Improve your Sporting Performance with the Alexander Technique

This article addresses injuries in sports & exercise
Author: Carla Radford Published: 30th April 2010 17:22
Whatever your chosen sport, and whether you play for fun or are a dedicated professional, the Alexander Technique can help to improve both your performance and enjoyment.

It’s not just another exercise regime or sports therapy, but a method of helping you to become more consciously aware of your body and how you use it. This can lead to:

improved balance and coordination
reduced stress and strain
better mobility and efficiency of movement
improved breathing
less risk of injury
faster recovery
Most people stand, walk, run and perform other physical movements automatically. If you want to move from A to B you can do so without thinking about precisely how to move each joint or noticing the exact position of your limbs. You will also be unaware of any postural bad habits you have picked up over the years and how they are adversely affecting your ability to win races, score goals or hit that elusive hole-in-one.

But you will notice the pain and discomfort caused by constantly putting undue strain on some parts of your body. Many people discover The Alexander Technique when they are looking for a cure for backache or other joint pains.

The Alexander Technique is a self-help system. A qualified teacher (check that he or she is a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique) will guide you to identify the harmful tensions and stresses within your body and help you to explore ways of correcting them. The experience is often enlightening in several ways. As well as learning how to prevent pain, the Technique can alter the way you think about and approach all physical movement. It re-educates you to use your body as nature intended.

One aspect of the Alexander Technique that can be especially useful for sportsmen and women is breaking the habit of ‘end-gaining’. This means concentrating on the desired outcome of movement without noticing how that movement is being performed. A runner will imagine crossing the finishing line; a tennis player will be looking at the spot where the ball should land. Learning to shift attention to how you are moving rather than why can make the difference between success and failure.

If you want to get maximum enjoyment out of sport, while minimising the wear and tear on your body, The Alexander Technique can be of great benefit. It is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, from teenagers hoping for professional football careers to those taking up golf in retirement.

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