Michigan Rush Northville- Athletic Development


All sessions are conducted by Rush Athletic Development Director, Greg Thompson.

Coach Thompson has a M. Ed. in physical education and currently teaches in the Farmington Public Schools. He is also a faculty member on Vern Gambetta’s GAIN symposium, an international gathering of performance coaches, held each spring at Rice University in Houston. He successfully completed his USSF  “A” License and NSCAA Advanced National Diploma. He has decades of experience coaching high school and club soccer. In soccer, he spent many years as a MSYSA staff coach in both licensing schools and ODP Team coaching. For the past decade, he has been training the athletic development side of player development. In this role, he has worked with athletes from U8 to the collegiate level.


Athletic Development is a general phrase for training that gives the athlete an optimal foundation. I have listed many of the elements that are included in our sessions below:

·       General coordination- This includes locomotor skills like skipping and shuffling as well as a wide variety of crawls and many other physical puzzles.

·       Dynamic Balance- (balancing while in motion) This form of balance is a constantly present in soccer.

·       Running form- Even improvements in running efficiency help players to use less energy and create more output on the soccer field.

·       Dynamic flexibility- Soccer players require flexibility that includes strength through range of motion used in concert with balance. Our sessions regularly include elements that grow athletes that are prepared for moments in our game that demand adaptable bodies.

·       Functional strength- This is strength that can be expressed gracefully. Our sport demands that an athlete apply strength with just the right amount force for the situation. We know what this looks like when we watch a player strike a ball with great power or receive a ball with a perfect first touch. The moment of contact reflects a summation of timing, strength, coordination as well as technical ability and tactical awareness.

·       Multi-directional speed and agility- This encompasses learning how to accelerate, decelerate and change directions. A great emphasis in this area is placed on body posture, stride length and explosiveness.

·       Creativity- Our training includes numerous opportunities for players to grow into individuals athletically.  Craftiness and surprise are welcome additions to all of our game and race environments.


Athletic Development- Winter Training


This winter we will be working on foundational components of strength.

Sessions include;


·       Tri-planar leg strength- We are doing a variety of movements designed to build legs that are durable. This training helps with running speed and shooting velocity also.

·       Landing Mechanics- We are landing in a variety of two and one-foot combinations. Efficiency in landing creates a solid base from which an athlete can perform their next task, whether it be running , receiving a ball, or shooting.

·       Integrated Core strength- We develop core strength in concert with the legs, arms and shoulder girdle; in the same way core strength is expressed in our game.


As we get closer to outdoor training, our emphasis is shifting to more multi-directional speed and agility work.

Sessions include:

·       Multi-Directional starting mechanics- We will develop our ability to accelerate efficiently in a wide variety of directional demands.

·       Deceleration efficiency- We will work on different techniques for stopping and turning.

·       Reactive acceleration- This work involves reacting to a variety of reaction signals. 




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