I…AM…NOT…AN…INJURY!

I…AM…NOT…AN…INJURY!

As a young athlete, I started well enough and then began to suffer injuries. It seemed that I staggered from one lower leg mishap to the other over many years. Along the way I became known as the kid with the ‘bad ankles’. In hindsight I accept a good portion of that situation as my own doing, although I would not ever have admitted it at the time.

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The Joys of Distraction

The Joys of Distraction

Every year I am approached by parents (and team manager on a membership drive) shuttling a young teenager towards the jumps areas. Their mission is to give their son or daughter a few tips prior to the school competitive season. The usual banter recounts how they seemed to do well at the school event and are now heading for a regional meet; can I help? I ask when the big event is… ‘This Friday’ is a typical response.

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Scrambled Advantages

Scrambled Advantages

Within all sports that contain stop-start, quick direction changes and zero-to-max demands is the skill of being able to scramble. While the origins of the word scramble relate to jumbles and stumbles, the use of the word has also come to mean being able move with immediate action and avoiding trouble (as with jets and quarterbacks).

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Takeoff's 'Hopping Mad!' EXCLUSIVELY in Athletics Weekly

Takeoff's 'Hopping Mad!' EXCLUSIVELY in Athletics Weekly

Check out Takeoff's latest article published in last week Athletics Weekly - 'Hopping Mad!'

The hop is a critically important movement skill for any sport that requires ground speed. The word ‘hop’ is a tad mixed up because kangaroos, bunnies and even grasshoppers purportedly hop when in fact they actually leap.

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…OF WHIPS AND CHAINS (AND FEET)

…OF WHIPS AND CHAINS (AND FEET)

Observations from my youth… in our neighbourhood there was a public pool that was elbow to elbow on hot summer days. I don’t know where the skill originated but many of us learned to expertly fold long beach towels into tapered whips that could be used to snap at others’ exposed parts. Anyone caught making such a weapon was expelled from the pool as these were obviously dangerous and could be injurious (something our young minds didn’t consider)...

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The Feet Never Leave the Programme

The Feet Never Leave the Programme

As we move around on our feet our base of support is a small malleable pad of soft and hard tissues. If we stand on two feet the base of support is wider than on one; being distributed between the two. There are ongoing messages of sensation and adjustment between the feet and brain that are trained and mapped over time....

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Finding the Medicine in Med-Balls

Finding the Medicine in Med-Balls

My first sighting of a medicine ball was in a school gym littered with different equipment: it was a 4kg leather stitched ball filled with t-shirt rag. Bigger than a basketball it sat in the corner inviting curious young boys (girls weren’t allowed into the gym in those days) to investigate. It was a ball, and so the first thing young boys typically do with a ball is throw it. Typically at one another....

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What You See Is - Frog Leaps

What You See Is - Frog Leaps

I call them frog leaps because its seems better than referring to them as consecutive bilateral jumps… besides, athletes and coaches alike will remember catchy names more easily. In the illustration, adapted from a video, you can readily identify the movement: one used around the world in games, sports and conditioning. From a standing start the young athlete has to generate horizontal momentum and keep leaping for a pre-scripted distance. It is an extremely valuable movement skill that is adaptable and has dozens of variations.

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Bounding is not Running

Bounding is not Running

If you take an online peek at what some people identify as ‘Bounding’ within sport and exercise training you will see many many variations of movements. Most are not bounds. They may fall into a ‘stride’ category in that there is an alternating right-left landing pattern, although curiously some pictured examples are not even in the stride category.

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What You See Is: Endurance Running Takeoffs-Before, During and After

What You See Is: Endurance Running Takeoffs-Before, During and After

The runner used for the illustrations has about four years of track and cross country experience and trains about 3 times per week with a group. On other days she may go out for longer runs with a friend. She has dreams of becoming a good middle distance runner and works hard for improvements. She has had no injuries to speak of, although shin splints and hip flexor pains are common. Her feet ache all night after track workouts.

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PLYOMETRIC TRAINING: DEVELOPMENTAL or INCREMENTAL?

PLYOMETRIC TRAINING: DEVELOPMENTAL or INCREMENTAL?

The world of strength and conditioning has within it the curious world of plyometrics. The word itself has the power to elicit comment, opinion, argument and dismissal. The research on the subject is fraught with misinterpretation and confusing results. Starting as an experimental approach to investigating how tendons work to help us move plyometric jumps and leaps quickly became part of training programmes for elite athletes requiring explosive ground reactions. After that the water became muddied.

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