TACTIC: Movement 101
Now that we have strength standards set for our athletes, lets take those athletes and teach them how to move and apply these new found forces. This is something that is often overlooked in the performance world. You cannot get stuck chasing numbers in the weight room all off-season and expect to move better with more efficiency on the field or court.
We as coaches are working to rid athletes of bad habits, improper firing patterns, and highlight individual strength and/or mobility issues that can be noted and fixed as quickly as possible.
90% of athletes are going to know what an athletic position is. I typically teach them to get comfortable 6 inches lower than they demonstrate to me. What does this do? This shows them how much strength is needed to hold a position like this (especially on one leg), and also makes landings and decelerating much harder than they once thought. Teaching this in a controlled environment where they can feel the angles and positions they are in is key to contribute to the learning process.
General to Specific -
Train the brakes before the accelerator. Start slow, work on positioning and then increase the speed or force which the athlete has to stop/land. I have some variation of this every training day.
Deceleration, stopping, landing
What are some basic athletic movements that all athletes should know how to perform?
Decelerate/stop, accelerate, re-accelerate, hop, jump, bound
These concepts can and should be done at all levels. Most of the college/pro athletes I come across cannot land well on one leg. This does not mean they are not athletic...most of them can fix it after one coaching cue and progress though the stages of learning very quickly. Younger athletes will typically need more time as they are being introduced to a lot while they are growing. You'll find athletes will all progress at different speeds. Constant reinforcement of positioning will also help the athletes to keep attention to detail.
Once, there is a baseline competency on the basic patterns, start moving more specifically to the demands of the sport.
- Vball athletes find themselves in a very low lateral squat position with their arms extended in front of them.
- Football quarterbacks have to drop back, hip turn, and accelerate out of the pocket.
- Specificity will depend on group sizes, time, coaching/athlete ratio, and time of year
If you cannot get out on the field/court with the entire team, work some of these jumping and landing concepts in with the weight room warmups or pair with resistance training movements. The options are almost limitless, be creative, demonstrate, and relate the why's back to sport. Take your population, do a needs analysis of their sport/position movement demands, and create a plan. In general, you won't go wrong with the basics, it just does not look that interesting on social media :) I wish everyone the most success and happiness. I hope I can help out at some point along the ride!