3.3 Deconstructing Deceleration

No matter how well organized your Parisi classes, game speed will always produce more stress on an athlete than training. Parisi coaches will always have a higher responsibility to deconstruct the biomechanics of an athlete’s movement and the stresses they experience. Deceleration training is the best example of this concept. During an athlete’s sport they experience conscious and subconscious deceleration.

Conscious Deceleration

  • Coming to a complete stop.
  • Hard break or cut.

Subconscious Deceleration

  • Slowing down to speed back up.
  • Speeding up to slow back down.
  • Accelerating through a transitional run.

Studies have shown that anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are one of the most common among athletes. A 2017 study showed that over the course of two decades, there was a 2.3% in- crease per year in ACL injuries among youth athletes. A very clear outcome of this study was the importance of neuromuscular training for youth athletes in order to mitigate this increased risk of injury. As this section has brought to light, Parisi Coaches must always consider the deceleration component, regardless of training age/class. Whether it be hard stops, transitional speed changes, landing mechanics bilaterally and unilaterally, all mechanisms play an important role in the future success of the athletes in your Parisi program. Remember, the best ability an athlete can have is availability. The ability to stay healthy to continue to compete and train.

Injury resilience is one of our goals. While knee injuries are not the only culprit to bench an athlete, they are by-in-large one of the most common injuries experienced by youth athletes in America today. A common characteristic found in many studies of ACL injuries revealed that the majority of non-contact ACL injuries were reported during a weight bearing movement when the injured leg was in contact with the ground and most often when the knee was in a shallow angle (5-20 degrees). Further insight reveals that in-particular valgus motions and hyperextension were also observed at the same time. Parisi coaches are not clinicians, however understanding this particular common causation justifies why the Parisi system positions deceleration and landing position as two of our 5 Points of Success.

Parisi coaches will make many observations during evaluations and in classes that will reveal a young athlete’s weaknesses. It should not surprise a coach when various movement weaknesses present themselves in the form of knocked knees, stiff ankles, poor posture and improper arm action. All of these examples become key teaching focal points in all areas of the Parisi curriculum. While each of these are critical to improving an athlete’s ability to properly decelerate, they are also foundational when leading speed sessions.