Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Improve In One's Skill - By Joe Karszen

In order to improve in one’s skill, whether it is in basketball, baseball, running, swimming, tennis, soccer, or whatever the skill may be, it has to be performed identically the same. Not sort of, or kind of, or almost. Ken Mannie, strength and conditioning coach at Michigan State, Matt Brzycki, Coordinator of Recreational Fitness and Wellness Programs at Princeton University and Dr. Ken Leistner have mentioned this in their lectures, articles and in the books they have written. I will just emphasize what I have learned and practiced from these gentlemen.

There is no carry over from anyone’s weight room to the playing field, swimming pool, track, basketball court, or tennis court. What you want to do in the weight room is to get your body stronger so you can perform better at one’s skill. Whether it is to jump higher, hit farther, swim faster, run faster or throw farther. The lifts in the weight room should be a balanced one. You should train both the back and front of your body; if anything you should train the back of the body more. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of properly training the lower back, calfs, external and internal rotator cuffs, forearms, neck and abduction and adduction of your legs. These muscle areas are just as important as the larger muscle areas. There is no guarantee that by strength training, you will become a better skilled athlete. You still have to work Hard and Practice, Practice, Practice.

Genetics play a major role in how one is hooked up (neurological efficiency) and this plays a big part in getting to the next level of play. Of course you still have to have the skills to perform well in your sport. Genetics are predetermined when you’re in the womb. You can’t change the length of your muscle bellies, the size of your torso, fast twitch muscle fibers to slow twitch muscle fibers or vise a versa. What you can do is work on what you have and make those muscle fibers more efficient.

There are a lot of gimmicks out there in order to get better at one’s skill. Weighted basketballs, tennis racquets, calf shoes, to name a few. Don’t waste your money on these things. By using these gimmicks, you’re not performing the skill identically the same. You’re sending different messages to your brain confusing it when you use a non weighted ball, tennis racquet or a calf shoe. There are no short cuts to improve in one’s skill. If you’re performing the skill in the correct manner, you will enhance the motor learning that is going on from the central nervous system to your brain.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact me at: mail@wetrainu.net.

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