Athlete Development: The Quest for Physical Literacy

"It's about understanding how to manage their bodies". These were the words of Will Page, Lions Sports Academy Director of Athlete Development & Lecturer in Sports Rehabilitation at St Mary's University, during his ADP talk to Middlesex U16 parents at Grasshoppers RFC last night. It is not just about the understanding of knowing one's body during growth, that Will was referring too, but also the underlying mental factor of understanding how to properly overcome injury and having the correct sports rehab to make sure that it does not occur again. 

Sports rehabilitation is only a small part of the journey for a successful player, but it is a very crucial aspect in a young players development and without the right guidance and understanding can easily cause problems during a young players career. 

Last night's talk by Will was an opportunity to dismiss any fears or issues that parents might have with their sons or daughters participating in during this key development period. Two of the key fears were the use of weights from a young age & whether or not it is safe for players to be taking supplements & protein powders. However, it was soon pointed out by Will that it has been scientifically proven that the use of weights & pressure on the bones from a young age is actually good for developement.. Young players will be taught in the correct manner & will be provided with the correct training & technique before participiating in the use of weights from a young age. 

Using his fountain of knowledge, Will also explained how the terminology of 'Strength & Conditioning' is more complex than first thought, with Strength & Condtioning actually containing sub sections that will be key in an athletes developement. 

Lions Sports Academy, under Will's leadership, provides training in these key areas.

Athlete reconditioning - Providing support both mentally & physically for players when injury occurs & providing them with the correct rehab to make sure they properly recover. 

Speed Academy - Building foundation speed skills & sporting skills such as throwing, Jumping, running etc. 

Foundation Strength - How to develop their bodies properly, by learning how to move their bodies & build athletic movements. 

After this great talk, Lions are now getting ready to continue with their Athlete Development Programme by running Speed Academies & Foundation Strength courses from throughout January until the summer. There are still a few places remaining on these courses but they are filling up quickly, so be sure to book your place now and don't miss out!


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