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Building Your Athlete One Tool at a Time

It takes many tools to build a house. No tool is superior to another, and each tool plays a very particular role throughout the construction of the house; roles they perform really well. For instance, hammers are exceptional at driving nails but don't cut wood very well. A saw, however, cuts wood perfectly but lacks in other areas, and so on, and so on.

Training athletes is really no different. It takes a variety of exercises, evaluative methods, and other training "tools" to build (or rebuild) an athlete. Each tool plays a specific role, and each method has its own strengths and weaknesses. One tool alone – no matter how effective it is in its primary function – can make an athlete.

With that being said, I find it curious how some within our profession are quick to criticize an exercise, evaluative tool, or method for what it cannot do rather than celebrate it for what it does well. After all, people don’t criticize a hammer for not being able to cut wood, or a saw for not being able to drive a nail.

In short, it takes many tools/methods to build an athlete. And, each method has a particular purpose. It’s quite important to understand what each method does well as well as where it falls short. Timing is also critical here. To go back to the construction analogy, measuring a board after cutting is a flawed strategy just as creating a training program before assessing mobility, stability, or position.

Lastly, it’s important grow your toolbox to encompass a wide variety of tools because some methods are better used to tackle problems in which other methods aren’t made to address.

Happy building!

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