Tools of an Athlete

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Here are the tools that every athlete has in their toolbox and their basic definition

  • AGILITY - The ability to quickly change body position or direction
  • ACCELERATION - The amount of speed produced in a certain amount of time
  • BALANCE - The ability to stay in control of body movement
  • ENDURANCE - The ability to exercise continuously for a time without tiring
  • FLEXIBILITY / MOBILITY - The range of motion of your joints / position of your joint during movements
  • POWER - The amount of force a muscle or muscle group can produce in a certain amount of time
  • POWER ENDURANCE - The ability to perform multiple near max powerful movement without rest
  • SELF-CONFIDENCE - The belief in one’s self and their abilities
  • SKILL - The performance of a voluntary, coordinated tasks with sport-specific goals
  • SPEED ENDURANCE - The amount of time that near-max speed can be held
  • STRENGTH - The amount of force a muscle or muscle group can produce in one maximal effort
  • TOP SPEED - The fastest that the body can the body can move

Every athlete has all 12 of these abilities but depending on the sports you compete in, you will specialize in certain tools and sideline others. Here are some examples of tools that get high, medium, low usage in certain sports:

Tools of an Athlete - Grid by Sport

I left out balance, flexibility / mobility, self-confidence and skill because every sport requires a high usage of them. With this lay out, you can see why training for each sport would be different. A baseball athlete needs to be fast, quick, strong, and powerful. They have no need to focus on endurance. Now with sports such as basketball, soccer and ultimate, these athletes need to have various tools they utilize during competition. Use the table to focus on your training on the tools you need to succeed in your sport.

Here is are some of the training methods used to improve in these areas. These are in no particular order

  • AGILITY - footwork, cone, ladder drills, and low-rep strength training
  • ACCELERATION - Hills, sled drag, sled push, plyometrics, and low-rep strength training
  • BALANCE - Pilates, yoga, uni-lateral training
  • ENDURANCE - Long runs, interval run, and high-rep strength training
  • FLEXIBILITY / MOBILITY - stretching, foam rolling, and strength training
  • POWER - Olympic lifts, plyometrics, power training, and strength training
  • POWER ENDURANCE - olympic lifts, plyometrics, and fast strength training
  • SELF-CONFIDENCE - practice and strength training
  • SKILL - practice
  • SPEED ENDURANCE - interval runs, hills, and….you guessed it, strength training
  • STRENGTH - Strength training
  • TOP SPEED - running technique, power training and strength training

As you can see, strength training is the key to improving most of these tools.  If you are serious about your sport and you want to perform at a high level, watch some youtube video on squats, single leg lifts, pull-ups, and push-ups and get your butt to the gym. Also the stronger you are, the less likely you are to get hurt because muscles act as cushion for your bones and a safety belt for your joints. So if you get hurt quite a bit, more of a reason to visit your local gym and get a membership!

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