The Summer Sports Performance program aims to help the modern-day athlete excel in their sport. The modern-day athlete focuses on a singular sport and trains specifically to augment their performance in the fundamental movements of that sport. For example, a tennis player’s performance training may focus predominately on lateral movements and deceleration. As performance specialists we know that being well rounded is always a benefit, but a lack of training in the fundamental movements of the sport could hurt the athlete’s ability to yield great results. One thing that most, if not all, athletes have in common is the necessity to be multi-directional. Therefore, our jobs are to prepare these athletes for success in their desired sport(s).
Multidirectional training is an aspect of training that all athletes would significantly benefit from. The question that would be frequently asked is, “where do I start with my athlete?” You start at the basics, give your athletes a good base position to start.
Base Position is the universal athletic position in which the feet are set shoulder width apart (or slightly wider), a soft bend in the knees and hips, hand off of the thighs, eyes in front and ready to move. Base position allows our athletes to be strong, stable, ready to move and change direction. Establishing a good base is quintessential to an athlete’s ability to move successfully in any plane. After we establish a good base, we get more dynamic and complex.
Push to Base
Push to base is a simple lateral dynamic movement that consists of starting in our base position and pushing off (not hopping) the opposite foot to drive ourselves in the opposite direction, e.g. push off the left foot to move right. Developing the push to base movement pattern will allow our athletes to realize that we can maintain/reestablish our base position and still be powerful without sacrificing a center of gravity through movement. This is the first step in progressing our multi-directional movements.
Cross to Base
Cross to base is a true multidirectional movement that encompasses the two previous movements. Start in the base position, push off bringing the knee up and across the body, rotate the hips, pump the arms, maintain a square ridged head and torso, and finally return to base. A good cue would be to act as if they are about to sprint laterally and immediately break down. Being able to sprint, stop on a dime, and change direction is the ideal. However, this drill is about establishing sound mechanics and slowly increasing intensity and complexity.
Like any other exercise or training modality it’s about reading the room and understanding where our athletes are at in the process. Ensure that we progress them gradually and establish great movement patterns before dialing up intensity and complexity. Know how to balance progression and regression at every stage. The Summer Sports Performance Program at FAST allows us to work with young and experienced athletes to establish key movements that are present in every sport, while also keeping them well rounded and focused on polishing the things that make them the great athletes that they are.
For more info about the Summer Sports Performance Program follow the link and fill out the form to get started today!