Sport Ready

Despite all our advances in sports science and increased sophistication in training today’s athletes are not as “sport ready” as athletes from past generations. They have not paid their athlete dues or as Kelvin Giles has said earned the right to train and compete at higher levels. Sure they have the talent and that is what carries them. Look at the injuries, pulled hamstrings, strained oblique muscles, pulled groins and calve muscles, even some of the shoulder injuries and non contact ACL injuries, they could be prevented or significantly reduced with a sound athletic development program that prepares the athletes athletically to withstand the forces involved in running, jumping and throwing. Look at Martina Navratilova , she is still competing (and competitive) at age 49. Why? She has paid her dues by preparing athletically, she comes out of a system as a youth that prepared the athletes to play by providing them with a rich repertoire of motor skills upon which to build to build their specific sport skills. Today we are trying to identify them early and then get them into a specific sport as soon as possible. Expose the young athlete to as wide a range of movement skills as possible and demand competence in those skills before they specialize in specific sports. I am reading an interesting book now by Thomas E. Ricks, called Making The Corps, he follows a platoon of recruits through their training at Parris Island. I am not a military person but I am fascinated by how the Marines are able to mold their recruits into Marines. What I found it particularly interesting and how this relates to this blog is that before they start actual training for any combat (The specific Skill) they are drilled for weeks in basics of teamwork and communication. This should be a clue, when lives are at stake; they take care of the basics first. I sincerely maintain that we are putting a generation of athlete’s athletic lives at stake because we are not taking care of basics. If we keep following this totally dysfunctional path we will see injuries go off the charts. Sure we will see great performances, but the cost will be high. For my consulting business I am designing a Sport Readiness module for those who engage my services. It has been the most difficult of all the modules to design because of the context of the society and culture we live in. Red light green light an tag games are basic; hop scotch is basic ACL prevention. Let’s get real and wake up and give the kids a chance by being FUNdamental!


At 9/10/06, 7:51 AM, Blogger Joe P. said...

I thought the Black girls in my class were on to something big in ACL tear prevention when I watched them double dutching in the gym, until I realized sometimes the knee went over the toes.

At 9/15/06, 5:58 PM, Blogger Travis said...

Here at U-District (Spokane,WA) we have been trying to encourage parents and kids U-14 to stay involved in a multi-sport model for injury reduction and burnout resistance. Tough sell in a world of AAU.


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