Land of the Sky Tournament information can be found by clicking on the button above.

Newcomers to the site should note the pickleball book "chapters" in the left column and the repository of expert articles and videos in the right column.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pickleball Performance Training - Warm Up Structure

It's all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you're properly trained...

Let's follow up yesterday's post on the importance of warming up with an explanation of what elements form the foundation for an effective warm-up. This is the second post from Nate Littauer of Xcel, who has developed a pickleball performance training programs available to all players in the local area. Nate will also have a special presentation during the upcoming Land of the Sky pickleball tournament. Details will be forthcoming.


In my last post regarding Warm Ups for improving your Pickleball performance, I addressed the benefits of a proper Warm Up and how it decreases injury risk. But what is a proper Warm Up? What does it look like and how long does it take? These are common questions that many people have input have on and personal opinions. 

The difficulty lies in the fact that no single Warm Up routine is the right one. There are so many different Warm Ups that prove themselves to be highly effective for achieving a ready state for play, so no specific routine can be classified as "the best way." What we do know, is that there is a common pattern among Warm Ups that proves to be correct, or in opposite, Warm Ups that are not correct.

When looking at effective Warm Ups, there are some key components that they share and reasons why they work. Effective Warm Ups share the following three factors:

1. They Are Dynamic

Dynamic Stretching is stretching that is movement based. Many times, people will achieve a position and hold it without moving. This is known as Static Stretching, and has been shown to decrease Strength and Power Output. The less Strength we have, the less opportunity we have to stabilize our joints and keep them safe. A strong muscle creates a strong, injury free joint, and the best way to do that is to move in and out of positions that challenge our flexibility.

2. They Increase in Intensity

A lot of times, people will start at one intensity level and stay there. However, the body needs an increasing intensity level in order to perform optimally. There's a slope that has to be climbed before you reach the peak of any mountain, and if your best performance is the peak, the Warm Up is the slope to climb. If we slowly increase the intensity or our Warm Up, from little/slower movements to bigger/faster movements, our body will reach a "peak" performance level for the day. 

3. The Increase In Specificity 

The "peak" concept also applies here in regards to the movements that would be selected for a Warm Up. We want to start at a very general level and then move to more and more specific movements to our Pickleball playing. Many players I have talked to move very quickly into Warming Up their swing, serve, or slow paced practice at the kitchen line. Often times, this is happening before the body is truly warm, and unfortunately doesn't effectively help us perform at our highest potential.

These common denominators of effective Warm Ups are what can take your performance and ability to resist injury to the next level. The process of preparing your body for performance and getting ready to play is one that can really be the determining factor in how well you play, so taking the effort to make sure your Warm Up is doing what it needs to is of utmost importance.

Nate Littauer, CSCS is the Head Coach for Jump and Total Performance at Parisi Speed School in Hendersonville, NC. He also serves as the Head Coach for the Pickleball Performance Training Program at Parisi, a Sport Performance program that enhances on court performance through physical fitness.

No comments:

Post a Comment