What are they and how do they connect to make a better athlete?
Skill is often the result you see during performance, aka game days. It is quickness, speed, coordination, agility, change of direction, or any attribute that you see an athlete perform through out their game.
Most athletes increase their skills simply by playing their sport. If you want a better jump shot, then you should probably go work on your jump shot. Struggling to make contact on a swing? You may want to go take some extra cuts at BP. Often times this is exactly what athletes do, they work on their skill through playing their sport. Sadly, they believe this to be the only and best way to gain an advantage. If this was the only way to get better, then we would see far more elite level athletes throughout sports. One area where a large majority of athletes miss out on becoming better, is the weight room!
Strength is the ability to apply force in short. It is the foundation for better performance in addition to skill work. When I say strength, you do not have to go out and back squat 750lbs. You simply need to build a base level of strength in which you can convert into a high level of POWER! There are limitless studies that have shown that an increase in general strength elicits greater power output. If you can squat 1.7 - 2.0x your body weight, chances are this is a great starting point to begin converting that strength into power.
Becoming stronger leads to gaining more power, leads to being more explosive which yields a greater increase in skill sets like jumping higher, throwing harder, changing direction quicker, enhanced coordination, and the ability to apply force into the ground faster which has a direct correlation to speed development!
When you combine skill work and a properly designed strength training program, it can take your game to the next level!