Archive for the 'Mind Fitness' Category
There has been arguably the biggest breakthrough in speed and agility training in 50 years. What was once considered to be untrainable, is quickly becoming a must in the training of elite athletes and those wishing to become as much. Think of the obscure skills such as reaction speed, sport intelligence, anticipation, game tempo, field vision, timing , focus and concentration. It all starts with the fact that our body reacts to what it can see. The better the body can “see” the better reaction time, the better it can anticipate the next move of the opponent. What we are talking about is the breakthrough of sports vision training.
But even the quickest players around will be beat or make mistakes if their minds or sports vision is not up to the challenge. This is what traditional speed and agility training has not been able to do and that is why speed exercises for the mind are crucial. Most often, these are called speed and span of recognition training. These exercises help with reflexes and reactive ability, it is just one of the sports vision skills an athlete can train for in order to become the best. Using sports vision training, athletes process greater amounts of visual information faster and more precisely in order to make better decisions making their physical reactions faster and more precise, especially when under pressure. Other vision skills included in this type of training, but not entirely exhaustive include:
- peripheral awareness – while focusing on a fixed point, seeing people and objects out of the of the corner of the eye
- visual reaction time – is the interval of time between when a change or stimulus is seen and when you react to that change or stimulus
- dynamic visual acuity – the visual strengths and weaknesses of players with regard to moving objects
- eye tracking – the ability to to watch or follow the ball carefully no matter how fast it may be traveling
- eye focusing – changing focus quickly and accurately from one distance to another
- depth perception – the visual ability to perceive the world in three dimensions to speedily and correctly judge the distance and speed of objects
- fusion flexibility and stamina – the ability to the eyes working together under excessive speed and physically demanding situations
This breakthrough in speed and agility training answers the question of having two athletes; same height, same weight, same strength, same training, same times in speed exercises, but one plays the game noticeably better than the other.
The majority of us have trained at some point in our lives. Odds are that if you have ever taken your training seriously you may have used a training journal or a training log. No matter if you are training casually for fitness and recreation or if you are earnestly involved in speed and agility training, you can benefit from maintaining a journal of this sort.
The major difference between training journals and training logs, is what you write down in them following each workout session. Training journals are just that. They are more of a journal rather than a log. They will typically consist of things like your mental outlook at the time and how you felt over the course of the day or during your workout. You may want to include information about climatic conditions, training location, workout partners, and things of that kind. They can reach a bit into some statistical information but this is normally kept for a training record.
Training logs are usually shaped off of some type of a outline. For instance, everyday you fill out a sheet containing the same fields. Things like current weight, what physical exercises were being completed, diet information, are all things that might be put in a training log on a day to day basis. Distances run, amount of weight used, length and number of reps done and other sorts of training specific information is often included. A log of speed and agility drills would probably include all the various drills that were done in previous sessions.
I would not suggest going exclusively one route or the other, both journaling and logging are important to keep an effective account of your past. You will discover through experience that for convenience sake, it’s good to have the two combined together in some way. This way it’s always easy to remember to do both.
Advantages of Documenting Your Work Out
The number one benefit of documenting your training is to have a complete history to look back on. This could be extremely helpful in terms of planning for example to discover what has worked for you and what hasn’t. It’s very helpful for determining reasons for injuries or for times of burnout. The idea is to discover more about the things that influence your training and performance over time and adapt your current training regimen or behavior by taking those factors into account. Speed and agility training can benefit a lot from these. They are especially beneficial if you are keeping up with a specific speed and agility program that has several components.
Have you ever sat down and tried to plan out training with nothing to work with? If you have something to look back upon with a complete description of what you’ve done over the past few weeks it’s simple to plan ahead. It will effectively enhance your workout intensity, etc to improve for the future. A good illustration would be speed exercises. Documenting distances, times, and coaching observations will help keep you focused on the vital elements of the training and provide you with a road map of sorts.
A complete journal is also really nice to have just for personal use, and to be able to look back on past months and years, to remember different accounts. You may even elect to create a blog or some articles someday and it will make a great source of information about your experiences.
If you want to reach any level of success in athletics, it is important that you set goals. When you set a goal it gives you a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. This is even more true in such a complex field as speed and agility training.
Where Do You Start?
