Strength Performance Network

Athletic Development - Fundamental Rules

There are some simple unifying concepts or rules that must be followed to effectively build the complete athlete. The rules are not complex in themselves, but the are complex in their application. The Fundamental Rules of Athletic Development are:
Train Linkage - The body is a link system. Movement occurs from toenails to fingernails. Reinforce connections and linkages at every opportunity.

Think & Train the Big Picture - Training is essentially assembling a jigsaw puzzle. If you do not have a clear picture of the completed puzzle then it is impossible to know where the pieces fit. To build the complete athletes never lose sight of the big picture!

Have a Plan - Have a plan with clearly defined goals and objectives. Clearly define the detail of the means of achieving those goals. Have checkpoints to determine the progress of the plan toward the stated goals. Work the plan!

Spectrum Train - To effectively train any of the physical capacities the whole spectrum of each capacity must be trained and they must be trained at all times.

Know the Sport - You must thoroughly understand the sport you are training for. It is imperative to know the physical demands and the basic movements in order to effectively prepare the athletes for those demands. Don’t repeat the demands by artificially imitating the movements of the sport. This just adds stress to stress.

Know the Athletes - Each athlete brings unique qualities to their sport. Every athlete is a case study of one. Know those qualities and help the athlete fit those qualities to the sport.

Training is Cumulative - The adaptive process takes is accumulates day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year. No one workout can make an athlete, but one workout can certainly break an athlete.

Context is King! - Everything you do in training must be in context of the plan, the sport and the athlete. Training out of context is not effective training.

These guidelines have stood the test for me in my system. They have produced consistent results in a myriad of sports and disciplines. It has worked because of the simplicity. There is no magic, no hype, no smoke and mirrors just the basics of training consistently applied. If you are interested in learning more and seeing how these principles apply join us at the 2011 GAIN Apprentorship June 17 to 22 at Rice University in Houston Texas. For information email me at

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