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Learning How to Fall: The Most Under-Appreciated Lesson in Youth Sports

Ian Goldberg is a sports dad, coach and the Founder of iSport360.  His SportsTech company is helping over 100,000 youth sport coaches, parents and kids share training videos, practice assignments, sticker rewards and a virtual team locker room….through the COVID-19 lockdown and as we return to play. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, iSport360 is offering it’s platform for free all season to keep every team connected, active and strong. So click here to get started.

I started studying the Japanese martial art of Jiu-Jitsu 15 years ago. But I was pretty surprised on my first day of class when the sensei (teacher) told the class that our first objective was to master the art of falling. WHAT! I was ready to fight… but we spent weeks and months mastering the art of falling. Why?  Because it’s a skill that you will need in every single fight.

Truth is, it’s a skill you will need in every single game too. That’s why I took my daughter’s U12 soccer team to my Jiu-Jitsu dojo (school) to practice falling with my martial arts instructor.  And that’s where so many of the girls realized that the last thing you want to do when falling is to reach out and try to plant an arm.  Instead, we need to understand the importance of rolling and break-falling.

And so I’m glad that Christopher Tocco and SimpliFaster made this topic a priority.  It’s one of the most under-appreciated and under-taught skills in sports. But let’s change that trend.  Here are the 3 main points and you can read Christopher’s full article here:  “ Why We Should Teach Athletes How to Fall”.

  1. DO NOT have athletes plant hand or elbow during any point of the fall.
  2. ALWAYS have athletes keep their chin tucked away from ground when falling.
  3. Have athletes start these movements as close as possible to the floor and progress by adding height/speed.

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