Ten Ways To Build A Better Athlete
1. Form Reigns Supreme:
Lifting weights is a skill that has to be developed and practiced. The coach needs to understand the biomechanics of the lifts and instill proper technique in every athlete.
2. Value Compound/Multi-Joint Lifts:
Bench press, squats, deadlift, chin ups and military presses are great examples of compound lifts. These lifts will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of muscle growth.
3. Instill The Value Of Proper Nutrition:
Unless you are genetic freak, you cannot out-train a “shitty” diet. Teach your athletes proper nutrition to fuel their training; plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein and complex carbohydrates for post workout.
4. Train Box Jumps And Ball Tosses:
If the coach has the proper education and the sessions are one-on-one or small groups, use olympic lifts instead. However, if the groups are larger, performing box jumps at 80% or more of the athletes 1RM and explosive med. ball tosses from different positions will build explosive power.
5. Build Structural Balance:
The first phase of any program should be a 3-4 week structural balance routine. Include single arm and leg exercises, stretches and extra work where imbalances are found. Use this technique to correct any physical kinks that have developed.
6. Push The Prowler:
Have your athletes perform short, weighted prowler/sled pushes, between 15 – 25 yards. This has been shown to increase first step quickness and overall sprinting speed!
7. Make Sure To Stretch The Hip Flexors:
With all the sitting, video gaming and just flat out inactivity humans engage in, tight hip flexors are an obvious result! Employing a few stretches to keep your athletes hip flexors loose will allow them to maximally fire their hip extensors. In turn, more explosive power is generating, increasing the athlete’s vertical leap!
8. Stay Hydrated:
I’m willing to bet that most athletes are not getting nearly enough water throughout the day. This is an issue because dehydration is a performance killer! A 1.5% drop in water levels equals to roughly a 10% drop in maximal strength. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water per day and a little bit more on training days.
9. Use Hill Sprints To Teach Running Form:
To teach athletes proper running technique such as; forward lean, high knee drive and keeping the feet dorsiflexed, utilize hill sprints. Running up a slight incline brings out the above traits almost automatically.
10. General To Specific:
Start by increases the athletes general fitness before you jump into sport specific training. To set up an athlete for success, construct a sound base of bodyweight movements, sprinting and basic dumbbell/barbell exercises.