mental blocks

Dr. Carol Frey

Agility and speed training is probably the most important training that any athlete will benefit from. This should be done during the season and off-season. If the child has an opportunity to play another sport, it is suggested that he or she sign up for track and file because the activity provides excellent aerobic conditioning, a key attribute towards agility and speed.

Studies on adult athletes have noted that if performance is the goal, cross-training may not be that helpful. No matter what the age, endurance athletes may not be held by any alternate sport. However, one study found that resistance training improved endurance in running and cycling (Tanaka et al. 1993). Squats with heavy weight improved running.

Runners can augment their leg muscles with the muscularity they get with resistance work. Ultimately, cross-training may decrease the risk of injury in every age group simply because they primary sport is being played less. Agility comes into play every single time.

Plyometric Exercises
I plyometrics a new word for you? – Quite simply, plyometric describes an explosive jump. May sports programs use plyometric exercises to build power, explosiveness, speed, strength, agility, and coordination. Plyometric exercises develop the high-intensity, explosive contractions of the muscles and the reflex for stretch.

Stretching of the muscle before it contracts allows it to use greater forms to contract. This is called the stretch reflex. So what might this look like in action, and how does it effect agility?

Hops, Jumps, Bounding movements make a great athlete

Plyomteric exercises are usually started in high school sports and include hops, jumps, and bounding movements. A common plyometric exercise might be jumping off a box onto the floor and then rebounding onto a higher box.

These are effective exercises to improve strength, explosiveness, agility, and sports performance. It must be pointed out that plyometric exercises are tough training techniques and if done incorrectly or performed without experienced supervision can be risky. But they can be fun, safe, and helpful for young athletes when the exercise is appropriately supervised and designed. The most important thing for coaches and trainers to teach is the proper landing technique.

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