Top 20 ways to be athletic

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Staggering statistics from this year’s NFL draft. The NFL has some of the most athletic if not THE most athletic players on the planet. Athleticism is a commodity, so why wouldn’t we have that be our goal with ESP? Being athletic is the best trait that high school, college, and professional coaches look for. How can we improve our athleticism? Here’s how: (in no particular order) 

1. Speed can be taught. Every athlete has a genetic ceiling to how fast they can run (some have a higher ceiling than others), but a genetically inferior athlete can surpass a more gifted athlete by maximizing his/her efficiency. 

2. The #1 goal with any strength and speed program is injury prevention. The best athlete in the world is no good to any team if he/she can’t stay on the field. 

3. Force into the ground is the key to running fast, jumping high, cutting quickly, and throwing and hitting hard. 

4. Fixing running form without increasing strength is like putting a Lamborghini exterior on a Pinto engine.  

5. Train slow, get slow. Running cross-country in the offseason isn’t the best thing a team sport athlete can do. Rather, play another fast paced sport, or get training for speed, agility, and strength.

6. Before you learn to create force, you need to learn how to absorb it. 

7. Learn how to manage fatigue, not just induce it. 

8. If you are not strength training in-season, by the end of your high school career, your are losing a full year of athletic development. 

9. You run on your feet, but with your arms. 

10. The most crucial parts of any team sport is played within a 10yd x 10yd box, so acceleration and change of direction are much more important than top end speed. 

11. Do less bench press, more pull-ups. 

12. Single leg strength and stability is crucial to athletic development as movements such as sprinting, leaping, and changing direction are single leg movements. 

13. Regardless if your sport or position requires jumping, once you demonstrate the ability to land safely, you should incorporate jumping in your training.  

14. Find a coach that provide you with these 4 things: ( I know of a couple: wink, wink) 
Coaching = 25% information + 25% communication + 25% inspiration + 25% perspiration. 

Perspiration? Yup, find a coach that will sweat FOR you! Not just make you sweat. Obviously we can’t do it all, but having someone in your corner working as hard as you will put you in a great spot!

15. Find a coach that can coach YOU, not coach the drills. 

16. The core is designed for stability. Find ways to train it for that. Sit-ups and crunches are a recipe for poor posture and a hurt back. Try planks and dead bugs and working with a neutral pelvis. 

17. Strength training is not just about lifting heavy weights. It’s about mastering movement mechanics first, then progressively overloading the movements.  

18. The “best drill” for speed is the drill that is done correctly to develop the skill that you want to address.  

19. Two things that an athete can control going into every training session or practice are attitude and effort. 

20. Know that if you want to look good in front of thousands, you must outwork thousands in front of nobody.