Ethos of Athleticism

For Loden Sports, the five key focus areas of athleticism are power, quickness, speed, symmetry, and brain speed. These elements are intertwined and an athlete should focus their athletic development in all five areas. Depending on the age of the athlete, different focus areas take priority in developmental curriculum.

It cannot be understated that a developing athlete should not be burdened with adult or coach expectation in any of the five key focus areas of athleticism. As the body physically matures, there are sensitive periods tied to components of the five key focus areas of athleticism. Everything doesn’t happen at the same time, nor should it.

The following is an overview of each of the five key focus areas of athleticism. All five key focus areas must work together in harmony for the athlete.

Power

This key focus area is responsible for why baseballs go far, running backs bounce off would-be tacklers, and rebounders win underneath the hoop. Power is an element of athleticism that shows up later than the other four key focus areas and can provide a significant competitive advantage amongst developing athletes. For each athlete, power may show up in their athletic profile at a different time. Power development should not be rushed or forced to keep up with others and should be targeted when appropriate for each individual athlete.

Quickness

This key focus area involves acceleration and agility. The quickest athletes are not necessarily the fastest and the fastest athletes are not necessarily the quickest. The ability to move laterally and change direction is a key element to besting the competition in team sports. Speed is a key focus area that involves elements of power and quickness. This focus area is about top-end speed. After acceleration, how fast is the athlete? The athletes with the best top-end speed are not necessarily the quickest accelerators and the quickest accelerators are not necessarily the athletes with the best top-end speed. While an athlete can have both, speed and quickness play differently in sports.

Speed

Speed is a key focus area that involves elements of power and quickness. This focus area is about top-end speed. After acceleration, how fast is the athlete? The athletes with the best top-end speed are not necessarily the quickest accelerators and the quickest accelerators are not necessarily the athletes with the best top-end speed. While an athlete can have both, speed and quickness play differently in sports.

Symmetry

This key focus area involves balance, dynamic stability, proprioception, timing and coordination. Balance is an integral part of athletic performance and at a macro-level, daily life. For an athlete, static balance is important, and for the athlete in motion, dynamic stability (balance in motion) is of the utmost importance for both efficiency and long-term athlete health.

Brain Speed

This key focus area is the most important to a functioning human being and deals with the brain. Cognition is omnipresent in life and is a separator for athletes. Brain speed in processing dynamic environments and decision-making is critical. A solid foundation of sleep, nourishment, proper breathing and emotional well-being make for a healthy brain and a healthy brain performs at its peak for the developing athlete.