Why does the fundamental matters when it comes to improving your athletic performance?
I have been coaching an extensive range of athletes from powerlifter, basketball, badminton, ultimate frisbee, weightlifter, rugby, runners, fighters, and general population people who want to be fit and stronger. I am still learning myself!
All of them have one common goal, which is to improve their overall performance for their sport, to move better and as a bonus to look good.
In principle, a strength and conditioning training program must built athlete to be injury-proof and improve their overall athletic performance.
Now, let me introduce you the 𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐩𝐲𝐫𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐝, designed by 𝘎𝘳𝘢𝘺 𝘊𝘰𝘰𝘬, renowned physical therapist and movement expert. The pyramid consists of three layers that help describe human movement and movement patterns. There are as follow;
𝐌𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 - Quality movement based on stability, mobility and coordination without significant compensation. They should be able to perform these fundamental movement includes squat, hinges, lunges, carry, push and pull without major compensation.
𝐏𝐞𝐫𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 - Functional movement plus the quantitative variables which include strength, endurance, speed, power, quickness, agility, and explosiveness. Here we talk about sprinting, vertical jumps, multi-directional movement, maximal deadlift lift, throwing power and etc.
𝐒𝐤𝐢𝐥𝐥 - Sport-specific ability and skill. Typically this is, measured by sport specific tests, considering an athlete's actual statistic of performance for a given sport from mostly by actual game play and competition.
The performance pyramid shows coaches what we need to be prioritizing in their strength and conditioning program. It is essential to adhere for a long term growth and development of high performing athlete.
A quality pyramid should always be built from the bottom-up and have the true appearance of a pyramid with a broad base and a narrow top.
You must have a tall pyramid to be a high performing athlete. The best way to do that is to start building a solid broad base and slowly to build up your tall pyramid.
What I noticed, most athletes like to spend their time on the performance and skill layer—and forgetting the base. They like to do the fancy movement on the performance level and skill level too much without the right intent.
The consequence is your base will be very narrow and give it some time, your performance pyramid will collapse. You can say goodbye to your athletic career because of your injury. You might need to start over!
Just like a racing car, you must first build stable and durable chassis, suspension, tyre and frame, to support a high horse-power engine and transmission. The chassis, suspension and frame are the movement tier. It needs to be stronger and solid before you add on the high horse-power engine and transmission. They are the performance tier. Your driver is the skill tier of the performance pyramid. That is how you deliver the ultimate racing car.
It is the same when it comes to improve your athletic performance. Once you get your overall movement tier stable and solid, you can progress to a performance tier. With hard work and consistency, you can improve your skill tier. That is how you become the ultimate athlete.
That is why you need structured strength and conditioning training program to make you injury proof and an excellent athlete.
My question to you is;
Are you building your performance pyramid in a right way to be a high performing athlete?