Back to the basics for improved athletic performance

May 21, 2009

The first question that may have popped into your mind was “basics as in squats, deadlifts and other compound exercises?” And my answer is “No, even more basic than that”. So what could someone do that’s even more basic??

Let me just sidetrack briefly: The longer I’m in this industry working with young athletes, The more coaching/correcting I have to do of basic movement skills whether its running, side shuffling, backpedalling, or simple jumping. However, these all start with one basic position which most people have learned as an athletic position.

So when I mean “basic” in this post, I’m ging way back before we even talk about loading someone with a bar of their back. With inexperienced trainees, its often a case of having to cue the position of their hips, chest, eyes so that we can create a new habit. More experienced young athletes on the other hand, still need to be cued on staying in that athletic position for shuffling or to stay at the same level instead of popping when they run or perform some other movement drill.

With the inexperienced trainees, it becomes a case of teaching them that there is a best way to move on the field, court, or ice. With the more experienced athletes, its more a case of refining movement so that energy is not wasted or leaked.

This is something that can make a huge difference in terms of movement quality and in turn non-specific athletic performance.

Alos, I forgot to ask: to all you northeasterners (I’m including my feelow Canucks in this) — how ’bout this summery weather??!!



7 Responses to “Back to the basics for improved athletic performance”

  1. Do you do isometric exercises at all? They’re pretty effective at building strength when done properly.


  2. Chris Brown Says:

    Raza, honestly I do not do much purely isometric exercises at all.
    With that said, I will often give isometric pauses depening on the degree of
    someone’s weakness and/or imbalance. For example, if a young athlete needs to work on upper back strength, I would include a 1 or 2 sec pause at the midpoint of a pushup or a row.
    Thanks for the comment!

  3. How often do you come across correcting a poorly learned technique that is now habit vs training someone new or tweaking a fairly good positioning? And when you do come across the bad habit technique, what have you found is the best way to correct that?

  4. Chris Brown Says:

    What I lean more towards is if demo and explanation both dont work, put them in the proper position with my hands. I find that this mostly comes into play with individuals with poor movement skills/lack what we would call athleticism b/c they dont have the kinesthetic awareness to differentiate between what they’re doing and what I want them to do.

    If they dont have that kinesthetic awareness which many kids these days (and older untrained individuals), it takes time since their brain has to make new connections, so I just keep cueing what I want interspersed with other teaching styles until they start getting it on their own.

  5. pathfitness Says:

    Don’t you think this is the job of the (sport) coach? If a basketball player comes to you, are you going to teach him foot work down in the post?

  6. Chris Brown Says:

    I don’t touch the sport, but this doesn’t mean I dont teach movement skills (after all what is speed and agility??) If I get that basketball player and he doesn’t have a good athletic position or has poor shuffling technique or some other basic movement skill, I think either the sport coaches (past and present) haven’t worried about teaching the given skill or they’ve tried and their methods didn’t produce the intended result. Either way, its my job to clean up poor basic movement skills before I progress to more advanced stuff.

  7. pathfitness Says:

    You have to be careful trying teach ‘movement’ skills. It’s one thing to cue on lifts or specific tests such as 5-10-5, it’s another to cue on ‘movement’ skills, because once you’re on the feild or court things are always different, and they will go back to what they naturally do.

    Having athletes run over speed ladders and mini hurdles, are mostly a waste of time, one- they cause you to look down, second- its a peretermined movement pattern. In sport you react to the enviroment.

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