learningtomove - Learning to Move by Vern Gambetta Are we...

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Learning to Move by Vern Gambetta Are we putting the cart before the horse? Two generations of athletes have grown up specializing early, acquiring specific sport skills and fitness with little regard for the prerequisite movement skills. It is difficult to assess the impact of this approach. This does not seem to pose a problem as long as everything stays within the narrow range of the specific sport skill movements. It does become a problem when the athlete is asked to go outside that narrow performance spectrum and extend to an unusual position or make an unfamiliar move. At the very least they are unable to execute the required play or movement, but more often than not injuries occur. It comes down to the question: Are we asking the athletes to play games they are not prepared to play? They are prepared in skill specific movements but often come up short in the prerequisite lead up fundamental movement skills. An example of this is the number of ACL injuries in female basketball players, they are not physically prepared to play the game they are being asked to play. This lack of preparation is not in basketball skill but in general conditioning and fundamental movement skills which ultimately determine success or failure, health or injury. Another example is the number of elbow and shoulder injuries in young baseball players. Watching the recently completed Little League World Series on TV showed a group of youngsters who were proficient at baseball skill but deficient in movement skills. Their running skill and the throwing mechanics left a lot to be desired. They were good players for their age, but how much better will they get without developing better movement skills? Will they be able to stay injury free? Some of this is due to the mistaken notion that early specialization is the key to success in the athletes respective sport. There has arisen the myth that if the athlete has not specialized in a particular sport by the time they are adolescents they will not be a success latter on in their careers. Nothing could be further from the truth, success is built on fundamentals. The most fundamental of fundamentals is movement skill. Early specialization has occurred at the expense of sound fundamental motor skills. In the past, movement skills were learned through free play and reinforced with physical education classes. In our society free play has almost disappeared. When was the last time you saw a group of children playing tag in a field? Today's children are more sedentary preferring to watch TV or play
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learningtomove - Learning to Move by Vern Gambetta Are we...

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