Jan 29, 2015Fundamental Disconnect
By Vern Gambetta
In many sport development programs, there is a fundamental disconnect from the inception of training. Development programs for youth, junior and emerging athletes cannot rely on content and practice of senior and elite athletes. That is the goal–it is not where you start.
At the developmental level all components of performance must be progressively developed based on physical and psychological growth and development. The young athlete may look like a man or women, but developmentally, they are not. All physical limitations must be eradicated before they reach the senior level. If not, under the more intense training and competition demands the risk of breaking down is significantly increased.
Fundamental movement skills must be mastered before there is an emphasis on specific sport skills. That does not mean that specific sport skills are ignored, it means that they are developed progressively in parallel with movement skills and physical development.
The pathways need to be clear with mastery demanded at each step of the developmental process to earn the right to train and compete at the senior level. It takes time, effort, and attention to detail. There can be no fast tracking.
Training is a cumulative process from day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year. Too much, too soon can ultimately stifle development instead of nurturing it.
Vern Gambetta, MA, is President of Gambetta Sports Training Systems in Sarasota, Fla. The former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox, he has also worked extensively with basketball, soccer, and track and field athletes. He is a frequent contributor to Training & Conditioning. Vern also maintains his own blog.