Competitive Gameplay In Sports Training

At Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training we train many athletes of different ages and ability levels. At the North Central Phoenix FAST location, we have been fortunate enough to expand our facility this past year. This expansion has given us the opportunity to incorporate more innate human movement patterns through competitive gameplay. Children today, under the influence of technology, are living more sedentary lifestyles. Unlike generations before who would play games like tag, today’s youth is behind when it comes to movement patterns like chasing, dodging and fleeing.

If we break down the concept of sports to it’s foundation, we see the basic skills such as acceleration, deceleration, and change of direction. The mastery of these movement patterns separates one athlete from another. Athletes who are better at these skills have generally been involved in some sort of gameplay growing up. Today, we see less and less athletes who have a high level of these skills.

For our training purposes, the skills can be broken down into five categories: hinge, squat, jump, push, and pull. These five fundamental movements are what we base our training programs around.

Hinge is a hip displacement movement that emphasizes strengthening the posterior chain. The posterior chain is the main workhorse for explosive movements. Squat emphasizes lower body strength. We incorporate many different lower body movements to help our athletes develop a base level of strength. We pair our lower body strength movements with jump or plyometric movement. This helps train the athlete to be in control of their body. The final two movements are upper body movements, push and pull. These help to develop balanced strength between the front and the back of the body.

These exercises help to develop an athlete’s musculature to support basic human movements. The second half of our sessions gets our athletes moving around in space. We work on multi-directional skills that allow athletes to react and move in an efficient manner. These skills are incorporated into competitions and games that get the athletes to perform in a sport like setting. These can consist of anything from relay races to a game of tag. Any type of game that gets kids moving around in space is a great training tool. When kids start playing something fun, they forget about how much work they are doing.

Athletes of all ages love to compete against one another. We use training tools like competitions and gameplay to help our athletes become more efficient movers. This also helps athletes become more coordinated and reduces the risk of injuries. We train athletes of all ages at our FAST facility here in North Central Phoenix. Please contact us if you would like to be a part of our training program!

Nate Souza

MS, CSCS, SSN, USAW 1 | North Central Phoenix

Foothills Acceleration and Sports Training (FAST) is empowered by Foothills Therapy Partners (FTP).