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Performance: Part II - Where to start?

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

- Leonardo Da Vinci

This does not only apply in the high school setting. I implement versions of this with all the athletes and general population clients I work with, from youth to professional, in the private, and university settings as well.

Where to start?

Have a plan and keep it simple. You cannot fail if you have your athletes do the foundational movement patterns until they look perfect (this can take awhile).

Squat | Hinge | Lunge | Push | Pull | Carry

Movements need to be done with slower tempos, teaching correct posture and body positioning. This will also reinforce the mobility and stability needed to maintain these positions. I've seen football players that cannot hold a basic athletic position for 30 seconds. This phase of training needs to be done as long as it takes until a movement competency is established, and will be different based on training age, sport, time of year, and facility/staff limitations.

How to progress?

Create standards to pass out of this phase. This will start a culture of merit where athletes can compete with one another and themselves. "Coach, when are we going to bench?, said all athletes" If you utilize bench press to help your athletes, have an answer to this. Do you progress them to bench after they can do 10 perfect pushups with a 3 second eccentric with 45lbs on their back? Do you progress after they can do 5 strict pull-ups and those same pushups? Create standards that initially seem out of reach, you'll see some amazing things happen.

Some athletes might be in Block 0 for an entire year before they can put a bar on their back, but if seeing their peers work hard to get strong and move well doesn't motivate them, I don't want them on my team. Every setting is different, coaches need to make educated decisions of why they are doing things, and where they can improve to help the athletes succeed on the field/court injury free.

Future topics?

- Movement training on the field vs. Conditioning

- Conditioning vs. Making athletes tired

- Readers choice?

Thank you as always and have a great Thursday/Friday/Weekend!

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