Proprioception – sense of athletes
Except „traditional” senses like sight or hearing, we can distinguish additional ones which are connected with foundings of modern science. Proprioception, also called kinesthesia, is one of them. Following the latin etymology we can describe it as „grasping one’s own”.
What is proprioception?
Train your brain
How does kinesthesia work ?
Describing the mechanism of proprioception would take few books and thousands of reaserches. For us it’s important to understand that it’s an inner sense which closely cooperates with our body and nervous system. Proprioceptors receive information from skeletal muscles, tendons and ligaments and than by transfering it into electrical impulses they send message to central nervous system which gives us information, e.g. about level of pressure. Thanks to this we can properly estimate how to behave to execute adequate movement to conditions of enviroment. We can assume that an advanced training of proprioception is also a brain training.
Proprioception – how to get better in sports ?
Why did we define proprioception as sense of athletes despite fact that every human beeing uses proprioception?
Sport is a field where deep knowledge about one’s body and inner stimuli is a base for prime performance. A well planed training of proprioception gives a numer of benefits, like: better execution of movement, faster reaction time or injury prevention.
Injuries in sport and kinesthesia.
How to avoid injury?
Elements of proprioception training are often used during convalscence after injury. It’s a very important part of returning to optimal state but lets keep in our minds that it’s better to prevent than cure. According to researches athletes who systematically trained proprioception suffered less injuries comparing to the control group.
Train your body and brain
With no doubt proprioception may be trained. Likewise in different areas , if we want to get better, we have to sacrifice our effort and time. On the other hand these exercises may be very enjoyable and break monotonous routine.
Difference between balance and proprioception
Ditinguishing between exercises for balance and proprioception is a very important issue. Those two are closesly connected but not identical. Balance is all about maintaining the center of mass within the base of support. If it comes to proprioception we think about something more. Exercises should include additional cognitive tasks which help to automatize particular behaviours.
Talent identification in sport
In reference to researches it’s worth to mention that higher level of proprioception is postively corelated not with years of training but with current level of athlete performance in sport. It may be a clue which will help to identify talented athletes at an early stage of career. What is more, getting better it’s not only about training. It’s all about quality. Early identification of proprioception skills and smart training program are key to future success of young athletes.
How to train proprioception ?
Thanks to modern equipment, training of proprioception becomes more and more interesting. Exercices are performed with pleasure and the only limit is our imagination. Let’s be creative! Combining new technology with traditional methods gives us opportunity to change exercises in any way we want and choosing adequate level of dificulty is extremely easy.