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Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

SCREEN-CORRECT-LEARN-EQUIP-CONDITION

Welcome to the Pike Athletics blog. We hope you will find this blog to be a source of useful information and discussion.  For our inaugural post, I'd like to expand on some general training and coaching principles.  One way to summarize our training system is through the following five principles.

Screen - Screening is the stage where you identify weak links of movement. Why is it important to screen?  For one, a screening can illuminate movement dysfunctions with the potential to create sport specific technical inefficiency or in the worst cases, injuries.  Too many athletes jump straight skill acquisition or conditioning before screening for basic movement abilities.  Doing so is like a surgeon performing laser eye surgery without first conducting a routine eye exam.  Although some athletes find ways to compensate their way through dysfunction, being skilled or conditioned does not automatically mean the absence of dysfunction.  Screening provides a lens into your neuromuscular system that allows us to optimize training for your personal development.

Correct - Once you identify movement inefficiencies, you must then make corrections. At this stage, we are not yet interested in 'sport specific' movements.  Remember, any fundamental movement dysfunction will have cascading effects throughout your body’s entire circuitry. The beauty of addressing the body's weakest link(s) through screening and then following up with corrections, is we can eliminate superfluous training that deals only with effects rather than root causes. Just as the presence of a dysfunctional pattern can have a cascading negative effect, eliminating a dysfunctional pattern can clear up many of the inefficiencies the body previously used to compensate for the weak pattern. However, once you make those movement corrections, you need to "own" that new movement pattern and then transfer it to your sport, which leads us to....

Learn - …Skill acquisition.  It has long been said that “Practice doesn’t make perfect…perfect practice makes perfect.”  Screening and movement corrections form the basis of the “perfect practice” needed for skill acquisition.  Eliminating inefficient movement patterns reduces the need for athletes to use compensations to master sport specific skills.  Motor learning occurs through repetition of sound mechanics.  Many coaches and athletes use drills to facilitate motor learning.  However, when selecting drills, it is important to select drills that harmonize with the athlete’s basic movement needs.  All skill practice must involve the neurological system for the skill to stick.  The less interference you give the brain through in the form of underlying movement dysfunctions, the greater the learning effect.  The greater the learning effect, the more automatic the skill becomes.  

Equip – Movement authenticity and athletic skill acquisition can all be undone by ill fitting equipment.  For this reason, it is critical to have a thorough understanding of your movement abilities when making equipment decisions.  Your equipment is designed to support your body in movement, whether it is a pair of shoes, a set of golf clubs, or a triathlon bike.  The screening, correction, and learning processes will ultimately determine what equipment is most appropriate for you.  Additionally, we can reverse engineer the equipment selection process.  Understanding what equipment setups don’t work also provides valuable insight into your movement capabilities.  

Condition – Physical conditioning is how we take your skills and help you perform faster, longer, and more powerfully.  Mental conditioning allows your skills to withstand the crucible of competition. Conditioning has a reciprocal effect with the four realms described above.  Skills mean little if you don’t have the endurance to sustain them or if you can’t perform those skills at game/race speed, or if your mind wilts under competitive conditions.  Likewise, conditioning is wasted if you spend most of your physical and mental energies compensating for underlying skill inefficiency.

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