Sports Timing FAQs
Sports timing is not just hand-eye coordination
Sports timing is based in a little-known set of brain circuits, which control all of the brain's coordination of motor and sensory activities. So, if these circuits are not fine-tuned, the athlete's performance in their sport will be poor.
Coaches recognize when an athlete has good timing and they commonly refer to these athletes as having natural talent. When athletes don't have this natural talent, there has been little a coach can do to improve this basic timing relationship between the brain and the body. But, scientific advances in the last 15 years has shown us what manages this coordination, so that we can measure and improve an athlete's current capability in coordinating brain and body.
Sport-Specific Skills, Techniques, and Strategies
Sport-specific coaches work with athletes to improve the athlete's performance of the skills, techniques, and strategies of the sport. All of these coaching activities builds little programs in the athlete's brain which automates the performance of these sport-specific activities. When the athlete is practicing or performing in a match, these little programs run their course and the result is the athlete performing that skill, technique, or strategy.
So, Where Does Timing Fit In This?
Just like in an electronic computer, our brains need to move from one step in the program to the next step in the program at the appropriate times for these skills, techniques, and strategies to be successful. The timing of these movements down through these program steps is critical for proper execution of these skills, techniques, and strategies. If the movements from one step in the program to the next is poorly timed, athletes will be unsuccessful in performing that sport-specific activity (that program).
Timing is critical for the batter to hit the ball at the right time. And, each of the movements of each of the muscles involved will need to happen at the exact right time to successfully hit the ball. Any timing error, no matter how small, will change the result. And the timing of each of the muscle activations involved need to follow a precise timing to have success.
Sports Timing Testing: What Does Good Timing Look Like?
When we test the timing of athletes, we want to see results where the majority of the test points are near the zero line. We don't want the test points to be more than 50 ms off that line. More than 50ms is a pop-out (a momentary loss of focus and coordination), which can have a negative impact on performance. This athlete would have a pop-out about 1.6% of the time.
Sports Timing Testing: What Does Poor Timing Look Like?
This athlete performs well most of the time, but has 12 pop-outs in the one-minute test. This correlates to 15.2% of the time, this athlete will have a pop-out. This means that about 15% of the time, this athlete will make a mistake during a match, which costs the team position, possession, points, or some other important factor.
What Are The Timing Training Outcomes Of This Program?
Each person who goes through our sports timing training program chooses their own outcome for their participation in the training program.
This level of sports timing training is a little more intense than what most athletes have. This is certainly achievable, but most athletes are happy with only one pop-out in each test.
What Is The Nature Of The Sports Timing Training?
Each session is 50 minutes duration. The first few minutes are for the test and the rest of the time is for the training exercises.
The athlete starts by taking the test and the Timing Trainer explores the athlete's progress and assigns an exercise for a specific number of minutes. Discussion of the athlete's progress can happen at this point, but discussions are held to a minimum. The exercises are the only things which have a positive impact on the athlete's timing, so the program is organized around performing the exercises which improve this athlete's timing to achieve the athlete's outcome.
The Trainer observes the athlete performing the exercise and provides encouragement and correction in the execution of that exercise. Depending on the athlete's level in the program and the athlete's timing challenges, the Trainer assigns the specific exercise and the duration of that exercise as needed. An exercise in this program can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as 45 minutes duration.
Can Members Schedule Sessions When They Are On The Road?
These training sessions require lots of Internet bandwidth, because the Trainer needs to see and hear the athlete performing the exercises. If the locations the member will be staying are good enough for Skype audio and video to function well, the training sessions can proceed. But, when the sessions are constantly interrupted by loss of video and audio signal, the sessions will not be useful for improving the member's timing.
Should Members Practice Their Sport During Their Training Program?
Yes, it is very important for athletes in this training program to practice their sport as they go through this training program.
When Should Sessions Be Scheduled?
The athlete's off-season is the best time for scheduling the timing training. For at least the first 6 sessions, the athlete will be well-advised to not be involved with matches of their sport.
For the first 6 sessions?
Practice of their sport: YES.
Perform in matches: NO.
After completing the first six sessions, further sessions should be scheduled on off-days.
So, if your sport has a one-week break between matches, you might be able to start your sport timing training immediately after a match and complete 6 sessions before the next match. After that, make sure that you don't have matches on the days you have sessions.
When Should Sessions Not Be Scheduled?