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"Most important to me
as a coach and a parent,
I know the trainers at
Athletic Edge are well
trained, and I know I
can count on them to
provide positive
reinforcement and build
self confidence and
mental toughness in
our athletes."


-- Tom Boova

Co-Director,
NJ Elite Lacrosse Club

 

 




While most training centers around the country don't even think about “reactions” as they could possibly pertain to a strength and conditioning program, at Athletic Edge, we view it as the factor that bridges the gap between agility and quickness.



Avoiding objects or opponents is critical for athletic success

In sports, reaction is the initiation of a physical movement in response to some stimulus — swinging at a sinking curve ball, eluding a tackle and making a catch, letting a ball bounce ever so close to the outside of a line.  In these examples, an athlete's ability to react can cost him, her, or the team a championship.  The issue is not purely one of eyesight and reflexes, but of sports vision.

Many athletes assume that they have good vision, since they have 20/20 eyesight.  But this does not necessarily correlate with the critical factor of sports vision.  Imagine having 90 mph bat speed in baseball and still not being a good hitter.  The quick bat doesn't really help if a batter swings after the ball is in the catcher's glove.  It is said that a great hitter can read the spin on the ball as it leaves the pitcher's hand.  This lets him know if it will be a curveball, fastball, etc. and respond appropriately.




Reacting to visual stimuli in the gym helps in game situations

20/20 is a static measure of sight.  Sports, on the other hand, are dynamic in nature, and sports vision is the dynamic use of sight.  Imagine a wide receiver running out for a pattern.  He needs to see the defensive player look back, see the quarterback, and track the ball moving through the air towards him all at the same time.  Sports vision takes all this into account.  Using the previous example, it involves depth perception (the ability to see things near and far accurately), convergence (the ability for the eyes to cross and focus), divergence (the ability of the eye to uncross and focus), and saccadic eye movement (the quick jumping of the eyes from one object to the next).  This is a very complex process that needs to work perfectly for a high level of sport performance.  Sadly, many athletes believe that you're either born with it or you're not.  The truth is that there are ways to exercise sports vision in combination with physical training.




Combining ladder drills with reaction training adds realistic complexity

Since the trainers at Athletic Edge feel that reactions are so critical to creating quickness, we have implemented a sports vision component to complements athletes' sport-specific conditioning programs.  Using Vizual Edge sports vision software, Sacadic Fixator and Peripheral Awareness Trainer, we can objectively and scientifically evaluate the various parts of dynamic vision.  We can then integrate the proper visual drills into the training so that our athletes can perform at their physical best on the court or field.  Aside from results on the playing fields or courts, we can also monitor progress by re-testing.  As with all the work done at Athletic Edge,  reaction training is meant to be done at the highest possible level.


 
Athletic Edge Saccadic Fixator



Reactions
Train to have better reactions, and learn to have better anticipation, since most sports involve anticipatory reactions.





Anticipation
Anticipation is an educated guess as to what an opponent or ball is going to do before it happens. This is a learned skill through practice and analysis .

 
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