Dog Agility Training for Your Puppy

Puppy training for agility can begin immediately. Expose your pup to a variety of obstacles that will help build is confidence and fun in his future agility training.

You may be asking, “When can I start agility training with my new puppy?” You can start immediately, with certain recommendations. Puppies are always learning, so every time you are with your pup you can be playing and socializing with agility in mind.
Always remember, if you can control your puppies environment, you can teach and train the behaviors you want, left on their own, even in a fenced yard, puppies will learn and develop behaviors that later we may want or need to extinguish.

Expose your puppy to different surfaces.
One of the first behaviors we teach our pups is “Box” or “Table”.

This behavior transfers to the agility pause table.

Lure pup up on a low pause table, treat them on the table.

You can call the pause table anything you want.

(If I was starting over I would name the pause table “Box” instead of “Table” for my dogs because on the agility course there is the potential to have too many “T” words, i.e. tunnel, tire, table, and teeter.

The problem is I am also a creature of habit, and under pressure revert back to my default words, “table” would be one of them.)

Teach your pup to “Box”, meaning to get up on a variety of obstacles.

In our training field we use “Box” for upside down kennel tops, the bottom of barrels turned upside down, bird crates, and more.

Be creative with your pup, get them to get up on all kinds of surfaces, exposing them to different shapes, sizes, and textures.

Once your pup is comfortable getting up on a “Box”, then you can begin to ask them to sit on the box also.

You can also begin to use Buja boards for motion training.
Buja boards are generally made from plywood, 36″ x 36″ with a painted surface or covered surface.

On the underside, there is a 2×4 box where a partially deflated ball is placed.

This enables the Buja board to rock gently.

At first you can reward your pup for getting one paw on the board, then reward for two feet and eventually all four.

Depending on your pups temperament will determine how fast they get comfortable on the Buja Board.

Perch training can also be started with young pups.
The Perch is generally a 1’x1′ wood surface that is raised by 2″x4″‘s underneath.

So the Perch is about four inches in height.

The Perch helps teach pups rearend awareness.

AgainComputer Technology Articles, you can reward your pup for getting one front paw on the perch and then the other.

Perch training is mostly used with just the front paws on the Perch.

These are just a few behaviors you can teach your young pup.
Exposure to a variety of surfaces and heights will help your pup build confidence in his future agility training.

Agility as A Complement To Your Dog’s Labrador Training

Agility is one physical activity sure to occupy your labrador’s focus while giving you a chance to bond with it. There are many reasons why you should take time to know more about Agility. First of al…

Agility is one physical activity sure to occupy your labrador’s focus while giving you a chance to bond with it. There are many reasons why you should take time to know more about Agility. First of all, the competition gives you and your dog the opportunity to shed excess pounds. Through the event, you get to meet new friends. Third, rules do not discriminate in favor of certain dog breeds; in fact, all breeds can participate in Agility. The event is also a showcase of the depth and variety of your dog skills, after all those meetings of Labrador training. Lastly, Agility happens to be among the fastest growing canine competitions in the world, so all these enthusiasts cannot possibly be wrong!

For anybody interested in training or competing, there are countless clubs all over the country to assist you in your lab’s agility training, and there are competitions all over too.

It gets more interesting since there is no size restriction for participants. There are shows for so called Large, Medium, and Small Dogs.

One important rule, on the other hand, is that the participating dog needs to be over 18 months of age to take part. Agility is a physical sport, through and through, and the dog will undergo so much Labrador training before competing.

Kinds of Agility Shows
Some Agility matches are for limited to members of a certain show society only. They can also limit participation according to competitors from a certain area, according to certain breeds, or dog sizes. Open tests are the opposite, being open to just about all that wish to take part. Championship Agility contain a special championship class which is segmented into three separate rounds. Top performing dogs get an agility certificate and reserve agility certificate.

