T Nation

Balance Carryover to Athletic Performance

This thread may be a little shortsighted, with no real point, but this is because I am merely musing to the community here. If anyone has any input at all, feel free to respond.

To me it makes sense, that a body in balance, would be more efficient body, and thus better able to preform the tasks demanded of it on the athletic field. I guess I should clarify. I said body in balance, because (although I may be mistaken) it would seem a body IN balance, would be better able to display, or in my case, exhume, the skill of balance.

For most sports, or particularly the one I am interested in playing (football), the skills coaches choose to focus on, are muscular strength, muscular power, and cardiovascular conditioning.

I am wondering, how important is the ability to start and stop movements, and the ability to be in complete control of your body throughout the movement, and how much does this control coincide with the ability to preform better.

Lately I have been flushing my toilet with my feet, instead of my hands, in an effort to gain better stability with one of my feet off the ground. Given all factors are the same, would this ability to preform this action, or other similar actions, either A. positively effect my performance (to me this seems likely) B. Negatively effect my performance (unlikely, to me) or C. Not really have an effect at all (very possible)

I am also wondering if incorporating some form of balance training for a few minutes of random days would be beneficial, if it did not cause negative effects on the “meat and potatoes” of my work.

This ‘training’ would probably consist of me just practicing little skills, like using my feet to flush a toilet, or maybe a handstand here and there, or walking on all fours, or just simple activities that humans probably did a lot more of in the ‘caveman’ days such as crouching. I would try to be cognoscente of how much control I have in the movements, and work towards having complete control.

It is my philosophy, that the more efficient human you are in terms of everything, the less it will limit other areas of your life. I also believe that we have the ability to adapt, and gain in areas that have long been underused (for me, flexibility, and balance), and I am throwing the idea out there, that this may be highly beneficial to athletic performance.

These are all just ideas, I haven’t tested any of it, nor have I really given them THAT much thought, I am simply musing out loud to the community.

ALSO NOT SURE IF THIS BELONGS IN STRENGTH SPORTS

Try using the time flushing the toilet with your feet on the football field getting better.

You have to look at different components and how much they make you better at whatever your trying to accomplish.

is balance good? it’s always good for the body to have balance, however being strong is a way bigger component of football then balance. I’m assuming american football. You also have to remember that certian drills are made to increase both balance and strenght(lunges, single leg squats)? Flushing toilets might be good for bar tricks and circus acts but that is not going to make you a better athlete.

The one component I’ve noticed really helps besides leg strength, is knowing how to fall/land and being able to bend your knees with weight effectively.

Your best bet to maintain your balance doing those movements is to practice the movements at full speed or overspeed (without pads you obviously move faster).

Charles Poliquin says your equilibrium is fully developed by age twelve. Being able to balance on one leg to flush a toilet is a much different animal than being able to take a hit while running without falling. You’re not standing on one leg for extended periods of time in football. I really would just make sure you practice your sprint form, your starts, stops, and other important football movements while making sure you’re pushing your limits. That way when the game comes, full speed will be your comfort zone.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Try using the time flushing the toilet with your feet on the football field getting better.

You have to look at different components and how much they make you better at whatever your trying to accomplish.

is balance good? it’s always good for the body to have balance, however being strong is a way bigger component of football then balance. I’m assuming american football. You also have to remember that certian drills are made to increase both balance and strenght(lunges, single leg squats)? Flushing toilets might be good for bar tricks and circus acts but that is not going to make you a better athlete.

The one component I’ve noticed really helps besides leg strength, is knowing how to fall/land and being able to bend your knees with weight effectively.[/quote]

The sugestion of use the time more wisely, is to me slightly invalid. I should have been more specific for the reasons on flushing the toilet, but I really just use it as a “hey I haven’t used my feet in a couple of hours” thing. I don’t think I would be using the time doing anything else, since regardless, I would’ve been flushing the toilet. The idea behind that, is just little extra things that may or may not help.

