Introducing Movement to Muscle - The Most Important 10 Minutes in Your Young... [ARTICLE]

Introducing Movement to Muscle - The Most Important 10 Minutes in Your Young Volleyball Player's Future
By: Ken Kontor

Originally Published in: Coaching Volleyball Magazine

Provided by: AVCA

According to world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, youth injury rate is at an all-time high as a result of being trained as if they are collegiate and professional athletes. Today, many collegiate and professional strength programs have identified the problem, conduct movement screenings and re-train their incoming athletes on proper exercise techniques - starting with no resistance. In other words, they start over. In Performance Conditioning Volleyball (Volume 21, Number 3) we published an article titled "Movement Prep -Collegiate Incoming Freshmen's First Step," showing how the University of Nebraska approaches this issue. No incoming freshman is allowed in the weight room until they go through the program. The bottom line is that things have deteriorated so much that it may be better for the young athlete not to strength train rather than do it wrong and create improper movement skills that open themselves up to injury. I've had several collegiate and professional strength coaches tell me this; something has to be done. It's gotten that bad.

Introducing Movement to Muscle (M-2-M)

The movement part of Movement to Muscle (M-2-M) was created to educate and empower the volleyball coach to assess proper movement skills in their athletes and to provide the coach a corrective exercise program to improve and replace them. This is especially important in a side-dominant sport such as volleyball.

The muscle part of M-2-M is to monitor the effectiveness of the strength program, ensuring that proper exercise techniques, loading progressions and recovery practices are used. Also considered is the volume of volleyball play.

Take 10 Minutes

M-2-M is a series of nine movement skill tests graded on a pass/fail basis. This takes a total of approximately 10 minutes per athlete. These tests will be provided digitally through Performance Conditioning Volleyball and made available to every volleyball coach at no cost. Also provided will be the all-important pass/fail score card. Minimal equipment is needed.


If the athlete fails any of the tests, they are placed on a movement skills corrective program, which they do until they pass all nine tests. Then the athlete can successfully begin their strength and conditioning program. This muscle program must be done using correct exercise techniques and proper progressive overloading to ensure the continuation of proper muscular development coinciding with proper movement skills. M-2-M movement skills tests should be done periodically throughout the athlete's career to ensure good strength training practices and to monitor the impact of year-round volleyball play. If the athlete fails any test at any time, they return to the M-2-M movement skills corrective program; the strength and conditioning program is discontinued until all tests are passed. It is recommended that the year-round volleyball play load volume be reviewed, recovery practices monitored and the strength and conditioning program evaluated and corrected to ensure future M-2-M test passage. All of this takes place under the watchful eye of the volleyball coach. This also creates a constructive dialogue between the coach and parent.

Who is Behind M-2-M?

The movement part of M-2-M was developed by Lisa Bartels, PT, DPT, PRC.

We have published 20 of her articles. She was a member of the University of Nebraska volleyball team from 1995 to 1997. Lisa was personally introduced to the field of physical therapy when she sustained significant injuries during her collegiate career, leading to her pursuit of a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. This is only part of her impressive resume.

The muscle part of M-2-M is more of a challenge. Performance Conditioning Volleyball has dedicated over 20 years of proper strength training practices. We have developed the document Accepted Practices in Developing a Safe Strength and Conditioning Program for Volleyball, reviewed and accepted by members of the USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission. But like all position papers, they are in some file somewhere on some computer. Today, with the internet and popular strength sports such as CrossFit, strength training practices are all over the map, with an avalanche of information making it nearly impossible to say what is good or bad. Fact is, nothing is inherently bad - it is how it's done and applied that makes it bad. This is why taking 10 minutes and redoing the nine movement tests is so important. Failed tests = failed program. Redo the program, pass the tests. Simple.

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04 Jan 2017

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