First we need to start with the big picture, an overall view that guides you in your decision making and helps you to see that you have your whole life ahead of you, no matter what happens today. You need to establish what you want to achieve in the next season and then over your entire career. Then we move down to things you can do today in order to begin moving in the desired direction. Note that long-term goals assist you in where you want to go. Short-term goals show you how you are going to get there. In setting your athletic goals, keep in mind that if you are on a team, work with your coach to include team goals as well, but that is for another article.
Long Term Goals
First, you need to figure out your long-term goals. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish in your athletic career? Note, your long-term goals are not meant to be obligatory, they simply are there to make you aware of the long life ahead of you and to help you see that you have options as well. Do you want to take up this sport only for the early part of your life or do you want to make this sport your career? A suggestion for a goal in your training for speed and agility would be to decrease your 50 yard dash by half a second.
Short Term Goals
These goals are the ones you will achieve today, within a week, etc. They are more easily accomplished and progress you towards achieving our long term goals.
Breaking Down Long-Term Goals To Get To Set Your Short Term Goals – Questions To Ask
- What are the skills needed to accomplish your goals?
- What can you do between now and the end of the season to develop those skills?
- What will you do this week to develop those skills?
- What can you do next practice to develop those skills?
Important Things to Know
- Written Goals
Note that you need to write down your goals. Once you have written your goals down on paper, they become real and solid. It is what separates goals from dreams. They increase your motivation and your mental picture of that goal is clearer. The process of writing down goals get them “out of your head” to free up your mind from having to always think and remember them. You will also be affirmed that you are on a mission of pursuing your goals.
Set each goal as a positive statement. For example, “I will be diligent and careful when doing agility ladder drills” instead of “I will not fall on my rear end when doing speed and agility drills”. This focuses on success rather than failures because you want these behaviors to be present rather than behaviors that should be absent.
Make sure that your all your goals are smart goals. Meaning they are specific (detailed), measurable (progress assessable), attainable (within reach), relevant (towards your purpose) and time-sensitive (make deadlines).
Keep a copy of your goals in plain sight. Review them daily. Setting goals will bring you success.
A goal properly set is halfway reached.
What do elite athletes, successful business people and consummate professionals know about setting goals? They all know that goals give them the ability to accomplish a great deal. They also know that goal setting gives them an advantage.
What is goal setting?
Goal setting is the act of putting processes in motion in order to ensure specific outcomes and accomplishments. Athletes position themselves for success using this mechanism. It gives them a finite direction in their lives, careers and sports. You should not begin any speed and agility training without establishing your goals.
Why Set Goals?
Goals help direct an athlete to take the appropriate steps and maintain the appropriate behaviors necessary for success. They also keep an athlete on course in the face of disappointment, difficulty or adversity. Most importantly, setting goals helps with motivation. The process helps attain and retain the motivation to reach higher levels of performance and it also clarifies expectations involved. Goals make for more effective and efficient practices. Psychologically, goal setting gives an athlete improved self confidence, helps their motivation, feeling of pride and satisfaction in achievement. It gives them a willingness to take on future challenges and increases the athlete’s likability of the sport. Physically, setting goals helps improve athletic performance such as strength, weight and speed and agility.
Role of Coaches
With speed and agility training, a coach is highly recommended. Coaches are experienced goal setters. They also know that goals can give athletes an edge over their opponents and most have had many years of experience in helping athletes set goals. Coaches need to help athletes with performance goals. They also need to help the athlete set practice goals as well as game goals. Practice goals help the athlete achieve the most that they can in practice so that they are better prepared for the game or match. While there are many areas involved in goal setting, the areas in which coaches can help their athletes are in fitness, technique and strategy. Coaches help with measures, speed exercises and evaluations of progress. In fact, studies have shown that specific, difficult, yet attainable goals tend to enhance performance. If your coach cannot help you with goal setting or does not find this process important, find another coach.
In summary, goals are mainstay for top performers whether they are athletes or CEOs. The ability and willingness to set goals is the master skill of success on the court, field, track, rink or diamond.
I recommend you check out this speed and agility training exercise.
Free e-book: Training & Nutrition Insider Secrets
Free ebook: Training & Nutrition Insider Secrets for a Lean-Body, by Mike Geary.
Subscribe to our mailing list and get it for free. It's free, we never spam, and it's easy to unsubscribe.
This ebook, created by Certified Nutrition Specialist & Certified Personal Trainer, Mike Geary, details over 27 specific metabolism-boosting secrets that you can use to strip off your stubborn body fat faster and easier. Contains unique workout methods and nutritional strategies to slash body fat and take your body to a whole new level of leanness.
Subscribe for a free download here: