The importance of lateral movement
Courtesy of Coach Jimmy Lamour with Lamour Training Systems/New Level Performance
Let’s look at an example. If an athlete is moving laterally or side ways they can stop by remembering to extend their feet outside their frame, slightly bend their hips, load their arms, and point their toes in the direction they want to go. Remember, you first stop before you can start. The athlete that stops first sprints first. Keep in mind- that my cues might work with my athletes because they are able to understand what I expect when I say them. Every coach must learn what cues work best to communicate the right positions with their athletes. After all- it is about the outcome, not the method. You must be willing to be flexible as a coach to obtain the best possible outcome. As a coach, you will encounter many different abilities and you must learn to adapt to maximize the athlete’s potential. If you are running forward it will be important to align one foot in front of the other because running is performed one leg at a time. It is important to start at the mid part of the foot, so that the muscles absorb the force instead of the joints. The biggest mistake I see when young athletes try to stop is standing straight up, which exposes their knee joints, hip joints, and ankle joint to trauma.
Furthermore, when the athlete learns how to stop they can then start some light plyometrics. Plyometrics are a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving performance in a specific sport. The best approach to teaching young athletes these movements is to progress slowly with the depth, impact, and amount of the exercises. They can accumulate stress to the joints if they are used too often. Every coach or parent when designing a plyometric program must determine what other similar jumping movements the athlete is doing outside of the training sessions. This will help in making sure that the athlete is not doing too many jumps. More is not always better.