Athletes Should Be Seeking Proper Timing

Timing is a term that is used in various context when discussing sports. Everyone understands the importance of good timing but to they understand the different meaning and application of timing?

I did not for many years until I entered the Sports Testing world and began to understand the use of data-driven results to paint a picture. Most every sport and every position in sports have “timing” as a key part. As you peel back the onion and look at all the variables in executing a skill within a sport, you soon realize how important proper timing is.

Timing #1– the most important aspect of timing in sport involves the execution of a sequence of bodily movements to execute a skill. Not only does the body have to utilize the proper sequence of movements to properly execute a skill, but those movements also have to be executed with proper timing.

Timing #2 In the baseball world you often hear of hitters getting their timing down. In this specific case, the general understanding is to think the meaning of timing the ball out of the pitcher’s hand in order to be able to successfully hit the ball. Making adjustments to the speed variations thrown by the pitcher require an adjustment in the timing of when you start your swing.

The key is to understand Timing #1 dictates Timing #2 and to be successful the hitter must consistently execute a swing with the proper sequence at the right time. The reason athletes to not have proper and consistent timing is because of the lack of instruction and the lack of instructors who understand how to progressively engineer an athlete.

Foundation

Mobility, Sequence, and Timing are often overlooked in the progression of athlete engineering. General misconceptions about getting stronger and becoming a better athlete grab everyone’s attention and the measuring stick is how many cool things an athlete can do while training in these elite facilities sweating and grunting through workouts.

The problem with Strength and Conditioning is the lack of progressive development of the athlete that does not provide the foundation to gain the benefit of the work put in. Example: If a hitter does not have the proper mobility to execute a swing and does not understand the proper sequence of events that have to take place to execute a proper swing, then they will never be able to achieve proper timing of delivering a swing on a consistent basis.

For a hitter not yet having the mobility, sequence or timing, it makes no sense to invest time in getting stronger and in better condition because it will not relate to success on the field in competition. The athlete may look great and appear to be physically ready for the sport but the problem is the skill will not develop because of a lack of understanding of the foundation needed to be successful. Improper strength training can cause a hindrance in a hitter to achieve proper timing of sequence in a swing. An Ill-Planned strength and conditioning program can increase the chance of injury and decrease the chance for proper execution of timing a skill.

Practical Application

The solution for athletes to have more success in their sport is to invest time in proper athlete engineering. Athletes should be engineered properly based upon physical stature of their body and the intended execution of skill in the sport they are participating in. Practical application of progressive development must take place in order for an athlete to reach their full potential. Can you drive a car on a flat tire or a tire that is out of balance or not aligned correctly? Sure you can, however, the performance of the car will be inferior to the car that has all tires inflated properly and that is properly balanced and aligned and ensures the tires are rotated on a regular basis at every oil change.

Athletes and the professionals who train them need to take a step back and analyze where they stand in the execution of their sports skill. If you are not testing…YOU ARE GUESSING! If athletes are not testing on a regular basis there is no way to track progression and make necessary adjustments to training as needed. Sports Testing and Re-Testing provides the support in which to provide data-driven targeted training plans that create accountability for the athlete and those professionals involved in their training.

Confused Athletes

From my perspective, the power of marketing and social media has the general public fooled into investing in the least effective forms of athlete development. Elite Athletes are used to pushing techniques and approaches to train that is not pertinent to a Non-Elite Athlete. Because Tom Brady does it, or this Pro Team or College Team Does it, does not mean you should do it or you are capable to do it.

Every athlete is different, they mature at different times and they all have various resources at their disposal in order to invest in their skill development. Every athlete needs to know exactly where they stand, what they need to be training and why, be tested on their progression and be focused on mastering the skill needed for their competition.

I do not see the proper progressive development planning being applied and a clear confusion on where time should be invested to achieve mastery of skill in a sport. I have struggled as an athlete to achieve mastery and now realize my training efforts lacked the proper progressive development approach. If the athlete is not 100% focused on the timing of execution of a sequence specific to his sport then they will never reach their potential

Solution

I study every day reading and researching athlete development studies and articles. I coach and instruct on a daily basis and am challenged to provide the best instruction possible for the people I coach and the families that are counting on me to provide the proper training for their child.

I am a much-improved coach, instructor, teacher today than I was 25 years ago and experience has allowed me to gain value in what works and what does not work. However, it is frustrating not to have the results from my coaching efforts and the athletes I am coaching efforts readily available for review.

The solution to my frustration is the Athlete Management System that I helped develop that acts as the center spoke of the wheel for capturing all aspects of my duties as an administrator, coach, trainer as well as the journey of the athlete. This system will allow me to assist athletes in achieving the timing necessary to succeed.

My goal is to be as efficient as possible and to provide the most valuable instruction possible. It starts with Mobility, Sequencing, and Timing. I know now that is the most important step to take in the progressive development actions for an athlete. I document all aspects of the athlete’s journey and all instruction given with videos, pictures, and testing. I test the athletes when they first come to see me (Benchmark Testing) and provide regular ongoing testing to validate the proper decision-making process of what to invest time in next.