Playing the sport is the only sport specific training to achieve the optimal adaptations to improve performance in the sport. Anything else we use is to build fitness, strength and athletic abilities that will transfer to the sport.
Sport specific is the transferability of training to the sport.
A) movement classification. What are the actual movements that you will use in the sport. If your sport is to run in staight line, your training needs to be running or doing other movements in staight line
B) motor control. How to train the motor abilities based on energy systems which are specific to that sport
C) strength qualities. Strength qualities necessary for the sport and how to apply them (force, time to apply it, what is the most efficient way to do that).
D) Primary joint angles and force vectors. How to absord and apply different forces to make the athlete more efficient to move faster.
E) External stimuli. React to an external stimuli or ignore it and focus to whatever you need to react to.
F) Common injuries of sport. Training program must be based around preventing the injuries from excessive overuse of the actual sport. Coaches need to develop the training plan around bulletproofing athletes’ body to prevent or reduce the incident of those injuries occuring.
These things are really important when you get to a high level of sport but you have to built the foundation first. Without a solid foundation, we can’t apply any of the sport specific points.