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Summer Reading for Sports Coaches
June 23, 2017
Book recommendations for sports coaches Summer is here and I have just returned from the GAIN conference in Houston where fellow sports coaches and bibliophiles shared book ideas and recommendations. Here are some of mine from this year, plus a full list of what I have read with a brief summary. Best coaching book I […]
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Structural Integrity

How do I start training?

how to start fitness trainingIn 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.

Structural integrity

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.

This means the new schematic would be this: structural integrity

 

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.

Only then do we start on our training programmes. The first month of the Sports Training System is designed to enhance structural integrity.

star trek structural integrity

Enterprise hull needs structural integrity

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!

Comments

  1. […] lot of work players do in the gym nowadays is actually improving their resistance to injury, so spending time in the gym doing the right things can have a beneficial […]

  2. […] not to say that 100% of training should be focussed on these movements, as all round strength and structural integrity is necessary to maintain athleticism and reduce injuries. In order to ensure all round strength […]

  3. […] exercises which will reinforce good posture, balance, stability and mobility to develop the Structural Integrity of the archers. This could include using exercises during warm ups or encouraging athletes to […]

  4. […] Posture, balance, stability and mobility= foundations of excellent movement. […]

  5. […] We have to put certain exercises and training in first to allow their bodies to get strong and support the speed. This is developing their structural integrity. […]

  6. Nick Ward says:

    Great review of thid. In my option balance is a term which is also misrepresented as a unique ability to certain exercises e.g. stand on a single cushion or bosu, rather than as an integral part of any movement challenge. I am sure walking on or doing a handstand on a balance beam is not just about balance. I feel balance is an integral component of movement rather than a discrete property ?

    • James Marshall says:

      Thanks for the thoughts Nick. Balance is dynamic and static, that requires control and strength too. Our educational gymnastics sessions explore different points, bases and sequences in and out of balance. For example: find a balance, then lower yourself to floor, roll and then move to a different balance.

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Client Testimonials

David Ardley- triathlete
I had the pleasure (I think !) of working with James for a year or so focused on getting my Triathlon times down. Its amazing what was achieved in the space of an hour before work. What stood out for me is the constant variation of exercises and his ability to set the difficulties levels just right. His sense of humour and competitive spirit always helped when my energy levels were not quite there. I can attribute his structured training to my eventual success competing in the World Triathlon championships (age group) in Hamburg.
 
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Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course – Horsham, Sussex
14 Oct 2017

Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Course – Horsham. 14th -15th October 2017 Venue: Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, W. Sussex, RH13 0LA. Assessment Day: Sunday 3rd December 2017. Cost: £280 including materials and access to online resources. To book send a deposit of £100 here. The deposit is non refundable.  Once the full balance has been paid and your place […]

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