Athletic development has been a major focus of attention and a frequent topic in literature since 1985 where authors and specialists studied and supported theories to optimize an reach sport excellence through a whole learning process. Although deliberate practice might take a big cut of the journey, seems to be not the only factor and other important elements play crucial roles. What is clear is that there is no short-cut to success, whatever your quest is.
The athlete development framework
The theory of 10.000 hours, the Long Term Athlete Development, Talent detection,…these frameworks are aimed to stage the learning curve and right balance to succeed in sport, from childhood to high performance within a overall physical active lifestyle engagement. Stage progression is based on trainability, talent, specialization and biological age as modulation factors, where outcomes play a part for the competitive scene. However to simplify the concept, these journeys are team work lead by a teaching-learning processes where engagement, commitment, progression and resilience are key factors. The challenge they face? Its no factory, they are not linear and are very complex learning-success processes. A good example is the FTEM (Foundation, Talent, Elite, Mastery) framework which set the following guidelines:
FOUNDATION (Into Active lifestyle and Sport engagement):
1. Learning and acquisition of basic movement
2. Extension and refinement of movement
3. Sport specific commitment or competition
TALENT (Into High performance and Sport engagement):
?. Demonstration of potential
?. Practising and achieving
?. Breakthroughs and rewards
ELITE (In High performance and Sport excellence):
MASTERY (In High performance and Sport excellence):
10. Sustained success
Further details and characteristics about athlete development framework are beyond the goal of this post. However the model offers a useful example to sequence learning, to understand the needs during a sound and prospective athletic and active lifestyle career. It is a useful tool to determine individual location in time/development and sets the future pathway and possibilities.
Competition and winning does not only refer to elite sports championships, World Cups, Olympics and other prestigious events aim to rank athletes and preserve humanity glory. Competition and winning can also take place in the comforts of ones progression, aspirations and capacities. Competing with yourself to be better, win yourself day by day, facing up any challenge deserve the same respect and attention as any other goal accomplishment. Actually, there is not much to highlight to be aware that this philosophy has complete transversal competencies in our daily living.
Strength & Conditioning and Athletic development are fields born to grow simultaneously and evolve with time, dedication and practice. One benefits and complement each other. Exercise, does not only provides a platform to improve the fitness BALANCE, STRENGTH, METABOLISM, ENDURANCE and RECOVERY spectrum, it goes further. Exercise and Biomedical Science research and literature widely supports the implementation of musculoskeletal fitness from youth to aging due to its known implications on enhancing performance and health and injury prevention. An Strength & Conditioning program function is to orchestrate and coordinate an organized fitness program to successfully achieve S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals.
From an overall perspective, Strength & Conditioning provides valuable contribution factors as enhanced performance, health and prevention to extend quality of skill specific/sport delivered practice in the athlete development pathways increasing positive experiences and practice longevity over the years. Strength & Conditioning programs balance the scale of prediction to probability of success. The importance of longevity is crucial to adopt strategies at any point of an athlete pathway bringing well-being and life quality, from the very beginning to a permanent Active for life stage.
“The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is practice”
What outcomes do you aim for?
Each sport and physical activity entails differences, requiring and demanding different profile needs. This fact emphasize the importance and inter-connectivity of outcomes and motor skills in play, sports and physical activity. Strength & Conditioning provides the development of different physiological adaptations allowing to apply its benefits and improvements into specific skills, new skill acquisition, calendar goals. All within the goals of improve performance and function, develop systematic interventions, assess performance and progression and reduce injury risk. Specific Strength & Conditioning outcomes for athletes are:
1. Skill Performance: Apply exercise benefits and physiological adaptations to increase your specific skill performance. That is function of ATHL S-Core®, optimize progression and performance.
2. Power: Increase force production in your specific skill over a period of time.
3. Strength & Size: Amplify overall muscle contractility and its force production by increasing muscle tissue quality, function and size to built a consistent and reliable biological structure.
4. Body composition: Interrelate you skill specific needs modifying your body composition distribution in favour of performance and selected goals.
5. Tissue recovery: Increase the biologic capacity to restore system function and possible tissue degradation and damage.
6. Motor function: Optimize neuromuscular function, joint balance and motor control to keep training quality to high standards reducing injury risk.
7. Stamina: Overall conditioning will increase the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort during skill specific training. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Strength & Conditioning contributions to athletic development grow the probability of success from different perspectives mainly including performance and injury prevention. These strategies help to promote personal achievement and professional development in an athlete pathway no matter in what athlete development or active lifestyle stage you are in.
It is fundamental to identify strengths and weaknesses from the activity you do as well as the skill set analysis in order to set the goals, lines of action and outcomes to design a program to serve that purpose. An Exercise and Strength & Conditioning program is the tool to cover multiple fitness components and physiological pathways to enhance your bio-motor capacity to ultimately implement into your specific skill practice. A tool aimed to help you build the fundamentals and develop an overall, sound and consistent Strength & Conditioning profile to accompany over your athletic and active lifestyle journey.
Strength and Conditioning is to increase the probability of success or Strength & Conditioning is to enhance longevity? No matter what, improving performance will lead optimize passion to each scenario. Its ultimate goal? Your choice.
Find why an Exercise and Strength & Conditioning program will contribute to improve and optimize performance and functional capacity for health and athletics through the #Exercisepotential. Learn more here:
5 things you should know about Exercise Science
Health-fitness, 7 outcomes to look for
Injury prevention, 7 outcomes to look for
Strength & Conditioning for athletic development
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Why strength is essential?
Why metabolism is vital?
Why endurance is important?
Why recovery is noteworthy?
* Cover photo composition by @redbullbike & @Santacruzbicycles. No copyright intended.