DEVELOP YOUR PERCEPTIONS TO DEVELOP YOUR ATHLETIC ABILITIES
There are three main components of development of higher level athletic abilities: 1. Improving your body physically, 2. Improving your perception
and 3. Improving your skill level. Everything else either falls under these three categories or is a "side effect" of development of all or any of the three.
All three are very interconnected and are very important, but nothing is as powerful and significant as perception. A slight change in perception can change everything. In running, Bannister's famous Mile
run in under 4 minutes (3 min 59.4 s) is one of the most famous examples of breaking barriers by changing perception (click here
to read more about it).
Our perception is an incredibly complex system, it is a multidimensional channel of communication that is as vital to us as the air we breathe. Our senses and perceptions are vital to the learning process. This is how we "collect and process data". Perception is the ability to gather, sort through and act upon information collected, and all in a matter of milliseconds. So the better your perception is developed, the better the resultant action will be, and the better overall result you will have.
Overwhelming majority of athletic coaches today tend to move past less tangible characteristics like sensations and thoughts, and instead concentrate on what they can see, like muscular movements. The commonly discussed proprioceptive feedback from muscles, ligaments and tendons is important, but the true meaning of it is not regarded or used to take corrective measures.
We have to understand that senses and perception
are more than just the feelings in our muscles and contain the keys to mastery of movement
. To see that, consider what a "natural talent" is.
What we call a natural talent is a complex combination of many things, two of which are physical abilities and perception - an incredible ability of an athlete to perceive his own body, the forces, the surroundings on an advanced level. Talented singers have higher sensitivity to sound, talented dancers have better perception of their body and its movement. Similarly, better athletes, have better perception of their body in space and time.
While we cannot acquire talent, we are either born with it or not, we can focus on development of our perception. It is a complex process, and it is also a deliberate one. It is a learned ability that is within everyone's reach.
Here's another thing to consider. None of the natural forces that provide for and are involved in human movement can be seen or touched, but they can be felt or perceived. So does it make sense to work on developing and refining your perception? It would seem to be so, would it not?
For even more reasons than mentioned above, in the Pose Method, there is a strong emphasis on developing perception
. Both the Pose Triathlon
and Pose Running
books have a number of chapters on the subject of developing perception
and there are a number of various unique exercises and drills
to help you.
A good place to start is development of physical perceptions and perception of correct movement specifically. Diligent work on developing your perception - perception of your movement, your body and its dynamics will result in improvement of your overall athletic abilities. What's more - it could potentially promote improvement of many other things that you don't even think about right now. Developing your perception could possibly be the best investment of your time and effort you will ever make.
As Marcus Aurelius said, "The world is nothing but change. Our life is only perception". If you think about it - everything is only perception. So, change your perception and everything around you, including yourself, will change.
Article by Dr. Nicholas Romanov
Composed by L. Romanov