Neuroplasticity is the ability to retrain your brain and create new connections that are more beneficial for you. This form of therapy is often used in situations where the patient experiences anxiety, depression, phobias, or even needs rehabilitation after a stroke. However, many people do not realize that you can use the same principle for improving athletic performance over time.
No matter what sport you play, exercise involves a significant amount of motor skills. You have to coordinate muscle groups to produce high precise actions. For example, throwing a baseball is not just a single motion, but multiple steps that help to perform that one fluid movement. Otherwise, if the muscles are not responding in a particular way, the movement will not have the optimal result or a great pitch.
Athletes always rely on muscle memory. Muscle memory is part of the reason that many individuals automatically respond in particular situations. For example, a basketball player might react automatically to block a shot on the basketball court, but they had to train for many, many months or years to ingrain this movement pattern. Once the process has been firmly planted into the brain, neuroplasticity allows this to become an automatic response.
Athletes use neuroplasticity to become more intuitive and refined individual players on their teams, and it shows! Please think of how many individuals you see rising to be star players and how much time they spend in the gym doing repetitive drills!
Someone can become incredibly talented in their sport without adjusting their brains and creating new pathways. However, some studies say that brain stimulation is one of the primary determining factors of whether or not muscle memory becomes significantly improved over a shorter amount of time. Brain stimulation involves activating or inhibiting the brain directly with electricity.
One study says that if you apply brain stimulation while working out, you will end up with a 45% faster gain in skill, strength, and endurance. You can also create new personal records, and you might even accelerate the learning process because of brain stimulation. Claims like these have been supported extensively by other scholars over the years. Yet, there are also simple ways that you can train your brain through re-origin’s program.
Neuroplasticity improves athletic performance, and there’s a strong reason why it is so heavily supported. With professional leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and Olympians using this, there’s no reason why every athlete should turn away from this opportunity to improve their skill set. As long as the individual is stimulating the primary motor cortex, there will be a significant change and how quickly the muscle memory occurs.
In any sport, there are ways that you can employ neuroplasticity to improve your athletic performance. Many of them are ways that people are already using today, especially within the gym. Individuals can perform visual reaction, auditory, or even proprioceptive drills.
It can be as simple as a coach telling you to sprint to the red cone or even asking you to hop on one leg for a minute or two. All of these exercises are examples of neuroplasticity because they train a specific muscle to do a particular task repeatedly.
Next time you go to the gym or head to the court, take a look at what you do and see how they can employ tactics of neuroplasticity.
Through regular exercise and drills, you’ll be able to see a significant difference in your athletic performance. As Malcolm Gladwell once said, “you have to have 10000 hours in a subject to be an expert”. It might take you many days, weeks, or months to master a skill, but understanding this will help you see how every little bit helps you on the way to your goals.
Neuroplasticity is crucial to athletic performance, and athletes use it to succeed in extraordinary ways. So if you’re looking to improve your athletic capabilities, neuroplasticity can be an excellent tool for you.