“I SAW THAT THEY WERE GOOD FOOTBALLERS, BUT NOT ATHLETES. AS IF THEY COULD PLAY A BEAUTIFUL PIECE ON THE PIANO, BUT THEY WERE NOT MUSICIANS.”

With this thought, René Wormhoudt, founder of the Athletic Skills Model, had already started to think differently about movement as early as 1995 at AFC Ajax. This development, together with Prof. dr. Geert Savelsbergh of the VU Amsterdam, has resulted in a new talent development model, originally intended only for sports. Since then, the vision behind the development model has been translated into various domains and target groups for the talent of each mover.


For optimum talent development

Elite Sport | Recreational sport and lifestyle | Physical Education | Healthcare | Art and culture

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.

BODY AND MIND ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME MEDAL


Founders

René Wormhoudt

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. dr. Geert Savelsbergh

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.


Movement poverty

Children and adults are less motor-skilled and less fit

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.

THE ASM MAKES YOU
FITTER, HEALTHIER AND BETTER AT YOUR SPORT


First an athlete, then a specialist

Roger Federer | Michael Jordan | Teun de Nooijer | Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Kjeld Nuis | Ranomi Kromowidjojo | Jackie Groenen | Tom Brady | Peter Sagan | Bouwdewijn Zenden | Kyle Chalmers | Robbert Kemperman | Dafne Schippers | Kobe Bryant | Johan Cruijff | Marco van van Basten | Wayne Gertsky | Novak Djokovic | Yelena Insinbayeva

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.


Talent development for everyone

Elite and recreational sport | Young and old | Able and less able-bodied

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.

VARIATION AND FUN ARE THE BASIS FOR
LIFE-LONG HEALTHY MOVEMENT


Structure in versatility

Balancing and falling | Romping and fighting | Moving and locomotion | Jumping and landing | Rolling, tumbling and turning | Throwing, catching, hitting and aiming | Kicking, shooting and aiming | Climbing and scrambling | Swinging | Moving to music and making music

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.

SPORTS HAVE MORE IN COMMON
THAN THEY DIFFER


“Based on his years of experience as a physical trainer, René Wormhoudt has developed a vision to achieve better movers and, together with the movement scientists Jan Willem Teunissen and Geert Savelsbergh, substantiates this vision with the results of scientific research. This vision provides practical guidance on how to ensure that each age group learns the skills that will ultimately result in better movers.”

Edwin Goedhart
Head of Medicine, KNVB

The ASM was published in 2012 in a Dutch-language book (Wormhoudt, Teunissen, & Savelsbergh, 2012) and in 2018 as an English-language book with expansion (Wormhoudt, Savelsbergh, Teunissen, & Davids, 2018). The high interest in the ASM is currently answered by the training of sports staff and physiotherapists in the ASM Academy, the development of innovative training materials, and the design of exercise facilities for municipalities, schools, sports facilities and health centres.