Your point is completely valid however, that the emphasis of my training should be on more football specific things, and I agree with that fully.

[quote]hockechamp14 wrote:
Your best bet to maintain your balance doing those movements is to practice the movements at full speed or overspeed (without pads you obviously move faster).

Charles Poliquin says your equilibrium is fully developed by age twelve. Being able to balance on one leg to flush a toilet is a much different animal than being able to take a hit while running without falling. You’re not standing on one leg for extended periods of time in football. I really would just make sure you practice your sprint form, your starts, stops, and other important football movements while making sure you’re pushing your limits. That way when the game comes, full speed will be your comfort zone.[/quote]

Good suggestions, thanks.

In my experience, balance exercises have very little if any carry over to well… pretty much anything. Unless you’re recovering from a broken ankle or something, I’m pretty sure they’re not going to help you.

A few years back, I spent quite a bit of time walking a slack line. As far as I could tell, the only thing that I improved was my ability to walk a slack line.

But just in case you see some benefit from this, make sure to alternate feet each time you flush so as not to create an imbalance.

balance training, flushing the toilet w/ ur feet? wTf???!@$!

i mean it’s cool you’re thinking outside the box, but your idealogy on the subject seems off a bit…

both of the “training methods” you talked about happen at low velocity and under very low load; the total opposite of what happens on a football field.

it falls under the category of the “functional training fad”… i mean it looks cool, but it’s usually just a pile of shit.

STEPPING ON A BOSU BALL AND CATCHING FOOTBALLS IS FUCKING LAME. sorry just had to say that.

if you don’t have the genetics of barry sanders, and you somehow want to achieve near his level of change of direction/speed etc, you’re going to need a few primary focuses of training;

  1. improving maximal strength

  2. improving the rate at which you produce force (rfd)

  3. MASTERING force absorption & shock-like exercises

  4. keep playing football

improving #3 to freakish status is very rare & probably the most important… you have to be nuts, intelligent & dedicated… improving #3 does rely on #1. improving #3 and #1 also improve #2… improving #1 #2 and #3 improve #4 :smiley:

the main difference between barry sanders & you (pretty much anyone) changing direction;

A. when barry sanders plants, he generates an incredible amount of force eccentrically and isometrically (through muscle, and tendon via elastic energy)… this type of force is a “shock”… it is very instantaneous in nature…

B. his motor programs have been so fine tuned over the years of having this ability, that everything just happens in a reflexive manner… it does not take him nearly as much conscious control as other athletes, to make a decision about a movement…

improving A is very hard and somewhat risky… altitude drops (depth drops, split squat drops and who knows what else) of all kinds will have to be mastered… downhill sprinting on 3-6 degree slopes will have to be mastered… reactive weighted movements will have to be mastered (reactive squat/bench comes to mind)… and of course maximal strength will have to be improved, as this effects everything positively…

improving B means transferring the improvements in A to the actual playing field… specific cutting drills & exercises are to be mastered here… “kill the man with the ball” is probably a good idea - that’ll get you juking…

improving B seems ez, but many people fail… YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO FAIL to improve those qualities… these skills must be practice with absolute intensity & a conscious decision to push the limits.

their are plenty of running backs as strong as barry sanders… the best db’s and sensatinal kick returners are usually the one’s who come close to his change of direction ability.

i just used barry sanders as the example because i think he is pretty much the perfect specimen.

peace

[quote]adarqui wrote:
balance training, flushing the toilet w/ ur feet? wTf???!@$!

i mean it’s cool you’re thinking outside the box, but your idealogy on the subject seems off a bit…

both of the “training methods” you talked about happen at low velocity and under very low load; the total opposite of what happens on a football field.

it falls under the category of the “functional training fad”… i mean it looks cool, but it’s usually just a pile of shit.

