Thursday, June 19, 2008

Master The Fundamental Skills Of Your Sport!

There are no quick fixes for achieving excellence in your sport! We see it in our sports culture today. Athletes are taking shortcuts with athletic training. When free throws are missed and balls are dropped by good players, it is usually because of poor fundamentals.

The Boston Celtics won the NBA Championship last night because they played great fundamental defense against the L. A. Lakers (who played very little defense). Playing defense is hard work using proper footwork and body positioning to defend the opponent! It's not rocket science!

Here are some fundamentals that you need to master if you want to compete at a high level in your sport:

1) Practice proper running mechanics. This applies to any sport that requires running (or similar motions). "Efficiency of movement" (no wasted motion) is necessary in sports.

2) Improve your playing speed (quickness, agility, closing speed, acceleration, top-end speed, etc.). You may not be a track star but you can always improve your speed.

3) Improve your power (how fast your muscles produce force). This can be done with explosive training techniques.

4) Improve your dynamic balance (ability to maintain your center of gravity over a constantly changing base of support). The best athletes have this quality.

5) Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Do the drills the right way in practice every time!

6) Study the game, study your opponent and be mentally sharp. Many games and matches have been lost due to mental errors. In fact, coaches hate mental errors more than physical errors (trust me on this one)!

Great practice habits lead to great fundamental players and teams!

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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