Performance requires fine tuned precision across a multitude of areas. Some athletes are blessed with an abundance of talent, but most require a great deal of hard work to be "the best". Current research shows that to reach the "expert" level in fields such as music, sports, or other specialties and professions requires over 10 000 hours of dedicated training. In other words, being passionate is not enough! It also takes several key areas to come together:
- Strong understanding of the sport, in other words, to be a student of the game!
- A high level of fitness that must be sports specific, dynamic and adaptable to meet the demands of the sport. This can be trained, for example via sport specific trainingusing various training devices such as isokinetic trainers to mimic muscle contraction speed.
- Preventative Health Screeningwill provide a thorough biomechanical analysis and identify faults and weaknesses specific to the sport that may lead to an increased risk of injury or a decrease in performance levels.
- Sports Vision & Neurocognitive Training is needed because most sports require the ability to see and perceive a multitude of messages occurring at high speeds (i.e. pitch recognition) with multiple distractions such as opponents, obstacles and the skill-demands of the sport. Being able to make decisions (eg. swing/ don’t swing), react appropriately and perceive these visual inputs in an efficient manner result in optimal performance. Batters in a hot streak often describe the ball as if it were the size of a beach ball versus as small as a marble when things are cold. Imagine seeing the beach ball all the time at bat.
5. Video Analysis allows a complex sport-specific movement such as a golf swing, tennis serve, or baseball pitch to be efficiently broken down into key components. Teaming this information with defaults of the biomechanical analysis allows for a better understanding of where movement patterns break down affecting the performance or leading to an increased risk of injury.
- Effective Footwear and correct foot alignment are essential because the feet are the foundation of the body. Sports that generate most of the power and stability through the legs require a stable foundation to optimize performance. With the right shoe-type for normal feet or corrective orthotics for feet with structural imbalances, the foundation can be "reset" to react more efficiently to the ground and provide the stability and generate the power needed for success.
- Motion Detectors are valuable tools to evaluate swing patterns, retrain these patterns after injury or changes in biomechanics, or evaluate the effectiveness of changes in the swing. These tools are able to detect variables in the swing that cannot be detected with video or the naked eye.
The ideal athlete combines strength, power, coordination and skills with an innate understanding of the game to become the best in their sport. These athletes are rare, but they can be trained through the right mix of techniques, skills, body mechanics and visual processing to become high performance athletes at the top of the chosen sport. They just need the " right" team to support all the parts of their "game".
At Honsberger Physio+ we have the tools and the expertise to address all of your performance needs.
Efan Gonsalves PT
105-675 Cochrane Drive Markham ON L3R 0B8 905-940-2727