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How do I start training?
In the rush to get results fast and take shortcuts, or to “get to the interesting stuff” young athletes get broken. Improving the structural integrity of the athlete is essential before moving onto other areas of fitness.
Watching Alien Covenant this week prompted me to update this blog as they used the phrase also.
I used to say that Structural Integrity is composed of 4 key components:
- Posture: Static and dynamic, countering gravity.
- Balance: Static and dynamic, upper/ lower body, single limbs.
- Stability: Joints are strong and can support body weight when moving and static.
- Mobility: How you control limbs over a range of movement.
But, when presenting at the DAASM symposium in April, I was challenged on the use of “stability” By Dr. Homayun Gharavi MD, PhD, PhD. He suggested that the word “control” is better than stability. Stability has been overused and is vague, the body is designed to move, unlike a table, and so control is more accurate.
The Foundation of Athletic Development
Most of the athletes I initially encounter have glaring deficiencies in their structure or posture that limits their ability to progress. Loading athletes like this either through volume, intensity or weight, will lead to breakdowns. Saying someone needs to get fitter and then giving them a running programme, without seeing them run, is poor coaching.
Instead, after their initial musculo skeletal and movement screening, we start to work on their structural integrity. This is the foundation of Athletic Development and then allows the athlete to work on their athletic ability involving spatial awareness, rhythm, movement abilities and timing. This then allows greater ease of skill acquisition. In this video you see an example of work with young gymnnasts.
N.B. I thought this was an original term on my part, but then realised that it was inherited from watching too much Star Trek!
“The hull has been breached and is losing its Structural Integrity Cap’n” and so on!
I have been training with James for over four years now and firmly believe he has played a key role in my transformation as an athlete and therefore as a footballer. It’s fair to say I was in poor condition in various aspects when we first met, however, James’ ability to focus on the most important things and eliminate the baggage from training has enabled me to develop rapidly, having missed selection for the 2009 European Championships I am now a regular in the starting lineup.
24 Feb 2018
Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course – Somerset
Venue: Princess Royal Sports Complex, Wellington, Somerset. TA21 8NT
Assessment Day: Sunday 25 March 2018
Cost: £280 including materials and access to online resources. To book send a deposit of £100 here.