Have you ever noticed the way certain athletes change their direction or make quick cuts without seemingly changing speeds? It is so fun for me to watch. When I watch some of the top players in their sports; the world cup soccer players who change directions with the ball in an almost magical move, the running backs who make a tackler miss and it looked like they never slowed down, the basketball player, such as Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving, who change direction in traffic with such quickness it amazes the eye.
Why do some athletes have great body control and others don’t?
There could be many reasons, but I tend to believe it is because these special athletes had great exposure to various coordination exercises growing up. Whatever they did allowed their body to always know where it is in space and make the slightest of adjustments when needed. They may not have intentionally trained these coordination patterns, but through various activities they developed them.
Here are Some Exercises to Expose Young Kids to for Better Body Control
- All patterns of running, skipping, jumping, etc. in all planes of movement.
- Catching and throwing with each hand and in all planes of motion and at various speeds and levels.
- Scrambling up from a supine, prone, side lying or kneeling position onto their feet in various double and single leg stances.
- Playing catch with a cone or lacrosse stick that forces tracking skills. Should be done with each hand and in all sorts of directions.
- Performing activities like lateral bowling (hitting an object as it moves across in front of you), target throwing, throwing for touch, etc…
- Dodging games and skills (tag, dodge ball…).
- Racing and chasing activities.
There are obviously many others, but these activities mentioned above give athletes multi-planar awareness through kinesthetic and proprioceptive development.
Low Box Training with Your Athletes
The best athletes at some point in their lives have challenged their bodies to become more aware. When designing your programs for young athletes or your own children, see how fun and challenging you can make it so that they get exposure to movement and body awareness.
Most importantly, have fun with them!
If you take a look at Low Box Training for Athletes you will see how I attempted to use the above concepts of body awareness to develop my athletes. It works like a charm!
Have you ever used Low Box Training with your athletes?