"I am an HS in So. IL and just getting into the S&C scene and just wanted to make sure I am understanding you correctly w/ how I approach this:Most HS athletes don't even know what core is and have done nothing to address it - so I look at doing the neutral positions first then adding movement when they are able to perform w/o help and w/ little-no difficulty."
First of all, welcome to the blog Rachel- Glad you found us!
2nd- Your athletes don't even know what the core is? GREAT!!! You are one step ahead of the game because they haven't been corrupted yet!
When you get a chance, be sure to visit my archives. YOU will be corrupted (in a good way) to my version of "the reactive core". A core that can brace the body to take a punch or handle a collision with another athlete; as well as blasting a soccer ball into a net. Like any other muscles of the body, the core is loaded by ground, gravity, and momentum. The core muscles are loaded with proprioceptors; and fascia which links it with the rest of the body. It loves when the hips are moving one way & the shoulders another; or in the same direction but different speeds.
There are some exercises which I consider core-ready, give your athletes a good dose of this stuff Rachel:
-3D jumping jacks
-3D mountain climbers
Got to go. A weekend off, the first since July!