Sunday, January 10, 2016

Athletic Performance Models - Overview

Now I'd like to take a short detour
and create a series aimed at discussing
optimum athletic performance.

To start, I want to explain a concept
called athletic performance models.
You see, athletic coaches and trainers
work with athletes to develop them
from point A to point Z. First the
trainers work to hone basic skills;
then they integrate exercises to gain
physical capabilities such as strength,
flexibility, or cardiovascular endurance.

As athletes improve, trainers teach
theory and sports-specific movements
to help the athletes help themselves.
There is an adage that goes something
like, "Teach the athlete the concept
and let her (or him) figure it out for herself."

For example, let's say one trainer tries
to work up a 14 year old boy to become
a football player; while another trainer
invests time in a 14 year old girl to
become a figure skater. Like an artist
creating a beautiful sculpture, each
trainer has an image in his or her mind.
This image is the athletic performance
model. It is a vision of what the coach
wants to catalyze the athlete to become.

The football trainer might imagine a
physically strong yet graceful man who is
tough, coordinated, explosively fast, and
intellectually savvy to react to various
strategic plays on the field with finesse.
Of course coach may well imagine many
more goals on his training wish list
depending on the specific position.

The skating trainer might imagine a
graceful, flexible, fluid young lady
who is also coordinated and explosively
powerful, yet as soft and resilient as
a tender, new blade of grass.

What do the two different performance
models have in common ? Both
trainers imagine their young athlete
becoming strong, coordinated, healthy--
and having rehearsed ability to return
to a balanced position. But the major
point I want to make is that even
though the coaches include stretching
they will both focus their training on
muscular development and strength.
After all, it's the muscles that make
the movement.
(more text after photos...)

The World's Greatest Athlete is
the title bestowed on the athlete who
wins the Olympic decathlon--
which is a multi-disciplinary event
involving running, jumping and
various feats of strength. The all-
around requirements of the event
typically demand that this "word's
greatest athlete" is proportionally
muscular, and also flexible, toned
(meaning relaxed-- not trim and fit),
and highly efficient in movement.


  1. You explain athletic concepts well.

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