Applied coachingYouth strength and conditioning

Review: Animal Flow for Sport Coaches Seminar

On Wednesday 28th of November at Meggetland Sport Complex, in conjunction with Edinburgh Leisure, we hosted the “Animal Flow for Sport Coaches Seminar”. As someone who is always looking for new approaches to training, Animal Flow struck me as a useful alternative method of coaching mobility to athletes, hence why I had been enthusiastic to collaborate with Phil Trodden of Edinburgh Leisure to host the workshop, as I knew other coaches would also find it beneficial to add to their skill set.

Athletic Evolution
Some of the attendees in action!

The seminar was lead by Animal Flow instructor, Matt Whale of 12 Rounds Personal Training. Matt currently works for the mental health charity “Projekt 42“. He has previously delivered similar content to the Edinburgh and Glasgow regions of the Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy.
The seminar was 99% practical, which was great as we were up and moving from the get go with a thorough warm up, preparing the wrists for some of the demanding positions that were due to come! Following the warm up Matt led us through the following progressions, in pairs with plenty of opportunities to coach each other:

  • Static Beast adding arm lift/leg lift/ arm & leg lift
  • Static Crab adding arm lift/leg lift/ arm & leg lift
  • Travelling forward/backward

Athletic Evolution
The Scorpion Reach

After learning these basics, we then progressed onto the more difficult movements which helped to link these key movements, such as the Scorpion Reach, Half Scorpion Landing, Crab Reach and Underswitches. It became really obvious that the Scorpion Reach and Crab Reaches were pretty demanding in terms of mobility and would make great additions to athletic development sessions focussed on mobility and movement skills!
These moves now allowed us to start actually flowing from one posture to the next and Matt set us the challenge of coming up with our own flows in small groups. Here’s a little snapshot from Clare Tracey’s Instagram account of her in action putting some moves together!
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The seminar was great fun –  learning the key positions and exploring new movements and transitions was a good challenge! I certainly found the workshop beneficial and can see how I can add some of the Animal Flow work into my toolbox as a fun, alternative method to implementing mobility based activities. From the feedback of the other attendees, they also seemed keen to start using what they had learning with their own groups!
Thanks again to Matt Whale for delivering a great seminar, as well as a special mention to Phil Trodden for all his hard work behind the scenes in organising the facility, matting and promotional materials! He didn’t even get to attend the event as he’s current awaiting the birth of a new child at any moment!
If you are interested in future workshops like this, we will be hosting another workshop on Saturday January 19th at the Gracemount Leisure Centre, this time focussing on “Gymnastics for Sport Coaches” led by Commonwealth Gymnast Shannon Archer!
Are you a grassroots youth sport coach or PE teacher who wants to improve the athleticism of your athletes?? Check out our Fundamental series athletic development programs here.

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