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Human Kinetics

Athletic Movement Skills

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Athletic Movement Skills: Training for Sports Performance sets a new standard for athletic assessment and development. This authoritative work presents proven protocols for evaluating, correcting, training and translating athletic movement to athletic dominance.

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Book Description

The unifying theme of every elite athlete and every spectacular performance is movement. It’s the basis for what we recognize as athleticism. It’s the foundation for athletic skill and the essential ingredient to excellence.

Athletic Movement Skills: Training for Sports Performance sets a new standard for athletic assessment and development. This authoritative work presents proven protocols for evaluating, correcting, training and translating athletic movement to athletic dominance.

Combining the latest science and research with cutting-edge techniques and strategies, Athletic Movement Skills will show you how to

• develop multidirectional speed and power for any sport and any position,

• improve jumping and agility with effective plyometric progressions,

• harness and apply power in critical game or match situations,

• evaluate and correct posture and body position,

• reduce injuries and expedite rehabilitation and

• create functional strength progressions that will directly translate to on-field performance.

Hundreds of photo sequences and illustrations plus 10 detailed exercise progressions depict how to refine and perfect speed, agility, strength and power-related movements and skills.

Whether you are working with young or experienced, novice or elite athletes, Athletic Movement Skills is a must-have. It is the definitive development guide for anyone serious about sport performance.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Movement Skill Development

Chapter 2 Understanding Biomotor Abilities

Chapter 3 Patterns of Motor System Development

Chapter 4 Efficiently Controlling Forces: Mechanical Functions of Movement

Chapter 5 Importance of Posture in Athletic Movement

Chapter 6 Evaluating Posture

Chapter 7 Designing a Progressive Curriculum: Considerations for Movement Skill Learning and Physio-Mechanical Training

Chapter 8 Developing Running Speed and Agility Skills

Chapter 9 Developing Jumping and Plyometric Skills

Chapter 10 Developing Functional Strength Progressions

Chapter 11 Applying Principles in Practice


Clive Brewer is a world-recognized expert in high-performance sports conditioning, athlete development and applied sports science. He is the assistant director of high performance for the Toronto Blue Jays and has consulted with several other organizations around the globe, such as Manchester United FC, USA Football, Wimbledon tennis championships, the UK Strength and Conditioning Association, Scotland National Rugby League, Liverpool Ladies FC, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and IMG Academy. As head of strength and conditioning with Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club (2011-2014), he helped them achieve their highest Super League finish while reducing injuries by more than 18% each year. Brewer has also consulted with Sports Med global performance systems, supporting sports performance development for clients worldwide. He has held lead roles as the head of human performance (strength and conditioning, science and medicine) with the Rugby Football League and SportScotland's national program manager for athlete development.

Brewer is accredited by the UK Strength and Conditioning Association (UKSCA), the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences as a support scientist. He is a chartered scientist with the Science Council in the UK and an original member of the British Olympic Association register of strength and conditioning coaches. In August 2015, he was awarded the fellowship of the UKSCA in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

As the IAAF strength and conditioning expert editor, Brewer was Scotland's first national strength and conditioning coach for track and field. He has worked in sports as diverse as tennis, soccer, rugby union, and bobsleigh at professional and international levels.

From 2007, Brewer worked with other specialists to research the best practice in designing an athlete development framework to underpin the UK coaching model. He has authored several papers and book chapters on applied sport science, training methods, and athletic development coaching and has written two books on training methods for coaches. He has presented at many international conferences, including the pre-Olympic Sports Science Congress, the U.S. Olympic Committee National Coaches Congress, the International Science in Rugby Coaching conference, the National Strength and Conditioning Association national conference and the European Strength and Conditioning conference.

A native of the UK, Brewer lives in the Tampa metropolitan area while working across Canada and the United States with the Toronto Blue Jays baseball organization.



Start Position

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and feet facing forward. Initially, place hands to the sides of the head with elbows pointing laterally. Then progress to arms overhead with elbows extended.


Lower into a squat position as far as possible while under control.


Heels must stay in contact with the floor at all times.
The athlete maintains lumbar lordosis through the full range. Watch for pivoting at the lumbosacral and lumbothoracic junction.
Knees are aligned over second toes. Watch for overpronation, knee moving medially and hip rotating medially.
Ascent and descent should be fluid and continuous.
The player is observed through the following continuum unless competency compromised:
Squat to parallel (90-degree knee flexion)
Full squat (hips below the level of the knee)
Squat to parallel (90-degree knee flexion) with arms overhead
Full squat with arms overhead


Start Position



Place the hands beside the head with elbows flexed and pointing laterally. Step forward with the lead thigh parallel to the floor. Keeping the head and chest up, place the lead foot on the floor with the front knee over the front foot. The back knee touches the ground immediately behind the heel of the front foot. Hold for 2 seconds and then push back to standing. Repeat on the other leg.


Knee remains in line with second toe, and hips are square. The trunk retains lumbar and thoracic integrity.
The player is observed through the following continuum unless competency compromised:
Front leg to 90 degrees and back knee to ground
Front leg to 90 degrees, back knee to ground and return to standing
Level 2 plus rotation over front leg