Tag: talent

Memory in sports

Role of memory in sports

Memory is one of the most interesting abilities in sport. It works in an exceptional way by making a base for growth of other skills, like effective decision making or anticipation. Despite obvious advantages of memory training it is still rarely seen among athletes. Knowing this fact, we can use it to be a step ahead of others!

Memory game

Sports commentators often use phrase „memory game”. It is a type o play, when athlete memebrs setting of players, so in few seconds he could use a trained schema.  Thanks to remembered information an athelte is able to predict where to find his teammate. This is nothing else but result of effective memory training, which gives us advantage with element of suprise and very fast actions.

 How memory works

We can distinguish four basic types of memory:

  • sensory memory – which briefly holds information from our senses
    (max. 0,5 s.),
  • short-term memory – which holds small amount on information for a short time, like players setting on the pitch,
  • working memory – which is used to process information,
  • long-term memory – which holds big amount of information, like knowledge how make a technicaly good strike.

When it comes to sports, the most interesting ones are short-term and working memory. Thanks to them we can make game changing decisions during the match. However, let’s remember that all of mentioned types work together, creating unity.

How to train memory in sports?

Memory exercises  should be used in cyclic sport training. Keep in mind, that memorizing is not enough to get best effects. There should be additional, brain stimulating tasks, like arithmetic operations. They will engage working memory and unblock potential of other skills. It is very important to start memory training from young age, when athlete’s brain is most opened for new stimuli.

 

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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.

Training

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

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.

Creativity

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.

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