I have worked with many young athletes and I find it fun and rewarding to see them improve their performance, and thus, their confidence. The skills and lessons learned in training for improved athletic performance have so many benefits that are not only shown on the field or court. Improved self-esteem, self-efficacy, kinesthetic awareness, confidence, punctuality, and injury prevention are just a few benefits I have had the honor of witnessing in my young athletes.
In sports that require quick stops, starts, and rapid changes in direction, raw speed has little relationship to actual athletic performance. Effective speed, which is more closely aligned to the shuttle run test, describes the type of functional speed necessary to most sports. Change of direction and deceleration are key components of sports such as tennis, basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, etc. Deceleration should be an integral part of an athlete’s training regimen as it is what allows the athlete to slow down or stop while performing an athletic skill such as shooting a basket or making a winning kick.
For example, a basketball player sprinting down the court on a breakaway must have the ability to decelerate and safely change that horizontal speed to a vertical lift or jump. If the athlete is unable to effectively bring his/her body and momentum to a controlled halt while performing the athletic skill, he/she could miss the shot, or potentially get injured. To put it in trainer jargon, deceleration requires an eccentric contraction of the muscles while absorbing forces created by the body’s acceleration. To find out more about my fitness programs for youth and young adults looking to improve his/her sports performance, please reach out to schedule your complimentary consultation!