Every athlete wants to gain the competitive edge. Every parent wants to help his or her child gain that edge. How do you get that edge? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to the question but we can certainly start with the number 86,400. The significance in this number is that it is exactly the number of seconds in the day. The number is equal for everyone; no one receives more or less. It is a constant variable. What separates the great athletes from the good ones is how those 86,400 seconds are invested every day.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Playing more games and traveling hundreds of miles to find better competition will not make you a better athlete. You first need to invest the time in the weight room and developing athletic skills such as acceleration, deceleration, jumping, landing and changing direction. These skills will help develop your athleticism and set you up for what is referred to as long-term athletic development (more to come on this subject). Possessing these foundational skills, regardless of your age, is the key to constantly improving your game. As adults, we can all name five or six teammates that never developed beyond the age of 15 or 16. This is because those athletes lacked the foundational skills necessary for sport specific skills to develop. If you want to gain the competitive edge invest your time is speed, agility, and strength sessions conducted by a qualified strength and conditioning coach.