Why mobility is so important?

Mobility is about the control of the range of motion one has in an action/movement around a joint.Our bodies are plastic: we constantly adapt to what we do. This adaptation shows up when we learn new physical skills and build new body tissues. The principle applies to our brains and nervous system, too. We are “use it or lose it” organisms. Our design is so physically interconnected that what happens at one site cascades to others. This cascade is often why movement specialists will say “the site of pain is not always the source of pain.” As use-it-or-lose-it organisms, we get the body we practice having. On the plus side, this means that better practice = better body. By practicing joint mobility with intent, we re-educate and rehabilitate our movement towards a healthier ROM.

Which are the benefits of mobility training?

1) Proprioception/Sensory motor benefits

Beyond the physiological benefits of moving joints through their ROM, joint work helps us neurologically: joints are key triggers for sensory-motor perception. We experience the world in a sensory-motor hierarchy of visual (vision), vestibular (balance) and proprioceptive (where we are in space) systems. Joints have a very high number of proprioceptive nerves that tell the brain where we are in space and how fast each part of us is moving.

2)Reducing injury

Studies have shown that mobility work as part of balance and resistance training in athletes/persons was found to have a profound effect on reducing the possibilities of injuries.

3)Jammed joints and reduced strength

The nervous system is designed for survival first, not performance. If the nervous system detects a problem in its function – like a joint that is not able to move properly – it more or less cuts down power to the rest of the system (so the compromised component doesn’t put the system at risk). This shutdown is global. Conversely, opening up the jammed joint can bring the power back on line. This phenomenon was first noted decades ago and labelled the “arthrokinetic reflex.”

4)Proprioception & pain

Pain is part of neurological signalling triggered by another proprioceptive nerve, the nociceptor.

Typically, there are more mechanoreceptors (nerves that sense touch, movement, and position) around joints than nociceptors. Mechcanoreceptive nerves send their signals several hundred times faster than most nociceptors. This means that proper joint movement can send a far stronger signal, faster, to the body than a pain signal can.

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Sport Specific Training

Playing the sport is the only sport specific training to achieve the optimal adaptations to improve performance in the sport. Anything else we use is to build fitness, strength and athletic abilities that will transfer to the sport.

Sport specific is the transferability of training to the sport.

A) movement classification. What are the actual movements that you will use in the sport. If your sport is to run in staight line, your training needs to be running or doing other movements in staight line
B) motor control. How to train the motor abilities based on energy systems which are specific to that sport
C) strength qualities. Strength qualities necessary for the sport and how to apply them (force, time to apply it, what is the most efficient way to do that).
D) Primary joint angles and force vectors. How to absord and apply different forces to make the athlete more efficient to move faster.
E) External stimuli. React to an external stimuli or ignore it and focus to whatever you need to react to.
F) Common injuries of sport. Training program must be based around preventing the injuries from excessive overuse of the actual sport. Coaches need to develop the training plan around bulletproofing athletes’ body to prevent or reduce the incident of those injuries occuring.

These things are really important when you get to a high level of sport but you have to built the foundation first. Without a solid foundation, we can’t apply any of the sport specific points.


My Coaching Philosophy

I want to talk about my coaching philosophy and the principles that govern how I coach, program and develop athletes.
First of all my philosophy is still evolving. Its my first year out of university after finishing my MSc degree and I am now starting to focus on applying all thix years of education into practise. Although my little coaching experience so far has taught me a few things which I could say create my philosophy.
Philosophy has the ability to ask the questions and science gives us the answers. So philosophy is our theory and science the expirement. Before running the expirement we need to form a hypothesis, then run a trial, do a lot of errors till we have the final form of our expirement. Then after runnning it we will get back with the results and the conclucions.
Lets get to the point now.
First of all we need to love what we are doing. A coach needs to be enthousiastic about what he is doing so that he will help the athletes grow as athletes and persons. He needs to have a positive influence and inspire them.
He needs to work hard to develop a sence of independence among his athletes, develop responsibility and embrace their own power in order to prepare them for future competitions and life in general. Our job as coaches is to educate athletes  so that they willl understand that learning can come from their own experience. Vince Lombardi once said “they call it coaching but it is teaching. You dont just tell them but you show them the reasons”.
My philosophy is athlete centered. I believe that the coach needs to emphasize on what athletes strengths are and work to improve areas that may be perceived as weaknesses. We need to identify the individual  needs because every athlete is different and whatever we are doing as coaches needs to fit the individual. We need to find the optimal volume and intensity for each one so that they will stay healthy and will keep them performing to achieve their goals.
Now that I mentioned about goals, I strongly believe that the coaches need to set goals so that he keeps the big image in his mind and maintain the balance between what the athletes what to achieve and what he is really capable of.
Leonardo da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. So in my mind simplicity is a key element in coaching. Execution of the simple and basic things and coaching principles brilliantly will lead to better and easier understanding for athletes to bring results. Even if sometimes this is not possible to happen coach needs to be flexible and adaptable in every situation. We needs to be in a position to make fast and difficult decisions in differents conditions if something doesn’t go according to the original plan.
I strongly believe in laconic coaching. As a true Greek (not Spartan though), I am in a position to distinguish what i need to say and when i will say it. When it comes to coaching, a coach must not fire athletes with details which athletes dont unterstand. We need to stick to the point and explain briefly but accurately what we want to say. When the education process will be done and the athlete is able to understand things and is experienced enough we can add more scientific details.
Finally in order to get smarter you need to work hard at some point of your life. There are no magic workouts or programs. There are many ways of achieving the desired result. Here come the effieciency that coach needs to have developped so thst he will in a position to identify what he and his athletes need to do to get the best result and emphasize on quality work.