PSTM Conference 2019 – Summary #8

Over the following days, I will briefly go over some of the lectures at this year’s PSTM conference in Wroclaw. These short articles will not be exhaustive summaries but rather a collection of bullet points on the most important concepts and ideas (in my opinion). Today, I cover Dr. Luis Mesquita’s lecture on Skills vs Capacities – Implications for Athletic Performance.

Athletic performance needs skill (software) and capacity (hardware).

We compare skill expression to a technical model. Three steps:

  1. Technical model
  2. Error
  3. Correction
Therefore we need to know biomechanics anatomy and physiology.
No one single technical model exists, there are different models for different athletes

  • Mobility
  • Stability
  • Strength
The model is what I want to see, what I actually see gives me an error.

  • Position – Do I have adequate mobility and stability
  • Pattern – Technical skill, efficiency in moving between positions
  • Power – Strength qualities

The same technical error can result from different limiting factors in different athletes


  • Remove body parts
  • Bilateral vs unilateral
  • Loaded vs unloaded
  • Active vs passive
Example: Toe touch

Test seated. If possible, it is a motor control issue If not, unload further, aslr. Finally, do it passively. This will finally distinguish between mobility and stability issues.

Does the athlete meet minimal strength requirements? Maximal strength, power under high load, power under low power, rfd, reactive strength.
Assess movement. Break down into mobility requirements per joint. Look at strength qualities. Eg, first steps in linear acceleration are heavily correlated with max strength. Cod relies more on eccentric strength. Check capacities and plan accordingly.

Bottom Line: Don’t try to fix a capacity issue with skill training. Don’t try to fix a skill issue in the gym.

Tomorrow I will post another summary, so make sure to check in again. So long, don’t get hurt

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