Using Science to Develop Athletic Ability

Tucson Student Athlete Development

Build a Better Athlete by biochemist/kinesiologist Dr. Michael Yessis looks in to the all too common errors in the standards for American athlete development.  Dr. Yessis provides an in depth assessment of how to apply a scientific based approach to develop physical abilities in athletes of all levels. It reiterates there is not one recipe to develop a good athlete, but how a constant assessment of progress and adjustments made based on sport, sex, fitness level, skill mastery, and nutrition must combine to improve athletic performance. 

Dr. Yessis simplifies the path to becoming a better athlete: improve your technique (sport specific skill) and your general physical abilities concurrently. In other words, train those qualities independent of each other, in order to improve them together. To give an example, a baseball player should practice and hone the specific skills to their sport and their position while simultaneously driving up their physical abilities (strength, speed, power, explosiveness, etc.). In other words, the physical skills need to be trained and developed outside of their sport specific practice. If you want to reach the top, get in the weight room. 

Notable Quotes

“Without a technical and physical base, psychological training will have little value in improving your performance.”

“Combining physical ability development with technique is the ideal situation that results in the fastest and most productive improvement in sports performance.”

“With greater exposure to many different sports and skills you become a much better athlete when you specialize.”

“The greater the number of activities in which you participate, the easier it is to learn new skills and to modify or improve skills that were learned earlier. You gain the ability to learn, the key to achieving the highest level of performance.”

“How well you jump is critical to athletic performance.”

“To produce as much force as possible, it is necessary to enlist the aid of as many joints as possible.”

“For a youngster or novice athlete, increasing absolute strength has a positive effect on the execution of the sports skills and on speed and explosiveness.”

“Regardless of age, one of the best things a runner can do is to strengthen the hip, abdominal and lower back muscles.”

“General exercises serve as a base upon which you can add specialized exercises.”

“Before doing serious strength training or working specifically for speed-strength or explosiveness, it is important that you have an all around strength base together with all around conditioning.”

“Merely doing the Olympic lifts does not insure an increase in speed or quickness in your sport.”

“Well developed cardiovascular and respiratory systems also play a role in strength and maximum strength events, but during recovery, not the performance.”

“Train yourself to expand energy at the level needed so that you can have the fastest race possible.”

“To change direction while in motion, especially a quick one, you must have adequate levels of strength.”

“In general, balance is developed simultaneously with the exercises and sport skills that you learn and perform.”

“If you believe that drugs are the answer to your success, you will never fully achieve your potential greatness.”

“You can lose your visual focus when you are thinking too much about mechanics, simply concentrating too much or when the game gets fast.”

“When great athletes do incredible things, rest assured the action started with their vision.”

At Telos, our thoughtful programming is backed by science to ensure that our athletes develop in a way that prevents injuries and allows for the best possible performance. Click the link below to learn more and get started with us!