Why Base Of Support Is Crucial For Athletic Agility
Why the base of support is important for athletic performance.
The base of support is a position you see high level athletes get into instinctively. This is a position which, gives the athlete the best possible chance to make an efficient next move for example, making a critical tackle, breaking free from an opponent and so on. In this article, we’re going to explain why the base of support is important for athletic performance.
THE VIDEO: Why Base of Support is CRUCIAL for Athletic Agility
What is the base of support?
In regard to athletic movement, the base of support is the distance between the feet when both feet are planted on the floor and the centre of gravity is within the base of support. It’s a complicated explanation for something quite simple. This is visually shown in the video and is also referred to as the universal athletic position.
In this position, you have your hips and knees flexed, this lowers your centre of gravity, chest up and head facing forward. From here, the athlete is ready to perform various movements such as jumping, changing direction etc., more detail on this is in the video. The biggest variance in this position will be foot position. Anywhere, between hip and shoulder width apart foot placement is acceptable but this depends on your sport or activity. We will explain why below.
Base of support in tennis
The tennis serve is a prime example of different bases of support for different outcomes. Imagine a tennis player returning a serve. Their base of support is wide, around shoulder width maybe a bit more. This is because they have to react to the serve that could go in any direction and this foot width allows them to accommodate for pushing off either side.
Now, imagine the same athlete serving. Their base if support is now, far narrower. This is because the force they are looking to produce is purely vertical. To translate onto the ball therefore, their narrower stance is more efficient for vertical jumping/force production.
The thing we want you to think about is that different sports/activities may have different bases of support to be more efficient and in the case above, the same sport has different bases of support needs. This is where you need to be training a bit more specifically to your base of support.
How to train specifically to your base of support
In the video, we have laid out 3 different ways to train your base of support. The first way is vertical, jumping. The second way involves lateral movement and lastly, the third one involves linear movement. There are exercises with progressions for each of the 3 movements. Start basic. Then, make it harder. We also implemented some ‘games’ or ‘competitive’, because we want to show you where you will progress to. Just don’t jump the progressions to soon as competition can very quickly throw technique out the window.
Base of support is an important position to master as when you are out on the field, it can make a big difference in physically performing better. Go through the progressions we have suggested and once you become more competent begin to compete and see it translate to the performances you do.