Athletic Development

Synonym: Athletic Development = Physical Literacy

Athletic development encompasses the training of physical qualities that will make athletes better prepared for the demands of sports competition. Therefore, letting them thrive in competition, not merely survive. These same physical qualities that are necessary to best prepare youth athletes for competition are the same physical qualities we believe here at Integrated Bodies all young people should be led through on their journey of physical development.

Just as we teach the worlds youth about numeracy and literacy within our schools. Our children should also be led through their movement ABC’s. This physical literacy is learning the why’s and how’s of our foundational movement patterns such as the squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull, rotate, and brace; in addition to learning how to run, jump, land, and throw. This physical literacy philosophy is synonymous with our Athletic Development Program, for this reason we are so excited to see more and more our young members who are currently not competing in sports, but who are still being taught their movement ABC’s.

We urge our local community to get around this movement, and if you know a young person who is keen to learn how to train in the gym and learn how to move their body properly and work with professional coaches to lead them through this; our ADP classes are for them. Athletic Development & physical literacy can prepare our young people to thrive in life, not merely survive.

Sydney Daily Telegraph

Sydney Daily Telegraph

Athletic Development is All-Seasonal

Athletic Development is All-Seasonal

Physical training is required and beneficial throughout the entire year for all of us; especially those competing in sports. A common misconception is that for athletes, physical training and development should only occur during the off-season and pre-competition phases of training.

Competency Base Periodisation

The Integrated Bodies Athletic Development Program (ADP) utilises a competency-based philosophy for our periodisation, or planning, of training. Traditional forms of periodisation for the athletic populations commonly sees the use of block planning or training phases, based on chronological time. This style of training planning uses the idea that athletes require a period of time, usually 4-6 weeks, spent training specific and particular athletic qualities. This traditionally looks like a training plan presenting 4 weeks of hypertrophy, then into 4 weeks of strength, leading into 4 weeks of power training. Though this strategy seems to make sense, it is nonsensical for the human species and entire athletic population. The short comings of this program is that an individual athlete who desperately needs to gain muscles mass, who is already quite fast and powerful, only gets 4 weeks in a 3 month period to develop this hypertrophy he needs. Or on the other hand, the muscular athlete who is quite weak and slow for his size, could be better off with more work and time getting stronger and faster, rather than getting even bigger.

 The Integrated Bodies ADP programs competency-based periodisation allows athletes to work on what their priority needs are until they achieve their goal, not for a time stamp. Looking deeper into this approach we can see it provides the ability for our members to simultaneously develop their weaknesses, whilst also emphasizing their strengths. If one of our more senior and experienced athletes are great and strong at squatting and can achieve their objective strength competencies this pattern is progressed to a more power orientated exercise. Whilst at the same time if they are not great hingers / dead-lifters, and have weak upper bodies, they will continue to work hard at improving these areas until they achieve their goals. Spending more time where they require development and progressing their strength to allow continual development and prevent stagnation. The competency-based periodisation scheme used within the Integrated Bodies ADP allows for detailed training manipulation to really dial in to what the athlete truly needs right now, not what the plan says they need for this month.

The Complexes

The complexes

Within the Athletic Development Program most of our work is completed in the form of complexes. Integrated Bodies ADP complexes are strategically constructed from our movement threads to improve specific movement qualities.

In our lower body complexes the combinational exercises include a strength, mobility, and jump/land movement, while our upper body complexes include a strength, mobility, and core exercise. Simply, a complex is a group or combination of exercises completed after one another specifically designed to compliment each other and improve the economy of the work out.

For example, within our squat movement complex, the primary philosophy behind why we squat is to improve our ability to absorb force through our knees and ankles. While the complex will involve a squat exercise progression, it will also incorporate a mobility exercise to improve ankle range of motion; in addition to a vertically orientated jump/land exercise to teach our members how to pattern their mobility and strength qualities into coordinated movement patterns.

The complexes also assist manage the team environment within an IB ADP session. Keeping all of our complexes on a timer, and the entire class starting a new set within the complex at the same time promotes individual accountability within a team environment.

Adjusting the timing of a complex also allows for manipulation of one of our training variables, density. Though it is a simple tool, the complex is an important part of the ADP process. Allowing the program to deliver a series of important exercises in an economical team orientated manner.

Position - Pattern - Power

The three P’s of athletic development

There are three key areas that require focus and development to improve our athleticism. These three areas are position, pattern, and power. Position is the first need within athleticism and describes the importance for athletes to simply be able to achieve the important, and compromising positions their sporting actions can put them in. This requires the development and achievement of the necessary range of motion for each joint.

Secondly, athletes are required to coordinate and synchronise their movements in a controlled manner; this is pattern. As a player decelerates to receive possession of the ball, pivots and accelerates to beat an oncoming defender, all whilst planning his next move; it is his patterning that will see him evade and achieve. If this player is not prepared for the demands of this moment he may not get away from the defender or worse, may sustain an injury.

The final focus area of athletic development is Power. This component is the product of force and velocity; and therefore, requires the development of the athlete’s strength, and their speed, to improve their capacity to produce power. Power makes up one-third of the athletic development puzzle. Contrary to common beliefs, strength and power are merely milestones along the way to achieving the real goal of an athletic development program, and that is achieving movement athleticism.