4 Components for Athletic Development in All Sports

This is a guest post from my friend Kenny Kline

Behind every athlete’s excellent athleticism is a systematic development program planned by his or her coach. What this athletic development aims for is to enhance the performance of the athletes.

Not only that, but it would also prevent them from injuries and turn them be adaptable to the challenging and competitive demands of their games or sports. To be able to produce a sound athletic development plan, there are four components to focus on.

Physical Ability

The first component to consider should be the physical abilities of the athletes. Perhaps, people think that: ‘he’s good at sports because he’s maintaining a strong physique with the help of the best squat stands’ or ‘she’s maintaining a good figure by indulging to a ketogenic diet to be able to play well in the game.’

 

From a scientific perspective, one’s physical adaptability can be derived from Newton’s 3rd law. Based on this scientific law, no matter how much force you exert on the ground, the ground applies an equal amount of force as well. What’s with this force?

Let’s start with the idea that this phenomenon would reduce possible injuries players that players will encounter on or before the game. It’s because, after proper physical ability,  the athletes are readily prepared to withstand forces from the ground.

What’s more, having sufficient strength to execute force leads to improvements to their power and speed. Hence, players must increase their body strength to exert an enormous amount of force, reduce injury, and enhance overall athletic abilities.

With all that being said, we can say that strength development is the foundation of every athlete’s physical development, and this can only be done with appropriate training. To be exact, trainers should know the correct techniques and proper body positions of every athlete’s movements.

Here are a few heads-up of the (5) important factors that your coach or trainer should know when dealing with proper body positions in everyone’s movement. And if you’re probably not encountering it with your trainer, there must be a reason for it. The following terms are often within coaches and staff.

 

  1. BOS or base of support, which focuses on proper positioning of foot relating to the head, arm, and trunks.
  2. BC or body control, which focuses on the proper control of the head, arms, trunks, and legs.
  3. COM or center of mass, which focuses on proper positioning of the head, arms, trunks, and legs to control weight.
  4. LOF or line of force, which focuses on proper alignment of the head, arms, trunks, and legs.
  5. Posture alignment (PA): which focuses on the proper positioning of the head, arms, trunks, and legs to reduce stress on specific parts of the body; otherwise, players would end up using knee wraps or athletic tapes due to injuries caused by improper posture.

All in all, these are the basic ideas. The physical development does not end here, of course. There are more things to consider when considering physical ability enhancement, not only force, strength, and speed. Other factors include endurance, balance, stability, and many more.

Yes, there’s a lot more. If you’re suddenly mentally exhausted by thinking about how many other things you should develop. Don’t worry. Your coach will pretty sure include them on his or her ‘to-enhance-list,’ which will lead us to our next component.

Mental Ability

Apart from physical strengthening, mental strengthening is a must in training, too. Actually, both go hand in hand. Everything begins with what you believe. A strong mental ability means that even if it’s hard, you’ll battle through adversity, you’ll believe that you’ll be able to handle it, you’ll control what you need to control, and you’ll never give up.

This can be pushed further by encouragements from your trainers, inspirations from your loved ones or teammates, as well as the self-determination of each athlete. Otherwise, undoubtedly, the athlete will lose hope in continuing the training or get less or not interested at all when playing a game.

They might be thinking of: ‘why am I even doing this?’ and then nobody is answering that so they’ll lose confidence. Don’t get me wrong. Most players have inspirations in themselves. Most players have their personal goals in their minds, which keeps them going.

But, how about the others? A few have aims but have lost their ways. Some are just too physically strained to encourage themselves mentally. That’s why we have coaches who must fill in this said gap.

The tendency is that there will be a limitation in the athletes’ abilities if coaches or people around the players wouldn’t strengthen the space between their ears. One important mental quality of the athletes is confidence or to be able to believe in themselves and trust in their preparation. Once they do this, they have already overcome half of the challenges of a game.

Technical

The technical component refers to the specific skills every player should perform in the sports they’re going to play. It’s a fundamental idea that if an athlete wants to be successful, he/she needs to know every technical movement in that sport.

For instance, if it’s basketball, it could be shooting the ball, or if it’s baseball, it could be pitching. The thing is, no matter how physically and mentally capable and stable a player is, the insufficient knowledge and practice of technical skills sports will limit the athletic performance of an athlete.

Tactic

The last component is about the tactical aspect of a game, which revolves around the concept that the improvement of one can lead to a drastic development of the others, creating a butterfly effect.

Tactical development needs a great deal of communication between the athletes, coaches, and staff.  If all athletes want to win, the coaches and staff should have the same idea too or vice versa. In a word, everyone should be on the same page.

Takeaway

This sequential, systematic, and progressive approach to an athlete’s total conditioning process ensures an environment that has the potential to develop all athletes’ performances throughout their careers significantly.