6 Major Factors Athletes Must Know To Get The Edge Over Their Opponents

What are the six skills of skill-based training & why should you include them?

The six components of skill-related fitness

Speed, Agility, Power, Balance, Coordination, Reaction Time.

If you’re an athlete these six skills are a must to add to your training program. Skill-based training is what’s going to set you apart from everyone else who is training just as hard as you in the gym. If you’ve been training your six skills you will have the edge all day.

Speed

Speed defines how quickly a movement can be performed in a short space of time.

The first thing that springs to mind is a sprinter. Look past that initial thought and think how speed can be implemented in your sport. From passing a ball in netball to completing a lap in the pool & even dashing down the side-line in team field sports such as football & rugby.

How you can implement speed into your training?

  • Wall drives.
  • Resistance band reps ie. speed bands or resistance band.
  • Speed play, variation sprints

Agility

Agility is the ability to change the position of the body quickly and move in different directions quickly.

Agility is used everywhere in sports that require you to move around people or objects. You have to agile or you’re going to hit or get hit. Perfect examples of this are mixed martial arts, hockey & team sports like basketball.

How can you implement agility into your training?

  • 3 cone drills & variations
  • Agility ladder
  • Partner cone throws

Power

Power is the ability to exert maximum muscular contraction instantly, in an explosive burst of movement (in a short timeframe). The two components of power are strength and speed.

Power is personally my favourite skill. Using power effectively in sport can be game-changing. From throwing a javelin, long jumping & even striking a baseball or golf ball.

How you can implement power into your training?

  • Box jumps
  • Broad jumps
  • Explosive sprint starts

Balance

Balance is the ability to control the body’s position when stationary.

Standing still on one leg in different positions might sound like it doesn’t apply to you, but every time you walk you’re doing a similar movement. Maybe not as exaggerated as a single leg deadlift or yoga pose but you have still transitioned weight from one leg to the next & it requires balance.

Looking a little deeper into balance within sport. It’s the ability to control your centre of gravity when moving at speed. For example, when turning sharply using your agility, you will need to maintain the balance of your body otherwise your movement will not be as effective.

How you can implement balance training?

  • Star excursion balance
  • Single leg balance reach
  • Single leg hops

Coordination

Coordination is the ability to smoothly move two or more body parts under control, accurately and efficiently.

Coordination within sport mostly uses hand-eye coordination. But there is much more to it than just hand-eye coordination. Take proprioception, knowing where your limbs are & what space you have around you. Tennis players, cricketers & golfer may excel at hand-eye. Whereas a mixed martial artist or boxer may lean towards better proprioception.

How you can you implement coordination training?

  • Ladder drills
  • Pattern sequences
  • Run & catch sequences

Reaction time

Reaction time is the ability to respond quickly to a stimulus.

A quick reaction time will help in many different ways, whether its cognitive, audible or visual. Take baseball, for example, a ball is being bowled at you & you need to have one of two reactions either hit it & make a good connection or let it go & hit the next throw. Take any sport with a start gun, you want to have the fastest reaction time to be able to react to the sound.

How you can you implement reaction time training?

  • Reactive sprint test
  • Blaze pods
  • Partner timed cone drills

Want to find out where your skill level is & have a simple but effective way to track your performance?

Sport specific, 6 skill based training resource, free resource for athletes

Take the initiative and download our skill wheel resource. It will help you easily find where you currently are & what needs development.

Summary

Ultimately you are going to want all these skills to be at the highest level. If one needs a little more work then absolutely spend time on it. Athletes, always remember that these skills are interdependent of each other. If you develop one you are going to undoubtedly see the benefit in another.

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