This winter I’ve had a great opportunity to read some rather fantastic books on a variety of topics. One strength and conditioning related books I read was Power Positionsby Andrea Hudy, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance at the University of Kansas. This book was a very easy read designed not only for the sports performance professional but also for parents and coaches looking to help athletes improve their athletic skill. Coach Hudy primarily works with the basketball programs at Kansas, but the book goes beyond that sport and separates athletes into three power positions that emphasize different types of training. These positions were:
Lateral or Reactive Athletes: Basketball Players, Setters and Middle Blockers, Defensive Backs
Rotational Athletes: Golfers, Tennis Players, Pitchers
Linear Moving, Speed Athlete, or Timing Athlete: Cyclists, Outfielders, Wide Receivers
The authors goes on to describe the physical requirements of each athlete based on sport and position and lays out typical methods used to train each type of athlete throughout a macrocycle. It’s complete with charts, data, and sample workouts to make the information easier to digest for the reader.
One portion of the book that I found to be very unique were the author’s descriptions of the fundamental movement qualities that she measures in athletes including:
Load: The ability to decelerate or control the body against gravity through anterior chain strength
Explode: The ability to create strength through muscle stiffness and brace against forces
Drive: The ability to overcome gravity to reach and maintain maximum speed through compliant muscular contraction in the posterior chain
To conclude, I think this book makes for a very useful resource with an abundance of information from an intelligent and experienced coach. Check it out if you are looking to increase your knowledge or are curious as to why, what, and when training is important.