Young Athletes Coordination Series
In this 3-part article, I will discuss the role and significance of ‘Coordination Training’ as it relates to both preadolescent and high school athletes:
The myths and falsehoods associated with young athletes Coordination Training are plenty. I’ll outline the ‘Top 3’ here:
- Coordination is a singular element that is defined by a universal ability or lack of ability
- Coordination cannot be trained nor taught
- Coordination-based stimulus should be restricted to preadolescent children
This article will provide a broad-based look at each of those myths and shed some light on the realities behind coordination training as a continuum for the complete development of young athletes aged 6 – 18.
Part 1: Coordination & Young Athletes
Largely considered a singular facet of athletic ability, it is not uncommon to hear Coaches, Parents or Trainers suggest that given Young Athletes possess ‘good’ or ‘bad’ coordination.
This generalization does not reflect the true nature of the beast, or specific features that combine to create coordination from a macro-perspective. Coordination, in fact, is comprised of several different characteristics:
- Balance – a state of bodily equilibrium in either static or dynamic planes
- Rhythm – the expression of timing
- Movement Adequacy – display of efficiency or fluidity during locomotion
- Synchronization of Movement – harmonization and organization of movement
- Kinesthetic Differentiation – the degree of force required to produce a desired result
- Spatial Awareness – ability to know where you are in space and in relation to objects
While many of these traits have great overlap and synergy, they are unmistakably separate and can, in fact, be improved in relatively isolated ways. That’s not to suggest that your training programs should look to carve up the elements of coordination and work through them in a solitary manner necessarily. Just a notation intended to show that coordination as it relates to young athletes can be improved at the micro level.
Watch for ‘Part 2’ tomorrow…