How To Improve Your Sports Performance
Mind over Body
Want to know how to improve your sports performance? The answer lies in improving your motor control, more commonly known as your physical coordination. I'm sure you already knew that so why is it that you've been practicing for hours yet is not seen much improvement? I guess that proves the saying that "practice does not always make perfect". While most sport experts tend to focus on repetition to train the body we use another method that involves improving mental concentration to improve the communication between your mind and the cells of your body.
The date was June 5, 1965, at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil when the world witnessed the most amazing Soccer maneuver in history. In the heat of the game with his side pressing in on the opposing team's goal, Pele sees the Soccer ball coming at him and instead of heading or controlling it for a shot at the goal, he flips backward and kicks the ball, which was still head high, straight into the goal. Everyone was stunned in amazement as the stadium erupted in an uproar of jubilation.
The amazing maneuver was immediately dubbed the “bicycle kick” by the broadcasters. The bicycle kick and similar scissor kick are both high difficulty maneuvers that have been performed by countless Soccer players ever since. Some have mastered it while a greater number have not. Those who cannot perform it effectively blame it on a lack of physical coordination. Fortunately those moves are not necessary in becoming a good soccer player but high levels of physical and mental ability are.
Soccer is the world’s #1 participation sport. Everyone in every country knows about it and has either played or watched it. That is because Soccer was created out of two natural human behaviors; running and kicking. In order to become an elite player however, Soccer requires countless hours of practice to train the body to balance in motion as well as to effectively carry out messages sent from the mind.
Some Soccer players seem to have a natural ability to master the game while some don’t. We call it being coordinated but really it is clear communication between the mind and the body. Without the mind and body communication many players become frustrated and give up soccer. They too can also improve their coordination simply by improving their concentration.
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Concentration is the unification of the senses. In Soccer concentration is everything when it comes to utilizing the body to control the ball. Without concentration you cannot determine the speed of a ball coming in your direction and what force you need to apply in order to control it. Without concentration you will not be able to determine what force you need to apply in order to kick or head the ball to its intended destination. And certainly without concentration you cannot be a good participate on the field.
So, how do you improve your concentration? A very simple way to start is by counting your steps as you walk. This trains the mind to eliminate secondary and tertiary noise internally and externally. In other words, it trains your mind to concentrate on one thing without being easily distracted. A jumbled mind results in jumbled communication between your mind and the cells of your body. Simply start counting as you walk and don’t stop. If you make a mistake or forget your count, start over. You may also apply the same method as you dribble a Soccer ball down the Soccer pitch. This simple system will improve the state of synchronicity between your 2 brain hemispheres.
Take a look at the 2 brains above. It is a picture of your two brain hemispheres. The “lacing” pattern between the two represents the Straia that facilitates the communication between the two sides. Think of your stria that connects both brain hemispheres as your shoe laces. The shoe lace is a communicator. Its purpose is to ensure that each foot is adequately secure within the confines of each shoe. The tight feeling you get when you tie your shoe laces reassures your safety and enhances your ability to perform properly on your feet. In effect, your shoe laces communicate synchronized sensory feeling within each foot.
Once the proper feeling is achieved, you can now walk, run, dance and perform many tasks without worrying about tripping and falling. If you do not tie your shoe laces properly, you know that sooner or later, you'll be tripping. In the Brain, loose lacing will make you uncomfortable, unstable and anxious. You will be out of timing and clumsy. Notice that champions are always confident from beginning to end. That is because they know how to unify their senses in a short period of time. In other words, they know how to concentrate.
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