Many different classes can be set in Agility Shows. Some agility classes are arranged by the Kennel Club and progress in terms of difficulty as you win more competitions and classes. Some classes have titles that are self explanatory; others are more special, and are defined by the show management in the schedule. Note that when it comes to special classes, it is possible that the definition for eligibility to compete is not per KC regulations, or that the marking of the class is not the same as KC markings, or that the course design is non-standard.

Classes will more or less consist of the following: Elementary, Starters, Novice, Intermediate, Seniors, Advanced or Open.

And nowFree Web Content, a last hint about Agility Shows. These usually are a chain of obstacles forming the shape of a large ring. The Kennel Club stipulates a combination of 16 obstacles in the event of an Agility show. Measurements for the given obstacles will vary according to the size of the dogs.

Dog Agility Training – Basic Tips

As a rule, agility training should start while the pet is still a puppy. However, owners could still facilitate training with older dogs. The question “when is the dog considered old for agility training” is central to choosing when to start training the dog.

Being “old” greatly varies from dog to dog, from the extent of a dog’s experience to the innate and natural tendencies it has. In short, there is no specific age at which the dog should be restrained from training.

However it is always far easier to start training with much younger dogs since their learned behaviors are still not rooted into their habits.

For choosing old dogs for training, the handler should not create the impression that the dog would no longer learn so there’s no need to waste time. The attitude of the dog as much as that of the trainer is both highly essential to faster learning. The more dedicated and patient the owner is the faster the dog learns.

There are several approaches to starting training for agility. A few of which are discussed here briefly:

Physical exercise

The introduction to agility training should start with physical exercises. If the handler has enough interest to dedicate on training the dog, the age will no longer matter for it is the condition that will rule over. Simple exercises like jumping or hopping may agitate the dog and encourage him to move a little bit. For puppies, these exercises are much easier to do since they have enough energy to use.

Let him play around

Like teaching little children, the easiest approach to agility training for younger puppies is to turn the exercises into a series of games. The majority of puppies are capable of passing through tunnels and chutes so take advantage of this chance and introduce the tunnels, obstacles and the training area itself as huge play ground.

This approach will create positive impressions on him which will also prepare him for future training.

Promote his agility

If you don’t have a sufficient area for setting up obstacle courses, it is best to use certain games that also encourage agility. Simple equipment like improvised tunnels or walls could be made to augment training.

Keep it short

Dogs don’t experience passion when it comes to activities but they have the innate desire to please their owners. This means that they don’t get devoted unless they are rewarded for good actions they have made and that you show your favor for their actions. Their attention span is also very limited so they could not continue training for extended hours.

If you want to start training your dog for agility, establish the rule that you should keep each training session and each lesson as short as possible. You don’t have to finish everything in one sitting. You should divide each exercise into sections that the dog could easily understand. Also never end with a negative note. Always ensure that the dog finishes each exercise with praise.

Training your dog for agility does not lie on how old or young he is, it lies in the foundation of responsiveness, independence, drive to work alone and to follow the command, and your desire to work with him with enough patience and knowledge of his capacities.

What are Kinds of Dog Agility Equipments?

Numerous dog agility courses and obstacles are utilized for each race, or perhaps trial, to help keep the race challenging for the handlers and the pet dogs.

Dog agility is really a spectator sport that consists of dogs racing through a strong obstacle course while being guided with a handler. The actual race is judged within the agility dog’s speed in addition to accuracy. Numerous dog agility courses and obstacles are utilized for each race, or perhaps trial, to help keep the race challenging for the handlers and the pet dogs.

Some of the different types of common obstacles used in dog agility are dog agility jumps, tunnels and contact obstacles. Singe bar jumps in which the dog jumps over one bar are common as are triple jumps that the dog jumps over in a row. Jumps are same as you would find at an obedience trial, and the pole height is set according to the size of the dog.

The Tunnel is a long tube each dog must run through. Contact obstacles are featured in dog agility and they are angled and/or suspended boards that dogs must either walk or run on. These contact obstacles have painted yellow ends that the dog must either enter or exit on.

