Thursday, August 11, 2011

Improve Sports Performance With Alexander Technique

Luke Ford writesIn an interview with Robert Rickover, Alexander teacher Adam Bailey says: “Alexander helps athletes not overdo.”

“Growing up, I always did sports… As a child, sports were fun and easy. As I got older for reasons I couldn’t figure out, the sports began to get more difficult. There were even days when sports were a struggle. I didn’t know what that was until I discovered the Alexander Technique, which showed me that I was putting more effort into the sports than I needed to.”

“As a young child, I was only putting in the necessary effort. Little by little, as I got older, and coaches told me to try harder and to put more into it, I started trying harder and putting more effort in and that was the problem. My muscles were more tense than they needed to be and my performance suffered.”

Robert: “The instruction to try harder can have a negative influence on the outcome. A better instruction would be to try something different.”

Adam: “Try doing less so you can carry out the sport more easily.”

“I try to convince my students to think less about winning and more on how you approach the sport. Are there places where you are getting tense? And if so, can you subtract in those areas?

“As children, we had this natural alignment of our head, neck and spine. Because of tension that has built up, we’ve interfered with our alignment. So we focus on rediscovering that natural alignment.

“When my students pursue that two-track approach — less tension and better alignment — they start doing better.”

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