Athletic Development

Every once in a while something comes across my (digital) windshield that makes me pause and say, “Ye-he-he-he-hesssssssss..!!!”

It’s like finding the missing piece to at 500-piece puzzle. Or, discovering a crisp $20 in an old pair of jeans. (You get me drift.)

Well, this video featuring Bill Knowles of HPSports, gave me that kinda feeling.

Quotables: On Athletic Development

“We don’t need to have a strength and conditioning program. We need an athletic development philosophy.”

—Bill Knowles

Multi-Dimensional Speed and Agility:


  • “One of the common injuries for younger athletes is just a broken wrist and a broken collar bone because their bones aren’t as mature. If we can teach athletes to fall, we may decrease that risk.”


  • “Everything can be done on a grass pitch: rolling, gymnastics, tumbling … So much [athletic development] can be done with not a lot of money. Not everyone has that [big] budget.
  • “Maintaining range of motion at the ankle, knee, and hip is extremely important. It’s not something that you just measure. It’s something that you train on a regular basis.”
  • “Strength based warm-ups is part of our strength.”
  • “We’re investing a dollar every day. We’re not trying to have, one or two times a week the $10 workout. We have one dollar every day. We just keep investing. That cumulative effect strategy is paying off.”
  • “It doesn’t have to be traditional football strategy. Bracing and stiffness, like these exercises here, are teaching kids once again to fall; but also to prepare for challenges. Preparing for contact. And, this type of training is a lot of fun and takes a lot of coordination.”
  • “When we give [them] rules, we want [them] to find out the rules we didn’t give [them] and then make up a winning team.
Bracing in & Athletic Development: Critical quality to reduce-stabilize-produce force during athletic movements.
Bracing in & Athletic Development: Critical quality to reduce-stabilize-produce force during athletic movements.

Stop thinking: ‘What’s the latest?’ Start thinking: ‘What’s lasted?’

Look, for those who don’t know me (that well—yet!), what you need to know is that I love the intersection between fun and functional . You know. It’s that place where badass and ‘barrier free’ hang out together.

Great coaching should be accessible—to all. And, it has a lot less to do with new gadgets and gimmicks than what the vocal minority are asserting. Toss out the cones. Stop running lines. Do these activities instead.

If you need me, you know which street corner you can find me on.


#thankthepasser: BIG shout out to Paul Head for sharing. I’m guessing he shot it on his phone at the #RTP2016 event. I tweeted him; and, *without* hesitation, he emailed me the full footage. (I still wanna hug you, Paul!)