The Weave Poles are a series of thin poles attached to a straight plank base. The dog must enter the weave at the first two poles and pass through the space between every pole in quick succession. It’s truly amazing to watch a dog moving left and right at breakneck speed on its way through the poles and then buzz off to the next element its handler is directing it to.

A lot of dog agility regulations state express that an agility dog needs to be at least six months old to compete. Dogs really should be examined by a veterinarian before becoming involved with dog agility to make sure that the puppy is healthy enough to engage in the sport without becoming injured or other problem. Agility training is gradually to get dog used to the sport so to increase the height of the jumps at a rate that is safe and comfortable to the dog.

Low contact obstacles are used to start with and the handler gets your dog used to a reward system of food treats and praise. As the dog gradually gains practical experience, much more contact obstacles of different kinds and heights are introduced. The handler teaches dog more verbal cues for direction with the courses as the agility dog gains more experience.

If you ever haven’t yet watched a new dog agility trial, you no longer know what you’re not often known. See it as the doggie Olympics, and you’d be about the right track, as the dogs who compete in these sporting events usually are highly trained and conditioned athletes.

Agility training dogs are quite like obstacles study course with standard elements that every dog must pass through as a way to complete the run and be given a qualifying score. In case when a single element is missedFeature Articles, your team is disqualified. Let’s have a look at the basic elements.

Dog Agility Equipment

There are several national and international agility organizations with each having its own regulations and standards for its dog agility equipment.

When it comes to dog training, agility is one of the main aspects that are greatly considered. Agility is a dog sport in which a handler and her dog run as a team through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. The goal in any dog agility competition is to execute each piece of equipment correctly without any disqualifications. There are several national and international agility organizations with each having its own regulations and standards for its agility equipment.

Basically, an agility course is rather like an obstacle course with standard elements that each dog must pass through in order to complete the run and receive a qualifying score. If a single element is missed, the team is disqualified. This course consists of jumps, hoops and obstacles that you can set up for yourself. You can visit your local pet shop for this equipment. The basic elements of dog agility equipment are:

The Weave Poles are a series of thin poles attached to a straight plank base.
The A Frame is a ramp with a strong incline and equal decline. A-frame is painted a bright color, usually yellow, forming the contact zone, onto which the dog must place at least one paw while ascending and descending.
The Dog Walk is another type of ramp. The two end planks form ramps leading up to and down from the center plank.
The Teeter is a long plank on a fulcrum that each dog must mount at one end and walk across to the other end.
The Tunnel is a long tube each dog must run through. The tunnel is constructed of flexible vinyl and wire, such that it can be configured in a straight line, or in a variety of curves.
The Chute is similar to the tube at the entry point, but the rest of the chute is simply nylon without the hoops to support it, so dog are basically running blind through this element.
Jumps are the same as you would find at an obedience trial, and the pole height is set according to the size of the dog.
The Tire is suspended on a frame and each dog must jump through it on its way around the course.

Dog Agility Training History

Dog agility training has been around for a relatively short time. It actually emerged in the 1970s as a form of entertainment. It was created in 1978 by two trainers who were seeking some diversion for dogs between events at a dog show in the United Kingdom. It was introduced at the 1980 Cruft’s dog show by committee member John Varley. It was designed to keep the crowd happy between the different classes and did just that. In fact, the idea of it soon took off after that, even on the other side of the pond. There were rumors of earlier dog agility training but nothing that could be proven. Regardless, it soon took off around the world and grew to the massive proportions it is at today.

In 1986, the first agility group was founded. Called the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), today it’s the leading organization for agility dogs and their owners in the United States. The USDAA might be the pioneer, but there are local groups all over the United States and the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. This sport has become an exciting event for dogs and their owners, and the participation rate rivals that of more staid events, like dog shows and obedience trials.

