Want to play better? Improve your sports vision. If you play any ball sport, you must learn how to juggle! It’s a valuable neuromuscular skill that can have a direct impact on your ability to hit, kick, and react quickly to a moving ball. Juggling has been shown to be beneficial to enhance coordination between the left and right sides of the body, in addition to hand-eye coordination. It is therefore often recommended to patients to improve interhemispheric communication and motor timing. It is a good exercise to practice when starting to learn a musical instrument too.
Other benefits of juggling are that it improves ambidexterity, hand-eye coordination, depth perception, peripheral vision, neuromuscular balance, and quickness under pressure. Juggling sharpens your focus for tasks like baseball hitting, tennis strokes, pass receiving, and basketball freethrow shooting. Not only that, you might even become smarter: Scientists have discovered that juggling actually increases the number of brain cells that process visual information.
So how to juggle?
1. Start with one ball. Throw the ball from one hand to the other and gradually attempt to include a ‘dummy’ throw in between each throw. This means that your hands will be moving in an alternating up-down sequence at twice the rate of the actual ball.
2. Introduce a second ball only after mastering the above step. Note that one of your ‘dummy’ throws will now involve actually throwing one of the two balls. Try to focus on never holding on to one of the balls. In other words, if you raise your hand up, you should make sure that you let go of the ball. This will result in a lot of drops, but keep persisting! Keep track of how long you last before dropping the ball.
3. After mastering the above step, you will fairly quickly be able to introduce a third ball without too many problems. It takes quite a lot of practice to master juggling, so remember to be patient. A little practice each day will go a long way.
And remember it is never too late and you’re never too old to learn a new motor pattern. It just takes time. I taught myself to juggle when I was 35 years old. It took me a bit of time but next time you are in, ask and I might even put on the red nose and show you.
If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment at Neurohealth Chiropractic – please call the clinic on 9905 9099 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in the contact form from our website www.neurohealthchiro.com.au
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This article is written by Dr. Steven Cannon, Chiropractor – Neurohealth Chiropractic