Are certain movements inherently athletic?
Are certain weight room movements or exercises inherently athletic? We are probably kidding ourselves if we think they are. For movements/exercises to be “athletic” we are assuming the movement transfers to the exact positions they are in during sport. The weight room being an isolated environment without defenders & etc.. it’s probably not happening.
You can however train for specific qualities that are exerted/demands in/of sport such as strength, power, speed, etc... None of these qualities are inherently athletic either. Many sports demand multiple of these qualities.
When programming, identify the demands of the sport in terms of system development and program for these qualities.
If you want to be “Athletic” play your sport. Bondarchuk principles would say practice how you play as specificity is important for transfer to sport.
You aren’t going to find a more specific transfer of sports skill other than truly playing the sport itself.
Random thoughts.. if someone increases their squat and simultaneously their vertical goes up. Is the squat athletic or did the athlete have an area that needed development that the squat met the need of? I lean on the area of development side. Some people have a massive back squat but their vertical doesn’t exponentially increase as their squat does. If they want to increase vertical, their time is probably better spent jumping (like a vertical) and looking elsewhere in terms of development of qualities that they are bad at.
What about olympic lifts? There is nothing inherently wrong with them. They are highly technical lifts. Weightlifting in fact is it’s own sport. I would first question is it worth the learning curve to athletes to spend a lot of the year learning the technicalities of the lift?
Olympic lifting also doesn’t produce the highest output of power despite names such as power cleans. Jumping itself actually produces more power than olympic lifting. Similarly trap bar / trap bar jumps create more power than both deadlift and barbell weighted jump squat with a lower learning curve.