This initial post outlines what we believe to be the 5 fundamental skill categories for young athletes:
- Physical--Teaching athletes how to prepare their bodies for competition. Development of speed, power, agility, flexibility and endurance. Off-season/In-season training programs.
- Mental--Teaching athletes how to prepare their minds for competition. Development of focus, confidence and motivation. Addressing mental blocks: fear, stress, pressure. Teaching visualization techniques and pre-game routines. Simulating game conditions.
- Relational--Teaching athletes how to prepare as a team for competition. Teambuilding activities. Building positive relationships: the art of communication. Setting and achieving goals: individual/team.
- Mechanical--Teaching athletes how to use their bodies in competition. Starts with teaching solid fundamentals: blocking, tackling, running, catching, throwing. Footwork, hip rotation, upper body mechanics. Developing drills that are specific to the needs of each position.
- Strategical--Teaching athletes how to think during competition. Knowledge of the game: reading defenses, recognizing fronts, blitzes, formations, coverages, running lanes, etc. This is where you can help athletes attain a higher level of understanding the game: the difference between teaching them how to play football and how to be a football player.