STEPPING ON A BOSU BALL AND CATCHING FOOTBALLS IS FUCKING LAME. sorry just had to say that.

if you don’t have the genetics of barry sanders, and you somehow want to achieve near his level of change of direction/speed etc, you’re going to need a few primary focuses of training;

  1. improving maximal strength

  2. improving the rate at which you produce force (rfd)

  3. MASTERING force absorption & shock-like exercises

  4. keep playing football

improving #3 to freakish status is very rare & probably the most important… you have to be nuts, intelligent & dedicated… improving #3 does rely on #1. improving #3 and #1 also improve #2… improving #1 #2 and #3 improve #4 :smiley:

the main difference between barry sanders & you (pretty much anyone) changing direction;

A. when barry sanders plants, he generates an incredible amount of force eccentrically and isometrically (through muscle, and tendon via elastic energy)… this type of force is a “shock”… it is very instantaneous in nature…

B. his motor programs have been so fine tuned over the years of having this ability, that everything just happens in a reflexive manner… it does not take him nearly as much conscious control as other athletes, to make a decision about a movement…

improving A is very hard and somewhat risky… altitude drops (depth drops, split squat drops and who knows what else) of all kinds will have to be mastered… downhill sprinting on 3-6 degree slopes will have to be mastered… reactive weighted movements will have to be mastered (reactive squat/bench comes to mind)… and of course maximal strength will have to be improved, as this effects everything positively…

improving B means transferring the improvements in A to the actual playing field… specific cutting drills & exercises are to be mastered here… “kill the man with the ball” is probably a good idea - that’ll get you juking…

improving B seems ez, but many people fail… YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO FAIL to improve those qualities… these skills must be practice with absolute intensity & a conscious decision to push the limits.

their are plenty of running backs as strong as barry sanders… the best db’s and sensatinal kick returners are usually the one’s who come close to his change of direction ability.

i just used barry sanders as the example because i think he is pretty much the perfect specimen.

peace[/quote]

Thanks for the post.

How would you suggest improving agility without anyone to practice with? I have about a month, maybe two, before summer camp, and I’m looking to come in at my best.

What kind of drills could I be doing? Would it be best to put them on my “speed day”? (following the west side for skinny bastards 3 conditioning template currently)

Also, can you suggest anything that is “low impact” that I can add in anywhere else? Right now I’m having a bit of trouble managing fatigue, since I’m wanting to do everything, every day.

I’m most interested in “#3” or mastering force absorption ect, as this is where I am most lacking.

I’m doing wsfsb3 also. For agilities I just do them right after upper body days and on Saturdays. I just practice backpedaling and turning into a sprint and dropping into coverage. Do football specific drills none of that speed ladder bullshit.

As for balance, I’ve noticed that wrestlers who also play football are really good at staying on their feet and being able to take a hit without going down.

What position are you going to play?

[quote]eggowned wrote:
I’m doing wsfsb3 also. For agilities I just do them right after upper body days and on Saturdays. I just practice backpedaling and turning into a sprint and dropping into coverage. Do football specific drills none of that speed ladder bullshit.

As for balance, I’ve noticed that wrestlers who also play football are really good at staying on their feet and being able to take a hit without going down.

What position are you going to play?[/quote]

I’m not sure yet. I’m thinking about going out for either fullback, or even linebacker. I’m a bit on the short side for linebacker though, but the league I’d be playing in has some my height. (5’10)

I’ll do some research on football specific drills, and really hammer those on Saturdays. Tuesday for me is usually the linear speed workout as shown on the conditioning template. Which consists of 10, 10 yard sprints, 6, 20 yard sprints, and 4, 40 yard sprints.

Is this shit for real?! Listen OP of this thread…you have…an…addiction. Plain & simple, get some help. Best of luck to you, btw, I’m f’in serious.

[quote]BRUCELEEWANNABE wrote:
Is this shit for real?! Listen to the OP of this thread…you have…an…addiction. Plain & simple, get some help. Best of luck to you, btw, I’m f’in serious.[/quote]

lul?