Fitness Component Poster
Coordination training, for example, is introduced during the pre-adolescent ages while nervous system plasticity is high and movement habits have not yet been ingrained as permanent. The scope of coordination training changes during the adolescent ages, during which physical growth alters the young athlete’s previously mastered movement habits. At this time, refinement of movement should take precedent over learning new movement-based skills. One point to consider about coordination is that genetic pre-disposition plays a significant role. Less coordinated children will likely never exhibit the tendencies of naturally coordinated children regardless of training. That is not to say that improvements cannot be made, however; quite the opposite.
Reaction time itself is an inherent ability, but overall response time can be improved by practice. Coach and athletes need to analyse the type of skill and the requirements of their sport and decide where overall response gains can be made. Consider the following:
1. Detecting the cue - in a sprint start, focusing on the starter's voice and the sound of the gun and separating this from background crowd noise and negative thoughts
2. Detecting relevant cues - a goalkeeper learning to analyse body language at penalties
3. Decision making - working on set pieces and game situations
4. Change in attention focus - being able to switch quickly from concentration on the opponent to concentration on the field of play in invasion games
5. Controlling anxiety - which slows reaction times by adding conflicting information
6. Creating optimum levels of motivation - 'psyching up'
7. Warm up - to ensure the sense organs and nervous system are ready to transmit information and the muscles to act upon it
One’s ability to react and generate force quickly is crucial to overall function and safety during movement. Reactive/power training can enhance one’s ability to dynamically stabilize, reduce and produce forces at speeds that are functionally applicable to the tasks at hand. Our nervous system will only recruit muscles at speeds it has been trained to. If we do not train the nervous system to recruit muscles quickly, when met with a demand that requires one to react quickly, the nervous system will not be able to respond appropriately. For example, if two basketball players of the same height are going up for a jump ball, the one who can react and generate force the fastest will win the jump ball. It is important to note, that reactive/power training should only be incorporated into an individual’s exercise program once they have obtained proper flexibility, core strength and balance capabilities.