There are many different ideas, methods, fads and trends that keep promising to be the next best thing. All promise to help an athlete get the edge to complete at the next level or at least to their full potential. Some will work; some will not. If the athlete finds what works for them, how can they be sure something is not left out? What type of assessment is used to decide what needs to be done?
Many sports enhancement programs, also called strength and conditioning programs or human performance programs are a mix of fact, fiction, biased opinions, advertising, media hype, and personal anecdotes. Mostly these programs look at quantitative data such as 40-yard dash time, one repetition maximum on bench press and squat, vertical jump, and pro-agility test time. These tests do a fine job of assessing an athlete’s performance output but do nothing to help assess what are the athlete’s needs or look at how the athlete moves. At this point, most sports enhancement programs fall short and try to mold the athlete to the program rather than molding the program to the athlete.
Athletic movement has a quantitative aspect, such as in 40 yard dash times, and more importantly a qualitative aspect to it since athletic movement is first and foremost about human movement. It is from basic human movement athletic, or sport-specific, movement is derived. Assessment of basic human movement patterns must be performed to find any weaknesses and highlighted so these weaknesses can be addressed and corrected in the sports enhancement program. When an athlete has a weakness in a basic human movement pattern there is going to be a decrease in either a specific component of athletic performance or an over all decease in athletic performance. Once these weaknesses in basic human movement patterns have been addressed, the performance aspect takes care of itself. Addressing weaknesses of basic human movement is similar to fixing or building a foundation of a building, once you have a strong base of support the sky is the limit.
First Choice Physical Therapy has a sports enhancement program called Xcel. The main goal of Xcel is to assess and address any weakness in basic human movement patterns of individual athletes so there is a strong base of support to allow them to achieve the highest level of performance possible for each individual athlete. The needs of the individual athlete are met by changing the sports enhancement program for that individual. Once this foundation of support has been built, then sequential steps can be made to increase the overall athletic performance or specific performance of each athlete by applying the corrected or reinforced movement patterns to sprinting, cutting, jumping, and stopping or any combination. Too many people define an athlete by the way an athlete looks, when the way an athlete moves defines the athlete.