Focus on the basics

Do you know the basics? What are the basics? What do you have to do to develop the physical qualities appropriate for the sport or activity you are training for? Everything I do now and have done for the past fifty-one years is grounded in the basics. I learned early on that if I deviated from the basics there was nothing but problems. It is straightforward and simple in concept but complex in application.

» Related content: GAINcast 126 walks through the basics checklist in more detail.

The basics start with with walking gait. In walking gait the arms and legs move in opposition along with a counter rotation of the hips and shoulders. Throwing, running, jumping, freestyle swimming is all based on gait. Therefore, when we look at what underpins the basics it is walking gait.

The basics are the building blocks of the foundation! Here are the basic qualities that you must develop and components that must be worked on:


  • Start
    • Stationary
    • Moving
  • Acceleration
    • To optimum speed in change of direction sports
    • To maximum speed in Athletics
  • Maximum Speed
  • Speed Maintenance/Speed Endurance


  • Recognition & Reaction
  • Starting
  • Change of Direction
  • Stopping


  • Relative
  • Maximum
  • Strength Endurance

Power (Ballistic/Explosive)

  • Plyometrics
    • Jump
    • Hop
    • Bound
  • Throws

Endurance (Energetics – Anaerobic and Aerobic)

  • Capacity
  • Power
  • Short Term (2 minutes or less)
  • Medium Term (2 to 5 minutes)
  • Long Term (5 minutes and longer)


  • Static
  • Dynamic


  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Hydration

Warm-up (Active/Dynamic)

  • Appropriate for the activity being trained for
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