I think theongoing dialogue in regard to my posts about getting it and the musclehead mentality has really been quite good and interesting. In the next week or two I will post more on the concept of adaptability and creating adaptable athletes. Manyof you have asked me to give specific examples and some ideas andprogressions of things I’ve used and things that I’ve seen to achievethis. I plan on doing that and I think it willhelp clarify the concept and spur you on to think further and to lookat this more in depth. Ultimately I think we allshould remember that the athletic development process is not somethingwe do to the athlete is something we do with the athlete. Ourjob as professionals in athletic development is to help develop themost complete athlete we possibly can and to put that athlete into thecompetitive arena confident in their preparation so they can expresstheir movement dynamics and ability to compete without reservation. There is definitely science to all of this and that cannot be rejected or denied. ButI also feel that the more I coach, the more I recognize the beauty andthe wisdom of the body and the subsequent movements that the body iscapable of doing. I’m sure if all of you look atwhat you’ve done over the years that a lot of times what we have doneunder the guise of coaching and direction is to really create robotswith a paint by numbers approach rather than giving them an emptycanvas and a rich palate of colors to eventually paint a beautifulpainting. That painting is their performancethat allows them the expression of their movement abilities to theoptimum. This is all a very creative process. Itruly believe that the current research in skill acquisition andcoordination dynamics is telling us that what we have to do is give theathlete movement problems to solve with the recognition and theunderstanding that a lot of times there are not correct answers, theathelet will determine the correct answer. Andas we start this magical journey called athletic development I thinkwhat we need to do is first of all understand the physical competenciesnecessary to achieve performance in the competitive arena and then youhave to give the athletes the physical literacy to be able to strive ina healthy manner toward the achievement of performance in thatcompetitive arena. We must recognize that it is a takes time. Itis a long and circuitous path, the functional path is sometimes verywell paved and other times it is no more than a trail in the forest soto speak. Ultimately recognize that the body is smart, and the body will find a way to solve the movement problems. If you have any doubt about this watch kids in free play in a natural environment. Watchathletic geniuses perform on the field and see how they adjust, thoseadjustments happen too fast to be on a cognitive level. Wemust recognize that as athletic development professionals we must teachthem their athletic ABCs so that they eventually can produce a greatnovel of athletic performance.
This should never be if someone is right or wrong. My goal is to stimulate discussion and thought about why we do what we do, when we do it. Onetrick ponies are just that, we have to help develop the completeathlete we can’t afford to be one trick ponies in training, because arenot one trick ponies in the competitive arena. Sowe need to give the athlete a myriad of tools across a spectrum ofdemands that will enable them to achieve the highest level of athleticexcellence relative to their potential. It is that simple.