Think technique for better performance

When you have a weakness in your performance regardless of whether it is in relation to skill execution or some physical ability, think first about a technique to improve your abilities.  The same holds true when coming off an injury.  Determine if your technique was the main culprit in causing the injury and how you can correct it.

Rather than doing this, most athletes think in terms of only improving their physical abilities. This is very important but without proper technique it is of limited value. Improved or more effective technique will give you greater gains than any type of physical training can.

In the ideal situation, technique changes, or modifications/adjustments should be made at the same time as you develop strength or other physical quality.  The strength should be coupled with the skill in what is known as a specialized strength exercise.  In other words, you develop strength in the same neuromuscular pathway as used in execution of the competitive skill.

When this is not done, especially when it comes to injury rehabilitation and injury prevention, the chances of getting a recurring injury are great.  Keep in mind that injuries are most often caused because of poor coordination, i.e., poor or improper execution of the skill.  Rarely is it due to lack of strength.

Because of this, after athletes are rehabilitated with development of only strength, when they can go back to playing the game it does not mean that they are now better equipped to handle the forces involved in execution of the skills. In many cases they will be even more prone to injury.

A classic example of this is in relation to hamstring injuries and running.  Many players experience hamstring injuries which take weeks if not months in some cases to rehabilitate.  But with proper or effective running technique and development of the physical qualities specific to the joint actions involved in running, the chances of hamstring injuries are practically nonexistent.

In fact, I have never had an athlete get an hamstring injury after developing good running and cutting technique and the physical qualities specific to the technique.  Because of this I am convinced that these and other common injuries to athletes are for the most part, preventable.  But, for this to happen, you must first think technique.

For more information on this topic see Build a Better Athlete

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