1. Physical strength and fitness
2. The psychology of the game
3. The body and mind connection
Most sports people look after 1 and 2 but number 3 may be the most important element in gaining that competitive edge. We’ve all seen sports people who just ‘have it’ – they were born with the connections.
The Performance Breakthrough exercises develop areas of the brain that were under-developed when we were babies in the womb. These connections of body and mind develop focused, co-ordinated, balanced and spatially aware players, naturally. Most importantly, the changes are permanent!
What impact can these structured exercises have on a player’s ability?
Improve overall concentration
For example: – When you’re playing Golf, about to tee off, standing over the ball, you want to have a clear head and be able to trust your swing. What happens instead? You start thinking about your shoulders, head, hips and feet position. You adjust your grip, check the direction of aim, try to tell your arms how much power you need to use to reach your target (without becoming tense)…and of course the little voice inside your head keeps repeating…Don’t sway your body and KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!!! By developing greater physical focus the mind will automatically concentrate better and for longer. It will also mean that your set up and swing become an automatic movement as oppose to a thought process.
Judgement of force, distance and timing
For example: – When playing Football, do you wait until the ball arrives at your feet and then look up to see who you can lay it off to OR are you able to read an incoming ball, look up to see who you can pass it to, receive the ball at your feet and execute the pass with accuracy of force and direction. Would you like to be able to go one step further and judge the run of the player you are passing to so that he doesn’t have to break his stride when the ball arrives at his feet?
The balance, co-ordination and precision exercises develop these skills from a neurological point of view; connecting body and mind for automatic reading of the game rather than each movement being a thought process.
Improve spatial awareness and timing
For example: – When playing racquet sports, accurate hand/eye co-ordination is vital in order to connect with the ball, shuttle-cock etc. We’ve all had that air swing!!
Our pendulum ball exercises train the eyes, hands and body to work in harmony to ensure smooth, accurate timing of passes and judgement of other players around you. They also speed up your reaction time so that your head stays clear when you’re under pressure.
Reduce frustration when things go wrong
When your body is already held in a tight, rigid manner the mind can be on constant alert…fight or flight. This can mean that we let little things annoy us, we can’t get them out of our heads and we add to them as the game continues. This makes us prone to explosive reactions to what others would see as a minor event.
The exercise programme enables the shoulder, chest and upper arm areas to relax leading to a more relaxed attitude to life in general making it easier to ‘let it go.’ Remember, the programme doesn’t just help when we’re playing sport; it helps us read situations in all area of life i.e. relationships, home and working life too.
Process instructions instinctively
For example: – When you’re on the football training ground and the coach asks you to dribble the ball around the cones, missing out the 2nd and 6th ones and then sprint back to the starting point…. Do you stand back and watch a few of the other players complete the sequence first to make sure that you get it right?
If you have difficulty in this area it can be an auditory processing issue which means that you hear the first bit of an instruction but as your brain is processing it you miss the next bit.
The exercises will improve the connection between your brain and your hearing ability in order to speed up the processing of the information being heard.