The ASM is a practical and scientifically based talent development model for elite sport, recreational and unorganized sport, Physical Education, health care and art and culture. Optimal development occurs when all parties work from the same, well-founded vision, with the mover at the centre. This new way of thinking about movement forms the basis of qualitative exercise programs.
René Wormhoudt is a physiotherapist with 24 years of experience at the youth and first team of AFC Ajax. There, he instilled the vision of the ASM in the youth academy from 2005 to 2012, whilst from 2003 to 2012 he was the strength & conditioning trainer for the first team. In addition, he has extensive experience in various other sports including basketball, handball, swimming and American Football. René has worked under various national coaches since 2012 as the strength & conditioning coach of the Dutch national team (KNVB), and he is the CEO of the Athletic Skills Company.
Prof. Geert Savelsbergh is a professor at the Human Movement Sciences Department, VU Amsterdam. He is also a lecturer in Talent Development at the University of Applied Science in Amsterdam and one of the two scientific supervisors of team sports at NOC*NSF. Among other things, he is concerned with perceptual-motor learning and the search for ‘key indicators’ (such as viewing behavior, game insight) for talent identification and development. In addition, he has worked as a youth football coach for many years and he has special affinity with various ball sports including football, tennis, cricket, hockey and golf.
Technological developments such as mobile phones, computer games and digital media have led to children growing up in a different culture of movement, in which outdoor play no longer plays a leading role. Children exercise less and sit more often. They miss the pleasure of moving. Children also stop exercising sooner and are less motivated to move in later life.
We not only move too little, but often too one-sidedly. This is a social problem that has consequences for important issues such as health, fitness and creativity, as well as sport performance. This leads to a disturbed motor development, therefore increasing the risk of health problems and injuries.
By thinking in terms of skills, concepts and competencies, other forms of play, activities, exercises and sports can contribute to optimal talent development. The Athletic Skills Model introduces a unique structure of versatility through Adaptive Training, Donor Sports and Multisports. Solutions from one sport are consciously and unconsciously transferred to another. This results in positive transfers in the technical, tactical, conditional, strategic and mental areas. With this targeted approach, programmes can be tailor-made for every kind of sport and movement, for every mover and for all levels.
Many well-known elite athletes have also participated in other sports, which has had a positive influence on their sporting career. For example, Zlatan Ibrahimovic practised taekwondo in his youth. As a result, he learned to fall well, he is more creative in his duels, and his kicking skills and spatial orientation have developed more versatility. This knowledge and insight is the inspiration behind the development of the ASM for every level and all forms of sport and exercise.
Instead of just narrowly focusing on elite sport, the ASM focuses on all movers at every level. Talent development applies to every mover. An early one-sided load or specialization increases the risk of injuries, overloading and loss of strength. For a healthy and high-quality development, it is important to use as many different basic skills as possible within sports, games, exercises and activities. This results in better performance, fewer injuries, increased creativity and more fun in sport and exercise.
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