Agility is a sport for all dogs, a sport for the active and less active dog. It’s a sport for purebred and mixed breed dogs. In short, it’s an all-dog sport that creates a special bond between owner and dog. Unlike obedience trials or dog shows, agility doesn’t restrict any dogs. It’s an equal opportunity sport.

In essence, it is a competitive sport for dog and owner. The two compete together to complete a course within a specified period of time. The course might include any number of obstacles, including ramps, tunnels, see-saws and hurdles. Dogs might be asked to weave through poles or run through a tunnel and then scale a ramp. The sport is as much about the dog’s skill as the skill of the owner or handler, who is challenged to guide the dog through the course at a good clip and by using basic commands.

Dog agility training has been evolving. Its availability has certainly expanded today and is now readily there for owners to take advantage of. With more equipment available and a greater level of competition, you can really get your teeth into it, so to speak!

Better Sports Performance Is Five Factors Away

With regards to sporting performance there are several factors that are considered important. How important each factor is depends largely on the type of activity or the sport being performed. For example, agility might be crucial to a sprinter while muscular endurance is not. Similarly this might be true within a sport as well, for example coordination would be crucial to an NFL quarterback while power might be more important to a blocker, even though they both play the same sport. In addition to physical size and biologically inherent factors, the following are some of the most important factors that can determine performance in sport.


Power, or the development of force in a short amount of time is considered to be one of the more important factors in sports performance. This is true mainly because so many sports are built that way, they require the application of large amounts of force over a short amount of time. Power (also known as speed strength), although similar to strength actually needs to be trained slightly differently. The focus when training for power is the rapid development of force, not just the development of force.


In many sports, speed is the defining characteristic of high performance levels. As the level of competition progresses, many of the same skills are used however it is the speed of execution that leaves many people behind. The ability to move forward, backward, laterally, stop or start allows an athlete to set-up in a good position to execute a skill (hitting a tennis ball for example) or provides a raw advantage, like the ability to run faster and therefore break away in basketball.


The ability to produce high levels of force, known as strength is one of the most fundamental performance skills common in athletes. While some athletes and sports may require this more for a variety of different reasons, it is generally accepted that high strength levels are needed to achieve high sporting performance. Not much more to say on this really, just that strength training in one form or another should be a foundation of your training program.


Coordination is critical to success in many sports, specifically sports that require athletes to use an implement such as a bat, club, stick or ball to play. Coordination is quite a complex topic, and incorporates how well a person, or their joints handle the application or force and movement with respect to time. Sounds complex right? That’s because it is. Coordination is difficult to measure but is crucial in sports the require hand-eye interactions like baseball or tennis. It is also specific and trainable though, and someone who is considered uncoordinated in soccer can be very coordinated in tennis.


Agility is kind of a hybrid of speed, coordination and power. Agility in general refers to the ability to quickly and accurately stop, start and change direction. There is also some evidence that agility using an implement can also be different to agility without it, so it might be worth training this factor with the implement your use in hand such as lacrosse stick or tennis racket.

So there you have it, five of the most important factors to reaching high sporting performance. The relative importance of each is dependent on the sport itself and there are several other factors that are arguably equally as important, although they will be discussed in a later article.

Principal Facts About Agility Training For Dogs

Dogs basically spend their entire life running, fetching, jumping, and doing other activities. Therefore, it is very important that they stay in optimum shape in order to be at their best. On that note, agility training for dogs could do just that. This kind of training is commonly used to prepare dogs that are competing for the agility competition. Dog agility is technically an exhilarating and action-packed dog sports that is filled with all sorts of obstacles. The dog and the handler will be graded according to speed and accuracy. Those who have fewer mistakes and the fastest time will emerge as the winners. While training dogs for agility is not a very difficult endeavor, it still requires a considerable amount of time, patience and effort in order to help the dog master the winning performance.

