RUNNING, JUMPING, THROWING - THE ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES FOR MANY SPORTS
Observing training of various athletes, teams, groups, etc, it is noticeable that there is a strange tendency to focus on some essentials and to completely ignore the rest while training and practicing. It is not clear what guides some coaches and athletes to select what aspect of which technique
to work on, but it is painfully clear that the fundamentals are often being completely ignored. Ever heard a coach instructing his student by saying: "Hold the ball like this, with your index finger on point and then just throw it as far as you can". WHO is going to explain to the athlete HOW TO throw? Of course, knowing how to hold the ball
is important, but knowing how to throw it
is even more important. The mechanics, the technical instruction is not offered at all. Or how about a coach saying to a student about to attempt to run hurdles: "Start running and then go over the hurdle - nice and easy..."
. Ok, coach, that was very helpful, "nice and easy" definitely explains how to do it.
Each sport seems to be an individual affair from a first sight. But if you look at all of them closely, virtually all athletic activities include either jumping
, or running
, or throwing
, or a combination of any or all three. Take, for example, tennis
. It includes running, very very short distances
but running none the less. Or take triple jump or hurdles in Track & Field
. They include running and jumping. Just like Parkour
, aka Free Running
, a relatively new sport emerging from Europe, that includes lots of serious running and dangerous jumping. All the more reasons to pay especial attention to how you run
and how you jump. That could also be said about American Football
, which also includes throwing in addition to running and jumping. So, given all of the above, does it not make natural sense to work on all techniques that come with the territory of your sport?
As you might already know, running, jumping and throwing are referred to as the fundamentals of natural human locomotion. These three activities were essential to our survival centuries ago, they also became the foundation of Track and Field
and the first Olympic games
. Nowadays they comprise most of the athletic activities we do. So it is essential to understand what techniques are involved in your particular sport and work on them in addition to your sport specific training, instead of focusing on one technique that seems to define each individual sport.
The main reasons to work on your techniques are to stay injury free and to allow yourself to excel in your game. Take for example the American Football star Devin Hester
, the sheer superiority of his running skill alone allows him to outrun every single player on the field and that makes him a star. It is not known whether he worked on his technique or he is a raw talent, but it is clear that his superior skills make him a better athlete. We don't have to have a natural talent for something in order to be good at it. A huge improvement always, remember, always comes as a result of working on your technique alone. And only after that does the natural talent make a difference.
Technique work on fundamentals that comprise your sport should be a mandatory inclusion in your training regimen. If you're not working on your fundamental techniques, you're pretty much setting yourself up for mediocre results. A progress and success cannot truly happen if there is no solid foundation. The sheer absense of that foundation will be your single most limiting factor.
Learn how to run, jump or throw and create a solid foundation for the rest of your athletic activities.
Article by Dr. Nicholas Romanov
Composed by L. Romanov