3 Movement Concepts

Posted: October 27, 2011 in Coaching Concepts, Movement Training
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3 Movement Concepts

In sport we are required as players/athletes to move into positions to execute actions.  Our ability to execute actions and what type of action we execute is dependent on the dynamic situations presented within the game.  Our actions are the how of a desired tactical outcome.  These tactical outcomes are hindered by our opponent(s) trying to do the same thing.  Regressing game situations we arrive at a simplistic model of move and execute.  This is as simple as stating that if we cannot move to a zone where we are required to execute an action it is irrelevant how technically capable we are of executing the action.  If we cannot move with sufficient time we reduce our tactical opportunities and begin to cope.

In the attempt to simplify movement in context let’s consider that the situation or desired tactical outcome will govern how we move.  I have derived 3 movement concepts that cover the majority of situations that arise within a game.

  1. Move on Balance
  2. Move in flight
  3. Transition between the two

Move in Balance

Moving in balance is ultimate control of the centre of mass (CoM).  Utilising steps that require minimal weight transfer and shifts of the CoM will ensure balance is maintained during motion.  The requirements of the movements and steps must ensure that a step in a given direction must not hinder a step in any other.  These steps can take a variety of forms and can range from minimal explosive requirements to larger explosive requirements depending on the needs of the situation.

Move in Flight

Move in Flight is described as the means to getting to a position where there is significant distance to be covered, where moving in balance is deemed inefficient.  Travel requires a shift of CoM in the direction of the intended movement, followed by explosive drive and sprint mechanics.


The situation may require a combination of the above concepts and a player/athlete must be able to transition between the two.  From flight to Balance requires a great ability to decelerate the body and return the CoM to a neutral position.  Conversely Balance to Flight will require shifting the CoM in the intended direction and powerful loading and driving to accelerate the body.

Almost all situations that arise in the game and throughout the duration of the game players will be required to shift between Balance and Flight movements.   Actions are better executed on Balance including turns and changes of direction and also technical actions such as strokes and passes.  Therefore a player must be able to get on Balance after explosive movements, sometimes remain on balance and move and other times explode out of balance into Flight.

Some actions are executed whilst in flight such as moving on to a through ball in football and gaining control of the ball, crossing a ball into the box post sprinting down the line, playing a forehand stroke on the run.  In all these situations it is desirable to get on balance post execution as to continue with the game, react to new situations and provide maximum tactical opportunities. One must also remember that during the execution of the action there must be a high degree of control of the CoM throughout and balance regained post as previously described.

Can you think of situations where we might use,

  1. Move in Balance
  2. Move in Flight
  3. Transition

Overall our movement training must consider the 3 concepts and also relate directly to situations within the game.  Knowing what we want our players (in positions and relative to game styles) to do will aid in how we allow our players to do it.  If we are training tacking of a defender we must ensure our players are training Move in Balance, similarly if we are preparing our players for a running forehand we must training them to Move in Flight and get back on balance.  Within these concepts there are technical considerations mainly relating the control of CoM and body positions to allow each movement concept to occur most efficiently.




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