OUR BRAIN IS CONSTANTLY ACTIVE
Neuroplasticity: The Brain’s Secret Weapon For Sports Performance
Part 1: We all have this ability, we just need to use it
What is Brain Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is something that our brain does every minute we are awake.
Simply put, it is the ability of the brain to change. Our brains change every day through what we see, what we hear, what we read, and what we experience.
The changes can be subtle, for example enjoying and remembering a good meal or a good restaurant.
Or the changes can be more obvious and seen through scans of the brain (using an MRI — Magnetic Resonance Imaging system). These scans actually show physical changes in the brain caused by athletic training and practice.
Brain Neuroplasticity and age
There are times in our lives when Neuroplasticity is easier, and there are times when it is more difficult.
With age, it becomes more difficult to change the brain’s structure and function.
Why is it easier to learn a language when you are young and it is easier to learn to play an instrument or become an expert in a sport when you are younger as opposed to being older?
Neuroplasticity or learning becomes much easier through childhood and peaks in the last teen years/early 20’s.
After that age, it is, as they say, all downhill!
It is still possible to learn new skills, but it takes longer and more effort to accomplish the same task the older you are.
Neuroplasticity and Sports
Fortunately, Neuroplasticity is at its peak (easiest to accomplish changes in the brain) at the same age that athletes are gaining expertise in their sport.
Athletes often “coast” on their natural ability when they start playing in youth leagues. They are faster runners than others, taller than others, or stronger than others.
This advantage works until athletes get to a point in their sport where the less skilled kids have gone onto other activities and the group is mostly made up of similar skill level athletes.
This usually occurs in the high school years but fortunately, this is also the time when Neuroplasticity is at its peak.
In other words, young athletes need to concentrate at this point on becoming “smarter”. They need to make better use of their physical abilities by playing smarter!
How can we leverage Neuroplasticity for better sports performance?
In Part 2 of this series, we’ll explore how a simple at-home game can teach your brain new tricks and level up your sports performance as well.
Would you like to learn more about how your eyes can help you play better in your sport? Sign up for my upcoming 5-day FREE Email course by clicking here (safe link to my website).