The Essence of Agility Training

Since agility is a complex and quick sport, it is vital that the dog must be well-trained to earn good scores. Normally, handlers who are planning to enter the competition train their dogs very early. In fact, puppies that are 8 to 10 weeks old can already participate in agility training. However, due to their young age, strenuous jumping must be avoided. Older dogs can also be great competitors, but unlike those who trained young, they might take a while to master the skills. Dogs that participate in agility competition require continuous and on-going training. This is necessary due to the following reasons:

to keep the agility dogs in tune with the handler
to effectively follow the commands given by the handler
to adapt the techniques taught by the handler
to learn new skills and stunts
to become physically fit to be able to run faster and jump higher
to be able to go through the course in succession and with precision

What to Expect

Generally, agility training helps dogs to learn new skills, follow commands, and navigate obstacles more accurately. The training allows them to move with precision in order to prevent injury and to get impressive scores. Basic agility training simply teaches dogs to develop obedience skills, which can be easily grasped by dogs of any age. The courses used for agility training can be assembled in either an indoor or outdoor setting. But bear in mind that training the dogs in various locations is critical since agility competitions are usually held in more than one venue. Hence, they should be acclimated in performing in varying locations.

Agility training usually starts by teaching dogs simple commands, like the tunnel. It is crucial that they first acquire fundamental skills so they can easily advance to the complex ones. In the beginning of the training, they will be exposed to the easiest obstacles, but as they gain relevant experiences and become confident, more complex obstacles will be added. Overall, agility training for dogs provides the perfect bonding experience. It allows the dog and the handler to have a fun time together as they become physically fit and mentally alert.

Sport Specific Conditioning For Soccer – Train Like a Pro

Soccer (also known as “football”) is one of the most popular sports in the world, with a growing number of enthusiasts and players world-wide. Despite this fact, strength and conditioning programs for soccer are often neglected or outdated. Except at the professional level, many athletes and coaches still focus only on skill development and endurance training (ie- running), and ignore other important elements of fitness such as:

·Strength and strength endurance

·Speed and power




Athletes of other popular sports such as hockey or American football typically understand the importance of a complementary strength and conditioning program (especially off-season) to improve their performance, but it seems that some soccer players don’t believe that elements such as strength or power development are necessary for their sport. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In this article I will take a closer look at the different components of fitness involved in the sport of soccer, and then suggest a simple way to organize your high performance training program. I will not be discussing skill development in this article.

Endurance in Soccer

A soccer fitness program should be built around developing a good aerobic base. Several studies into the physiological demands of soccer have shown that outfield players can travel up to 13 km or 8 miles during a 90-minute game. This places a significant demand on the athlete’s cardiovascular system and muscular endurance. Having said that, I believe this is one aspect of training that is already over-emphasized in this sport.

It’s not uncommon to hear of soccer players running for at least an hour at a time several days per week in an attempt to improve their performance on the field. However, if you start to analyze the ‘sport-specific’ requirements of the athletes, you will realize that they are actually engaging in varying intensities of activity for different durations while playing, including: walking, jogging, running, and sprinting, and in various directions. Incorporating interval training into your program, that involves high and low intensities of activity, will provide better results than long duration, low intensity jogging alone.

Strength in Soccer

Strength is an important component of fitness that can benefit athletes in any sport, although it is often viewed as having little importance in soccer. However, strength forms the basis for power and speed. Soccer players also need strength to hold off challenges from opponents. Other benefits of strength training include:

·injury resistance

·leaner body composition

·faster metabolism

·more energy

·greater explosiveness

·improved balance, stability, and agility

·faster recovery

·greater bone density

High level soccer players don’t need to have the same absolute strength as American football players or rugby players, but a properly designed ‘off-field’ strength training program will definitely improve your in performance! Relative strength is more important in soccer than absolute strength. Relative strength is simply your absolute strength in relation to your body weight.

Your strength training program should focus on compound, functional exercises (such as lunges, squats, step ups, pushups, dips, chinups), and take into account balancing the strength of opposing muscle groups (ie- quadriceps vs. hamstrings). Don’t waste your time training solely on machines, and avoid useless, non-functional exercises such as leg extensions. The majority of your exercises should be ground-based, using bodyweight or free weights as resistance, and should involve movement of your full body.

