What separates athletes from their competitors is the word itself, separation — gaining it on the offensive side, or taking it away on the defensive side (There are exceptions of course, one being the contest of offensive linemen and defensive linemen in football where the inverse is true). Speed, strength, and power are great ways to create separation in sports. However, speed, strength, and power all have genetic ceilings.
“Although speed can be improved, it is inaccurate to suggest that everyone has the capacity to become a sprint champion,” explained the NSCA’s Ian Jeffreys. This is not to imply those aforementioned characteristics of athleticism should not be sought out to improve/maximize in the realm of athletic performance training. But one should consider other ways for the athletic “have-nots” to gain ground, or an advantage on the athletic “haves.”
Developing skills within the sport is the obvious course of action, and the most effective — Larry Bird sure didn’t become one of the greatest basketball players ever because of his speed, strength, and power. In the realm of athletic performance training however, body control is a key attribute that will allow an athlete to create separation, even if their level of speed, strength, and power is not significant among competitors.
The term body control is not universally defined with regards to its athletic application. It also has no tangible measurement like speed, strength, and power does.