'AIM' and Takeoff programmes
Takeoff Coaching designs and creates programmes for training landing, stability and takeoff skills. These may target specifics areas such as the feet or focus on whole actions such as vertical jumps. The framework for design is MOVERS* which has a core of OVR and supports of MES. Various exercises are rated according to their relationship to OVR.
Taking the hundreds of potential exercise selections and designing them into progressive programmes requires a system that addresses mechanical, neuromuscular and metabolic aspects of sport movements. Because the ultimate objectives relate to being able to manage great overloads in a very short time there is always a neuromuscular or neuro-tendonous dominance to the programmes. In other words athletes are learning to ‘train the brain’ as much as muscles and connective tissues.
For this to be effective the athlete must first identify which muscles and areas need to be active at different phases of a landing, takeoff or air time. Beyond knowing the anatomy this aspect is more a sensation than conscious targeting. By extension, being able to use tendon-muscle groups only when they need to be used reduces unwanted tension and consumes less energy. This is an important first stage because many athletes are engaged in their sport with undo tension, or are using muscle groups at inefficient times. These patterns show as imbalances and pathological gaits or takeoffs that have become ‘normal’ for the athlete. Unlearning and re-learning needs to occur before performance can change. Probably the most common example of this is the quad-dominant style of running, jumping or leaping seen across sport and dance. The hip-ankle joints are used in an incomplete fashion and the athlete overworks a relatively slower mechanism to complete movements. To change this, the athlete needs to intuitively know what full hip and ankle extension feels like before trying to change the pattern.
Bringing the various factors together into a model or template that can be used across many different aspects of Takeoff Coaching, results first in the acronym AIM*.
1. ACTIVATING: identify and strengthen the areas that need attention and begin the process of correcting imbalances. This area creates sensations at slower speeds that can be taken forwards into more specialised movements
2. INTEGRATING: take the area or group that has been activated and desegregate it so that it participates as it should with the whole action or chain of action. Overload and velocity are also introduced in order to reinforce sensations of smooth movement.
3. MOBILISING: learn to move with efficiency and effectiveness. This is the area where the athlete learns to move with their own style. Excess tension is reduced and coordination patterns become automatic.
Many of the programmes made available by TAKEOFF COACHING have a fourth or fifth level to them. These are programme directions that take the athlete beyond preparing to train towards preparing to compete or perform. The basic areas are:
4. SUPPORTING: these programmes add variety and dynamic posture to the AIM bank of programmes so that landing management and takeoff skills can be broadened to accept imbalanced landings or cope with fatigue.
5. PERFORMING: many of the movements found in sport and dance have a precision component to them that is very fine. Hundredths of seconds or centimetres off-target and movements may falter or become inefficient. This area of programming helps instil a sense of automatic precision so that consistency and efficient energy use are maintained.
[The acronyms MOVERS and AIM have been developed by janerik productions and are used with permission by TAKEOFF COACHING. Any other use without expressed written permission is prohibited, ©2014]