Speed & Agility in Soccer

Another significant component of a soccer fitness program is speed and agility training. The speed of play in today’s game is quicker than ever. While endurance and strength are very important to improving your performance, faster players have a definite competitive edge. You may have better endurance than the next guy, but if he makes it to the ball first it won’t matter that you can run marathons!

A simple speed test is a sprint over 30 yards from a standing start. You can try this yourself and have someone else time you. A sprint time under 5.0 seconds is good. Professional players average around 4.0 seconds.

Power is the combination of strength and speed. A more powerful player is a more formidable player. To improve your speed and explosiveness you should include power movements in your program, such as jump squats, high pulls, power cleans, and push presses, as well as plyometric drills such as box jumps, alternate push-offs, lateral shuffle, and split lunge jumps. Because it is important to have speed endurance, I recommend incorporating these exercises into a circuit training program with high intensity intervals. A typical workout would alternate between power movements for lower body and upper body, with plyometric exercises as intervals. You can conclude your training session with sprint drills and agility work (such as the ‘ladder drill’).

Flexibility in Soccer

Another important aspect of fitness is flexibility. Maintaining a healthy range of motion can be very beneficial, however, few people understand the most effective methods of stretching or when to use them. Many athletes still do passive stretching before their workout or practice, when actually this can diminish performance and increase risk of injury! The safest and most productive way to integrate flexibility training into your routine, is to do a dynamic warm up (walking lunges, bodyweight squats, high knees, butt kicks, arm circles, etc.) before a workout, practice or game, and then spend some time stretching at the end. Also, a better alternative to static passive stretching is static ‘active’ stretching (using your own muscular effort to hold the position).

Nutrition for Soccer

I won’t get too deeply into the subject of sports nutrition here… that’s a whole other article. Suffice it to say that what you eat will directly affect your energy levels, recovery, performance, and health. Here are some basic tips to consider regarding your diet:

·Drink ALOT more water.

·Eat 4-6 smaller meals / snacks each day.

·Eat after exercise, not directly before.

·Each meal should include protein (fish, chicken, eggs, lean meat, poultry, protein shakes, some dairy, etc), and fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.

·Starchy carbs (ie: pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, grains, etc) should be eaten after exercise, or the night before a big game, but otherwise reduced in your diet.

·No sugars, pastries, junk food, pop, chips, alcohol, tobacco, etc.

·Don’t eat before sleep.

·Take fish oil daily.

The Program

Here is a simple way to organize your training, on and off the field:

Your off season weekly gym program should include two strength training days (superset opposing muscle groups using functional exercises) and a speed / power day (explosive weightlifting movements in a circuit, with plyometrics as intervals), in addition to your athletic skill training / practices on the field. Do some agility work and sprint starts at the end of your speed / power circuit. Then include 2 to 3 endurance / cardiovascular training sessions each week as well, running for about 30 minutes with short sprint intervals and hill running… not just long endurance runs.

For in season training, just reduce your training volume and cut back to only one strength workout and one speed / power workout per week. You can adjust the number of endurance training sessions as well, depending on the number of practices or games you have each week.

Speed, Agility, and Quickness – A Developmental Perspective

Speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) training is something that tends to
become a topic of heated discussion. Many coaches feel that the effort put
forth while practicing the sport is sufficient to improve these motor skills.

Their theory is that you cannot get any more sport specific than performing
the sport itself. Therefore, by training that sport, you are developing the
set of athletic skills specifically related to that sport and not wasting time
on unnecessary activities.

By participating in your sport at game intensity, you will learn and develop
Jumping and landing mechanics, acceleration, deceleration, and cutting
mechanics, increase foot speed, and develop everything else that goes
into well rounded athleticism.

