One of the most important motor cues we’ve been training this season is “toes forward” while running, jumping, and landing.
There is a tragic but valuable example of why this cue is so important in the video clip below:Read More
Can basic movement and mobility training be scaled to larger groups of young athletes?
Given the opportunity to help coach my daughter’s middle school volleyball team, I set about trying to answer the above question. It’s one thing to give an athlete one-on-one or one-on-two coaching in the weight room. But with twenty-one middle school volleyball players, is it possible to translate an awareness of basic movement patterns into a larger group setting?
With two coaches available for twenty-one athletes, the ability for coaches to provide individual feedback is limited. So here’s the experiment: what if we could turn every athlete into a coach, thus preserving a one-to-one coach-athlete experience?Read More
One might think it would be easier to teach the squat to reasonably-active children, but working with our three kids convinced me that the squat is one of the most challenging foundational movements to master. When working with beginners, an air squat or box squat using body weight alone is the best training technique to demonstrate competence before adding any resistance.Read More
About halfway through Katie’s club season, one of her team’s setters started spending time on the sidelines at practices and tournaments with bags of ice wrapped around both shins. You guessed it – painful bilateral shin splints.
No question, setters are among the hardest workers on a team. Always on the go, gunning for the pass, from one side of the court to another. The first time I saw Erin with her shins wrapped up, something clicked in my memory. It was my camera shutter.
I’d taken thousands of pictures of their team throughout the year, studying the game and evaluating technique and movement patterns. But in her case, it wasn’t until I saw the result of her stride that I recognized what I’d been staring at all season. See if you can guess what’s wrong with this picture:Read More
Near the end of qualifiers, Katie developed a painfully irritated deep right hip flexor. What started with a cramp high in her right leg while playing defense grew into a serious, gripping pain triggered by even simple movements like stepping forward to serve.
Given that she spends a lot of time in deep flexion while working on defense, it’s not surprising that her hip flexors would get tight and irritated.Read More
Phone cameras and iDevices with video capability are a great tool for athletes beginning weight training. In the Equipment discussion, I recommend that trainees work in pairs, or with a coach, who is able to record every set for immediate review. Here's a simple example of that feedback in action with our oldest daughter Katie, just turned 14. She was about three months into deadlifting, with relatively solid form, but see if you can spot the problem with this set:Read More
Is it possible to learn how to move more safely as a volleyball athlete? Good news – yes, it is. A recent meta-analysis reviewed five studies that demonstrated significant reductions in ACL injuries as a result of neuromuscular training programs emphasizing balance, flexibility, and core strength. This review estimated that training 89 athletes would prevent one ACL injury over the course of a competitive season.Read More