Scott Moody founded AthleteFIT, an athletic performance and research center in Overland Park, Kansas in 1999. Moody’s Functionally Integrated Training method blends the physical skills of sport and fitness, with the technical-tactical application of those skills, to enhance one’s ability to bridge this physical-technical gap and make a broader impact on the game. Moody is an international speaker, published author, app creator and coach for thousands of athletes, many of which have won championships on the high school, club, college and professional level, including World Cup champions, Olympic medalists. AthleteFIT workshops have been taught across North America, Asia and Europe since 2010 with Olympic Level athletes and coaches, personal trainers and fitness studio owners. Moody also works as a consultant to equipment manufactures in the design and functionality of new products, and development of training programs to help engage users and work with facility owners to maximize space and efficiency.
From an interview with Scott Moody, Founder and CEO of Athlete FIT…
Integrating Testing Into Training
Our company is called Athlete FIT and FIT is an acronym for Functionally Integrated Training. Our goal is to integrate testing with training, and the skill or the on-field portion with the training, because that’s why the athlete is really coming to us. They’re not training to lift more weight, increase their vertical jump, or improve their 40-yard dash. They’re training to become a better athlete.
We want to lock in and integrate as much sport into training as we can, so it feels more like training for their sport. From a testing perspective, the more we test the more we know about the athlete, but we don’t want to have testing days where we take an hour going through some baseline tests. If the testing can become the training, then we’re learning more every day about how our athletes are responding to the loads, volumes, techniques, and what we’re asking them to do.
We use the EZEJUMP mat for all of our jumps in our plyometric training. It allows our athletes to feel what “quick off the ground” actually feels like, lets them see their progress, and motivates them by showing the targets or milestones which they need to hit. As they achieve those targets and realize that they’re getting better day to day, they buy into the training more and put maximum effort into every jump and every rep. I feel that it’s not about tracking data and taking down numbers every day, but it’s about letting that athlete experience that process of “I see myself getting better.” Typically, an athlete will say “I did my set of five jumps and so I must be getting better.” In reality, if you’re only putting 50% effort into each of those jumps, then you’re really not improving. But on the other side of that, if in every jump you’re focused on reaching a new peak height or hitting above a certain target, you’re locking an athlete into that max effort type of approach. That’s where I think we get our best results.
The EZEJUMP allows us to track numbers week to week, see how athletes are progressing, and modify things if we need to back them off. As long as you can do the testing as a part of the training process, and as long as it doesn’t take too much time and you can run a lot of people through it; the athletes get comfortable with it, it motivates them to work harder, and it’s a win-win.
Learn From Your Athletes
The one thing that’s always been a little frustrating in this industry is that most of the research in speed, agility, and even strength training comes out of college programs or professional environments where the athletes are already good. They’re good at their sport and that’s why they’re there. I work in more of a developmental capacity where some athletes are going through growth spurts, are a little awkward and uncoordinated, or maybe coming back off of an injury. There’s not a lot of science on how to develop those types of movement strategies. Because of that, we’ve had to learn from our athletes, look at a lot of videos, and break down a lot of things. This allowed us to see what fast players do versus what slow players do, find the common factors, and determine what we needed to focus on. That refinement has led us to develop creative sprint starts and different types of footwork and agility patterns that actually get athletes to feel more comfortable with the way their body moves. If you feel more balanced and you’re in a better position, it gives you a little bit more time to look up, assess the situation, think about what’s going on, create a strategy, and execute tactically in this environment. When you’re in a more balance position and you feel more confident about how you are moving.