High School

Balancing Back: Prepping Functional Movement in High School Athletes

Discover effective prep exercises and foundational movement patterns for high school athletes, with video examples from Coach Kyle Jacksic.
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At any point in time, you can head to Twitter/X and see performance coaches arguing their case: you have the max strength people, you have the speed coaches, you have the coaches drinking the latest best flavor of what I call Kool-Aid, then you have the few that blend every line and may not marry to any specific ideal. 

The arguments will be from anywhere from programming, to movement selection, to what dose the athletes really need, all the way down to some outlandish videos of the latest greatest exercise. 

One of the arguments that I see the most is the ‘no kid is strong enough’ argument that always seems to come up every few months. Let me say this: being strong is a good thing; but it can’t be the only thing. Watching a 500 plus pound squat gets really any ‘strength coach’ fired up because we understand what it takes to get to that point; but does that 500 pound squat transfer to the playing surface? We’d like to say it does because being strong is important, but I do not see 500 pound athletes running around waiting to be moved.  

There has certainly been a turn in the thinking in some of the coaches in the performance, as COVID forced created scenarios that we have put more eyes on the little things: general physical preparedness (GPP), movement functionality and fluidity, plyometrics, and calisthenics, just to name a few. Light was shined on Bobby Stroupe’s training style for Patrick Mahomes in the reticent Netflix series Quarterback, and it is hard to deny that the training in the closed setting of the facility begins to take shape and replicate itself on the field. 

Let’s call a spade a spade here: you are what you eat. You eat food they do not suggest you to? You probably feel bad. 

We can say an alike statement about training: you are what you train. Training big and slow will make you big and slow (for the most part). Training the capacities of the end ranges of motion will increase that capacity over time. Training all the levels of the force-velocity curve can certainly help in overall athletic development. 

We have a belief at Charlotte Christian High School that we want to train the complete athlete completely. Run fast. Jump high. Sustain hits. All that high output kind of things. 

But what happens when we are only able to see most of our student-athletes for a total of 60 minutes a week because of scheduling constraints? That’s where prep time really comes into play, trying to train movements, which we can call foundational movement patterns, on a consistent basis. 

Our goal of these foundational movement patterns is to connect all of the body’s systems together into one sequencing unit, because that is where sport happens. It does not just use your muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Creating movement, and good movement at that, requires an extremely intricate process connecting the brain to the rest of the body. 

You are what you eat. You are what you train. 

So how do we train those foundational movements? Here are some video examples of our pre-session prep, both in the weight room and on the field: 

Weight Room:

PVC Rocking Lunge:
PVC Transverse Reach:

PVC Staggered Rotational RDL:
PVC Lunge to Rotational Reach:

PVC Around the World:
Crawl Position Hip Hike:

2 inch Lateral Crawls:


Video includes our skip and hug, carioca, crossover runs variations, and our A-Skip Sequence. 

These movements scratch the surface of how we prepare our bodies for training, but have shown great returns on our investments into our programs across multiple sports. 

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