Over the years sports performance training has evolved significantly. Traditional training programs emphasized speed in relation to specific planes of motion. Generally movement was trained either straight ahead (sprinting drills) or side to side (cone shuffle drills). There were usually two goals attached to the drill:
- How many cones could you touch in a given time period
- How fast you could complete the drill
Movement & Conditioning Specialists (MCS) began to realize the limitations with the above strategy. The drills were not recreating actual game situations, meaning the benefits achieved from the drills was not transferring over to the game. The solution at that time was to add in more drills that moved the body in all planes of motion. Drills were designed to emphasize the sagittal plane (forward/backwards), frontal plane (side to side), and transverse plane (turning) such as:
- Speed ladder drills
- Cone drills with multiple configurations
Although the addition of multi-planar movements enhanced the athletes abilities the training still fell short to create real game speed. MCS understood that in order to possess true speed meant not only going fast, but that the ability to react was just as important. The ability to move at multiple levels of speed, at just the right time was critical to success within the game. The above patterned based drills did not fulfill the need of true speed & reaction. The ability to decelerate and accelerate in a given direction needed a better strategy.
The goals of how many and how fast related to time, but not timing. In order to optimize reaction and create unpredictable patterns coaches integrated themselves in the training by utilizing verbal cues and sound cues. These strategies begin to address the timing aspect of sport. The cognitive abilities for the athlete to process information accurately, and sequence movement within the body is critical for optimally performance.
Next, MCS looked to create speed and reaction programs that were specific task driven drills. For example, the demands of the drill must look and feel like the sport. Basketball drills should look different than tennis drills.
NEXT LEVEL TRAINING
Verbal cues and sound cues emphasized the athletes auditory skill set, but Movement & Conditioning Specialists knew the potential if more skills were acquired such as:
- Visual Speed Processing
If all above skills were trained with targeted exercises, the potential of an athlete optimizing there real game speed would grow by multiples.
Introducing WITTY SEM & BRAIN HQ. WITTY SEM is a revolutionary systems that combines precise timing with a state of the art interface for reactive and motor-cognitive technology. By utilizing multi-color and multi-symbol based lighting brings a new level of cognition to standardized reaction testing. BRAIN HQ is a brain training program with online exercises that are designed to acquire all core cognitive skills need to optimize speed & reaction. Below is an example of Double Decision designed to enhance the athletes visual processing speed and useful field of view.
Double Decision Demo from BrainHQ by Posit Science on Vimeo.
The DHF Sports Conditioning programs look to combine cutting edge functional training strategies while leveraging state of the art technology to optimize human performance. For more information on our sports conditioning programs visit us here.