Looking at shapes will give you a different perspective on viewing, analyzing and effecting change in movement. Look closely at the shapes your athlete must make in the course of performing in their sport. Then look at the shapes they can make. Then look at what they have to do to reconcile the shapes they have to make with the shapes they can make. How quickly and efficiently can they change shapes? What is limiting their ability to make the required shapes – it is strength, flexibility, lack of body awareness or something else?
With the young developing athletes making shapes has become an emphasis. I make it playful and set up tasks that require them to make as many shapes as possible and the challenge each other to change shapes almost like a big improvisational dance. It is very FUNdamental. For the mature senior athletes, I am now structuring a three to five-minute session of “shapes’ where they have to challenge themselves much like the junior athletes. I find myself increasingly speaking the language of shapes – big, little, tall, small, round, wide – It has given me a better perspective on reconciling coordination with sport skill. No more robots, just a dance of connected shapes!