Reviewing Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS™) results and movement patterns across approximately 250 athletes from 13 to 18 years old reveals some interesting patterns. Start by looking at the chart below:
The lack of stability illustrated above has significant performance implications. In a sport that involves sprinting, changing directions, and jumping and landing repeatedly on hard surfaces, stability and motor control are essential. Yet those are the attributes most lacking in developing athletes.
Video of affected athletes commonly shows excessive foot/ankle pronation (“collapsed arches”) and dynamic knee valgus (knees collapsing inwards) when running, jumping, and landing. While this year’s Body Control Camp curriculum focused on learning the squat as a basic movement archetype, what we’ve seen is that mastery of this essential movement is going to be a multi-year journey for many developing athletes.
In short, building stability and motor control in young athletes is not a quick fix. While there have been rewarding cases of tight, angry hip flexors that resolved with aggressive foam rolling and dynamic stretching over a few days, building strength takes time.
The conclusion? Don’t wait to get started, be patient, and enjoy the journey.