Athletic Development is a program designed to improve all components of physical performance such as strength, power, speed, agility, endurance, and flexibility. The groundworks of proper and efficient movement are key when developing athletes as bad movement patterns can lead to compensations, overuse, and injury. Chad Powlovich, our director of athletic development, works with students in Grades 5 - 12 throughout the school year and summer break to ensure our athletes are moving well and improving as overall athletes. To make the most of your summer workouts, keep these tips in mind.
Master the Basics
Start slow and make sure all of your movements are up to par before speeding up drills or adding more resistance in strength exercises. Once you have mastered the basics, make sure you add in the following:
Without a strong core it is very difficult to move well! Make sure you are strong in the sagittal plane (with front planks, dead bugs, bird dogs) and frontal plane (with side planks and carries) before you add rotation (for example, medicine ball throws).
Don’t Forget Speed & Agility
Speed is the ability of the body to move in a direction as quickly as possible. Agility is the ability to accelerate or decelerate, or change directions. Both speed and agility are essential in most sports. Make sure you have proper mechanics when decelerating as this is when many injuries occur.
Add Power & Strength
Along with speed and agility, power and strength make up many of the movements we perform in sport, and life in general. For power, add skips, bounds, and jumps into your workout routine. For strength, bodyweight movements such as glute bridges, squats, lunges, pushups, and pullups are all great movements. Perfect the bodyweight movements and add more repetitions to increase volume before adding resistance.
Focus on dynamic movements before your workouts (for example, leg swings, lunge and twists, single leg rdl). This is a warm-up so you can move through these exercises quickly and only holding each for a few seconds. Post-exercise is a time for static stretches. Your muscles are warm and pliable from working out and now is a time to try to improve flexibility. Hold each stretch for forty five seconds to one minute.
Develop a good aerobic base first with long and slower runs before increasing the intensity and decreasing your rest time. Your rest is aerobic, and without a good base you won’t be able to recover between bouts of high intensity exercises such as sprints.
If you want to get better at anything, you have to be consistent. Performing all of the above on a consistent bases will remind your bodies how to move and you will see results faster.