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Looking Deeper at Balance

“Balance is the ability to neutralize forces that would disturb equilibrium.”

In sports there are countless forces that need to be neutralized for an athlete to remain in balance and in the game. These could be forces within the athlete himself that need to be improved, such as flexibility or muscular discrepancies. Or they could be forces outside of the athlete’s control, such as the weather or someone from the opposing team. Both of these forces should be the focus when an athlete incorporates balance training into his daily schedule.

An athlete’s internal muscular balance is the ability of their muscles to adapt to the tension and rapid pace changes that occur throughout any activity. An athlete uses their internal muscles to keep themselves from falling and understanding where they are in space.

An athlete’s ability to react to external forces is very important. They are constantly being challenged. Whether the athlete encounters a jab as in boxing; the force of a stick hitting his body in lacrosse; or, is tackled in football. All are examples of external forces working to knock them off balance. Their body needs to be able to respond quickly and efficiently in order to improve their sports performance.

There are also forces, which are not immediately seen by an athlete during the game. A blindsided tackle or a huge gust of wind are examples where an athlete may not be able to prepare but needs to be able to react just as quick.

In order to perform to the best of their ability, athletes need to work on their balance training. The results may not be immediate; however, if an athlete works on balance a little bit each day, takes a hit either indirectly or directly and is able to withstand the force and continue in the game, the result will be very apparent.

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