This article is authored by Stephen McCarthy. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Stephen McCarthy is the Director of The McCarthy Project. Stephen was born and raised in Spring Lake Park, MN. He has worked with over 10,000 athletes with an emphasis on the youth athlete. He has researched and developed innovative training techniques for over twelve years. His athletes have received college scholarships and played professionally, as well as, won state and national championships.
In our continual search for ways to improve our athlete’s performance, we came across the method of multi-tasking or coordination training. If an athlete did not know specifically where they were in space or had to stop and think before acting, they are not able to complete the task quickly and efficiently. By developing coordinated effort, an ability to see and do movements at precisely the time the athlete wanted to produce the action, each athlete’s performance had the potential of improving.
The goal is for the athlete to understand where all of their body parts are during a movement. Below is a sequence of drills that can be used to develop coordination or the ability to multi-task in space. First of all, find an agility ladder, a couple of tennis balls and a teammate. Most athletes have completed agility ladder drills, but here is the catch. Add random math problems to the mix while doing the drill in reverse. This causes the athlete to take their attention off what their body is doing and start to think. Instantly, the athlete is multi-tasking.
Here is an example of how the coordination training drills progress:
1. Learn a step on the agility ladder and do it as fast as possible.
2. Add to the step, the athlete doing it in reverse.
3. Add to the step in reverse, the athlete juggling two balls.
4. Add to those three, the athlete doing simple adding and subtracting verbally.
Coordination training can provide a big upside. Athletes enjoy the challenging drills and will master them quicker than you think. And best of all, each athlete will have a better understanding of where they are in space, an ability to focus on an object while moving, and complete the desired movement more efficiently.
Share your coordination training drills with Mr. McCarthy today. Learn more from Stephen, and for additional coordination training programming ideas, contact him at email@example.com.