Conventional thought says to improve reaction time one needs to work at it with specific drills to create that improvement. So we set out to see if making these improvement could be done within a few minutes work in the Performance Lab and to, in effect, challenge conventional thought.
In the following video look at the arm speed in the before and after sections of the video. In the before segment she is not fast enough to catch the ball as it drops from my hand. And after just a few minutes of Performance Lab work she is able to catch it. Her reaction speed improved considerably in such a manner the task became much easier.
Naturally, we wanted to test more. So we did and the same outcome occurred as the previous video.
Then we wanted to test reaction speed in the different manner. The following test used in the video is arguably more difficult to perform. Both left and right need to have similar reaction speeds and coordination to do this test well. In the before section of the video look at how his knees have to drop to be able to get his hand under the ball in order to catch it. In the after section look at how his lower body is near still while he catches the ball as if falls from my hand.
What it all means
Faster reaction time plays out in all aspects of sport and athletics. Naturally then, having a faster reaction time will produce a positive impact in any athletic endeavor. In fact, a buddy of mine recommended the test seen in the first video of this blog. I went and looked up this test and came across a page where they train Formula 1 race car drivers using this test and the test used in the last video of this blog. Improving reaction time can be the difference between a crash or making it through unscathed, for instance, for the Formula 1 racer. This plays out in a similar manner for motocross, superbikes, BMX. hockey, baseball, basketball…okay, you get the idea. All sport.
Tying it all together
These ball-drop tests are a good visual for my work in the Performance Lab. The faster reaction time also shows in my tests using balance boards, but it is not so obvious to the casual observer. What those tests are showing though is how fast the leg can change to the boards movement. The faster it can react the steadier the board. Just like the faster the arm can react the better chances at catching the ball. As we go through the body with these various test not only is agility changing but so is reaction time. Which in turn creates a much better athlete, and a better experience for the athlete.
Thanks for reading,
Steve Noble, DC