of a range of advanced methodologies, tools and techniques and employ those relevant to high performance sport practice. (4.2)
  • Demonstrate holistic collaboration with key stakeholders to expertly design, deliver and interpret safe, effective and evidence-based high performance sports interventions for service users in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner. (5.1)
  • Expertly communicate with key stakeholders and adapt to challenging, complex and diverse industry contexts to create positive and professional relationships in a high performance sport environment. (5.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning in this subject is designed to place students at the centre of the learning experience, in part through the use of a range of modes and activities. Four online modules will form the foundations of the subject, with the addition of a face-to-face workshop and a practical exam in the end-of-session block.

The subject content will be delivered in the online platform Canvas. In order to be prepared for the planned collaborative activities and to keep on top the subject workload, students are encouraged to engage with the content on at least a weekly basis. The class will receive weekly feedback directly from the subject coordinator on activities and topics from that week. Content will remain available past the specific delivery week, however students will get more out of the subject if they work consistently on a week-to-week basis rather than leaving it all to the end of the session.

In line with industry practices, students will be required to interact and communicate information in a variety of formats, including in written and verbal forms (e.g. upload video), and through the use of technology integration (e.g. strength and conditioning programming software).

Throughout the subject, teaching and learning strategies will also foster the development of self-discovery/self-directed learning skills, as well as critical thinking skills. They will challenge students to consider how they can apply learnt concepts to real world environments. Assessment tasks are designed to enable students to demonstrate application of what they have learned, with individual feedback provided following each of the four assessment tasks.

Content (topics)

Module 0: State of the profession

  • Professional roles and responsibilities
  • Integration with high performance teams and medical staff
  • Competency vs Knowledge
  • Art vs science: adapting to experience
  • What is the ultimate goal of strength and conditioning?
  • Individual vs team sports

Module 1: Resistance training for the high performance athlete

  • The textbook: developing strength, hypotrophy and power
  • What is the underlying physiology in strength training adaptation?
  • Force-Velocity and Length-tension relationships
  • Eccentric overload: why is it different?
  • Strength training and endurance performance
  • Isometric exercise interventions
  • Strength training for youth athletes
  • Testing to inform prescription

Module 2: Conditioning the athlete for their sport

  • Cardio: central vs peripheral adaptations
  • Targets of conditioning: what are the expected outcomes?
  • Testing and prescription tools: why does it matter?
  • Prescribing common environmental interventions
  • Psychobiological training concepts
  • Developing the elite endurance athlete
  • Speed development and change of direction

Module 3: Translation to sports performance

  • Art vs Science: is it a war?
  • Warm-ups: supported by science?
  • Concurrent training and order effects
  • Training periodisation
  • Detraining responses
  • Female athlete considerations
  • Concurrent training
  • Adaptative athletes and Paralympic sports


Assessment task 1: Exploring Current Topics in Strength and Conditioning


The intent of this assessment is for students to explore, critically appraise and communicate a contemporary concept in conditioning high performance athletes.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

4.2 and 5.2

Weight: 40%

Part I (10%) - 4 x 150-200 words (total 600-800 words);
Part II (30%) - Five-minute video posted online in subject forum; three responses to other students' comments on your video weekly comment on other students' videos.

Assessment task 2: Design, deliver and assess a longitudinal training program


The intent of this assessment is for students to critically analyse the physical demands of a specific sport and develop a holistic training program aimed to improve performance and resilience. Students will then be required to communicate this program to a variety of stakeholders, with various technical backgrounds.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C, E and F

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.2, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1

Weight: 40%

1 x seasonal overview created in Visualcoaching Pro (to be submitted as a pdf),
2 x weekly programs created in Visualcoaching Pro (to be submitted as pdf),
1 x 2 min video

Assessment task 3: Delivering a Strength Training Session


The intent of this assessment is for students to implement a training program aimed at improving athlete performance and resilience. Students will be required to explore concepts around program communication and implementation this program with an athlete, as well as explain and justify the rationale around exercise prescriptions.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

3.1, 4.2 and 5.1

Weight: 20%

60 min coaching session; 20 minute live Zoom with assessor

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:

For other resources/ information refer to the Faculty of Health website ( and Canvas at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, health literature databases, workshops and bookable study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with your questions available via online chat, phone and in person. W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666.

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733.

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.

The Accessibility and Financial Assistance Service
The Accessibility Service can support students with disabilities, medical or mental health conditions, including temporary injuries (e.g., broken limbs). The Accessibility Service works with Academic Liaison Officers in each Faculty to provide ‘reasonable adjustments’ such as exam provisions, assistive technology, requests and strategies for managing your studies alongside your health condition. If you’re unsure whether you need assistance, we recommend getting in touch early and we can provide advice on how our service can assist you. Make an appointment with an Accessibility Consultant (AC) on +61 2 9514 1177 or

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