Reaction training – The what and why.docx

athlete reaction training reaction training Oct 08, 2021

Suppose you are in a motorsport race and the heat, the pressure, and the excitement tipping off the charts. The way you respond to this kind of stimuli decides the further course of action and determines your chances of winning or losing. If you manage to calm your nerves, stay alert and focus on your next move, strong chances are that you will take a rather calculated and rational decision as compared to the one you will take with your fingers shaking and your mind blurring. If it’s the latter case, what should be done to make it the former case?

Well, the answer to that is Reaction Training.

As the name suggests, reaction training is no rocket science but simply a set of activities undertaken to improve two things:

1. Your hand-eye coordination.
2. Your reflexes or your neuron communication speed.

Both of these attribute to the response time or so-called reaction time. The faster your reaction time will be the better will be to judge the situation in a perfect manner. Even if any one of them is compromised, the complete performance can take a downward spiral route. While hand-eye coordination determines the speed with which any individual observes and reacts to it, the neuron communication speed determines the time taken to observe the ongoing and taking decision. So, while the first factor is the implementation of the brain’s decision, the second factor is the speed with which the brain decides, both cardinals.

Before any instructor plans the activities for enhancing the reaction, it is important to first analyze the current response time and compare it with a benchmark. Various other factors such as the sport performed the existing condition and the condition of the candidate or the player must be taken into consideration. These can help decide on the areas of strengths and the areas of improvement.

To identify the reaction time of any individual, various tests and activities are available over the internet classified on the basis of the individual’s requirements. For instance, for a motorsport player, the reaction time analysis depends on the speed and agility with which he is able to navigate the vehicle out through the race track for a certain number of laps. Not only instant reaction time but the reflexes during prolonged stressful conditions are also observed.

Why is it necessary?

No training is ever complete without proper reflexes. Even if the athlete is possessing exceptional endurance, strength, and speed, without a proper reaction time, he/she might not be able to hit the target or achieve the expected result. Reaction training not only assists in making and executing the decisions quicker but also aims to prepare the individual for the unprepared circumstances. How quickly do you respond to the stimuli when caught off-guard is quintessential!

How is it improved?

If we go back to the basics, it can be improved by repeatedly encountering stressful conditions. For example, if it is about motorsports, the player can indulge in high-end video games, simulator training to bring the mind into that zone and various other mind games which help in boosting the reaction time by keeping the brain on high-alert mode for longer periods of time. Under the aegis of a trained expert, one can indulge in various specified pre-set programs which can make the mind and body accustomed to the stimuli.

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