Cal South E-News | April 2013 PERFORMANCE TRAINING
|Balance Training: Improving the athlete’s ability to perform functional movements|
by Jay Mathews | CB3 Sports Performance
Balance is simply the ability to maintain the body’s center of gravity over its base of support. This can be static (standing) or dynamic (moving). Balance is a highly trainable component of sports performance programming. There are a wide variety of exercises that can be incorporated into training sessions. When implementing balance training, the exercises should follow a continuum from simple to more complex activities and this continuum can go back and forth based on the need of the athlete.
Continuum of Balance Training Exercises:
Balance requires constant and consistent input from many body systems. There is interplay between these systems to give information from the environment and the body’s position to the nervous system and then send information back to the muscles to control movements. The athlete needs to be able to perceive where the body is in relation to other objects (the ground, other players, and the ball) and where the body is in space. This ability is known as proprioception and leads to the programming of movement responses. Balance training needs to be performed in an environment that challenges the proprioception of the athlete to help lead to increased neuromuscular control and development of joint stabilization. The more programs the athlete performs, the more automatic they can make the response.
Balance occurs every step we take and during every functional movement we perform. Balance, and the ability to perform the appropriate response, can be altered due to past injuries, equilibrium disturbances, inappropriate training methods, or poor body control. Exercises that closely mimic movement patterns that the athlete will perform are a more functional training tool and can be incorporated every day at training.
Again, the progression needs to be made so that you know the limits of your athlete. If you are training them in an environment that they cannot handle, they will ultimately fail and may injure themselves. Balance training, like other training components, should follow a progression that allows for long-term development and change in the athlete. Having the athlete perform random balance exercises without incorporating them into a greater program will not provide the most effective training atmosphere.
The continuum of exercises needs to be as dynamic as possible and the athlete needs to perform at the highest level they can and alterations need to be made based of the athlete’s ability to perform varying exercises.
For more information on how we can assist with your sports medicine needs, please contact CB3 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About CB3 Sports Performance:
CB3 is a multi-sport training center focusing on sports performance programs for every athlete and soccer skills coaching. Carlos Bocanegra, Captain of the 2010 USA World Cup Team, has brought his passion and love sport back to the I.E. Carlos has brought together a team of top level professional coaches and trainers to help train you to improve your skills and athletic ability. The mission of CB3 Sports Performance and Soccer Academy is to provide an elite level environment through coaching, fitness, and performance to empower the athlete to reach their ultimate potential. The building blocks to success at CB3 are built on the principles of Dedication, Determination, and Discipline. For more information, visit http://cb3sportsperformance.com/.