Do you know where you are?

Body awareness is an essential component to athletic performance. Knowing where you are in space is an essential component in executing complex athletic skills. Those amazing feats of athleticism that you see have a large element of body awareness to it.

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This is a skill and it can be developed. I think it is a crucial element in athletic performance that needs to be developed - especially in young athletes. Training is not just about moving weights, running, jumping and throwing. It is about developing movement skills. Connecting the brain to the limbs, building neural pathways.

Stepping is speed, changing direction and reacting to a dynamic changing situation and opponents

Judo is an amazing combination of athleticism and body awareness. You need to read and adjust to an active opponent and control your body and know how to fall to prevent injury.

Tumbling is an extreme example of spatial awareness. It is essential to know where you are relative to the ground when you’re flipping through the air at speed.

The videos above are just some examples of body awareness in an athletic context.The body and mind aren’t separate - we aren’t this mind in a body. We are a body – a collection of muscles, bones, nerves and so much more. When we train we need to develop all of these. Our goal is to develop the human system to execute the tasks we need to do. Those tasks can be our normal day to day stuff, or it can be savagery in the arena of sport.

How?

The simple answer is awareness. Focus on your movement when you train. Play more, experiment more, and explore your creativity. Do things that challenge your co-ordination.

Awareness is step one in the picture. Next week we will give you some drills to play with to develop your body awareness.

Keep moving, keep learning.