ATHLETICISM – What It Is and How to Improve It – Part 1

What is athleticism?

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We typically define the best athlete as the one who can jump the highest or run the fastest. But this is only part of the answer because every sport needs a different kind of athleticism to be successful. Marathon runner needs a different type of athleticism than a football player, swimmer, or a tennis player. Usually, when we are talking about athleticism we are thinking about different fitness qualities, here are some of the most important training consideration to improve athleticism in tennis players:

1) Taking Care of Healthy Joint System
– To develop fast and explosive movement we need healthy joints that can move freely. To keep joints healthy we need to expose them to the stress at the end ranges. By doing so we develop better movement potential

2) Stable Core as a Foundation
– Proximal stability leads to distal mobility and athleticism. A stable core is allowing extremities to move freely – proper positioning of the thoracic and pelvic diaphragm are an excellent foundation on which we can build speed and agility

3) Relative Strength Prior to All Other Types of Strength
– Higher relative strength correspond to improvements in agility, speed, power, and coordination

4) Develop Unilateral Strength and Power
– Majority sports movements, tennis included, happen from an offset stance and favor power development unilaterally

5) Incorporate Multi-planar Training
– Most lifts take place only in the sagittal plane, yet tennis is played with domination of frontal and transverse plane movements

6) Improve Rotational Strength and Power
– Power is vector specific, so it requires athletes to train rotational skills directly

7) Don’t focus on muscles only, TRAIN FASCIAL SYSTEM
– Fascial training is best developed through whole body movements with lots of degree of freedom, in a rich proprioceptive environment using elastic recoil properties

8) Elastic Power vs. Explosive Power
– Differentiate training for reactive/elastic power vs. explosive power

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