Thursday, January 27, 2011

Building a Base.

When training young athletes, where do we start the training? Sometimes it is easy to try to tackle easiest problem or the easiest part to improve to see results, but if we don’t start with the base we may never get results to really stick. What do I mean by the base, I consider the base to be the athletic stance, or in many marshal arts schools the horse stance. This position is the feet shoulder width or slightly wider, and pointed straight ahead, the knees bent to a partial squatted position. The butt is out and the back is straight to slightly arched. The shoulders are back and the head is in a neutral position. In most cases the weight is balanced in the feet meaning weight is distributed evenly from front to back. In some cases the weight can be on the balls of the feet, but this would be used in only specific drills. This position brings the center of gravity into a power position slightly in front of the belly button. This gives the player better control of their body and balances the body for efficient movement. To see how truly strong a player is put them in this position and see how long they can hold it. You might be surprised to see the compensations made to hold this position. In developing this base we will also start to train the athlete from the feet and move up the body to the head. When looking at the feet, take a look at what the body wants to do and then correct the issues. How do the feet lay, do they pronate, suppinate, how is the arch, is it high, low, no arch. How is the instep, is it high, long, do they have funny wear patterns on their feet. Strengthen the feet and you can strengthen the whole body. From the feet move to the ankles, this is the next link in the chain. Strength in the ankle does not just come from the back side; the front of the ankle has to be addressed as well. Start to think strength in 360 degrees. Take the time to start with the base and results will show themselves. I will continue this progression in future blogs.

Brian Niswender
Co Founder

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