The other school of coaching tends to believe that component training, or
breaking complex skills down into trainable pieces, is the best way to go about athletic enhancement. They think that working on each motor skill
independently of the sport and than introducing the corrected skill back
into the sport is much more efficient.

Without question, dynamic human movement is extremely complex. The
simple act of walking involves very in-depth motor programming that
functions on a subconscious reflexive level.

By subconscious reflexive I mean that you do not have to think to execute
complex motor skills. If you had to think about every muscles action
while you walked it would take you days to get from the couch to the

refrigerator and your movements would look very robotic.
This reflexive motor programming starts to develop as an infant. You learn
to do very basic skills, and as you mature, the programming becomes more
complicated as does the movement. As the programming becomes more
complicated, it becomes increasing more resilient to change.

The problem is that a child is typically never truly guided through the
earlier stages of development. As infants they learn to move by trail
and error. Walking, standing, sitting, reaching, rolling over, and all
the other things that are being learned and developed are all self taught.

In North America, as children age and enter preadolescents, they
are typically steered away from programs that focus on physical
development. These children now start to build more complex
programming on top of already faulty self instructed programming.

Developmentally, it is at this age when children are the most “plastic”.
Unfortunately it is also at this age that that the introduction to structured
practice results in them repetitiously ingraining incorrect movement

As a result, we start to see more and more non contact injuries at younger
and younger ages. We also find that correcting these reflexive problems
becomes increasing more difficult.

These types of kids typically face more developmental problems as they
get older. Motor learning research tells us that you go through progressive
stages of learning as you acquire new skill. Some skills are similar to others,
so we are able to skip various initial stages along the way.

When issues exist within theses skipped stages, the latter stages of
Development will be negatively affected. When this happens, time
must then be spent fixing the foundational issues, before efficient motor
programming can continue to occur.

As I mentioned earlier, most motor skills are designed to function without
cognitive control. Once again you do not have to think to walk or run.
Your body will automate the process dependent upon its programming
regardless of right or wrong.

My question than becomes…If your body is running off of reflexive
automated motor programming, how are you going to fix these
developmental issues by playing your sport?

The average human brain does not possess the capacity to multi-task and
efficiently refine or learn distinct foreign skills. Most individuals are not
and can not think about improving a specific motor skill while they are in a
confrontation situation (which is truly the essence of most sport).

If you asked most athletes what they were thinking during such a
confrontational activity (such as being guarded during a lay up)they would
more than likely say, I don’t really remember thinking of anything.
I just did what was natural.

They functioned on preprogrammed information. They functioned reflexively, maybe not efficiently, but definitely reflexively. Did this athlete actually develop or correct any specific motor skill during this situation?

He may have learned how to better cope with the psychological stresses
involved in confrontation. He may have developed a greater efficiency in
coordinating multiple motor skills, which is important if the components are
sound, but he undoubtedly did not improve an individual motor skill.

If the athlete depended on trial and error as a process of learning movement
motor skills throughout his whole life, he probably didn’t know that
a problem existed. If this is the case, than there was definitely no effort
made for correction.

By using SAQ drills, we can isolate problems and try to fine tune erroneous
preprogrammed information while we increase their overall warehouse
of skills. We can break down gross movement skills into components that
allow an athlete to cognitively address issues that tend to be combined
into complex reflexive compound skills.

Each motor skill should than be optimized before the athlete progresses.
If they lack the coordination or ability to perform certain motor skills as
an isolated component, which is many times the case, they lack the ability
to perform them when they are integrated into chaotic confrontational
sporting situation.

Fixing these erroneous motor skills may require 1 repetition or 1000
repetitions depending on the skill and the athlete. Once the athlete
demonstrates proficiency for each individual motor skill, the skills can
than combined into motor skill clusters, or small subsets of motor skills.

When the athlete demonstrates proficiency for coordination of skills within
a subset, subsets can be combined and the process continued.

Part II of this series will deal with the actual neural acceleration (quickness)
elements I utilize in my protocols. I will be discussing how and why I utilize
the specific drills within each workout.