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Optimal training for athletic excellence

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Not Just Strong—Steady

You cannot build a house until the foundation is strong and steady. Similarly, you should not add sport-specific skills until the aerobic base is strong and steady. A good VO2 max, improved lactate threshold, etc., all are indicative of a strong aerobic base. But what is steady? An often overlooked athletic necessity, is the topic of our discussion.

Consider this, if you asked a marksman to hit a target, you would not want his body shaking as he aimed. We want the same accuracy for our athletes. Tell a pitcher to hit the outside corner, or the shooting guard to take the three-pointer, you want them to be steady, even as they are in motion. (Dancers have extreme proprioceptive ability. Their muscle memory teaches their brains to know spatial arrangements for their body.)

How can we test for steady or wobble? Very simply – have the athlete stand on one leg. With good proprioception and core, standing erect should not be a problem. If shake or wobble is detected, check for basic flaws:

  1. Pronation, supination – remember, the kinematic sequence starts at the ankle, not the pelvis. The ankle supports the body above.
  2. Apparent muscle weakness – for some reason, right psoas involvement is a common find.
  3. Proper breathing – do not pull your stomach in as you are breathing; let it relax instead.
    Think about it – your lungs are trying to expand; why pull your stomach against them.
  4. Core strength is imperative. Enhance it with a pelvic tilt until full development is achieved. Continue reading