What is Coach Cassie Learning About This Week (11/7)

As a performance coach, we focus so much on how our athletes move yet we don’t always get an opportunity to observe how the athlete responds to game-like stimuli. Due to this, I was provoked to dive into this deeper when an athlete of mine had every athletic tool necessary to be successful in their sport yet when we incorporated a game-like scenario where she was required to respond to a visual stimulus, it appeared there was a delay in her motor response. Too much time was taken to make a decision on how to move instead of relying on athleticism and instead of reacting. This made me feel like we as coaches may be missing a major piece to our athlete’s development.
So much of my passion for this topic comes from my personal experience as an athlete. I have first hand experienced a ball looking as if it is moving in slow motion and being able to interpret the spin. Did that happen because of something I did in training? Was it more of a psychological response and was I instead just in a state of flow? Would I have ever experienced that visual acuity had I not faced great pitchers at a young age? Is there a way to measure someone’s capability for pitch interpretation? I ask all of these questions because the follow-up question to all of this becomes, how much does developing proper swing mechanics ACTUALLY matter with an athlete?

Therefore, this week I decided to dive deeper into how an athlete responds to their environment. Here is some major information I have come across: 

-The most important aspect of movement = the way it is initiated.

-As an object approaches an athlete OR as athlete approaches an object, the image on the retina gets progressively larger.

-The rate of dilation of the image on the retina may be the trigger for specific motor responses to athletics.

-The best athletes have a sequence of focuses (in response to a hitter facing a pitcher): 1. Soft focus – viewing the whole body of the pitcher, 2. Fine focus: Viewing something specific in the plane of the ball release (ie. outfield wall), 3. Specific Fine Focus: Looking at the area of the release (hip for softball or arm slot for football).

-The attention process in fastball sports is limited by three factors of the athlete: 1. Amount of information in the display, 2. The time available to take in the required information, 3. The ability of the player to then respond to this intake.

-Higher performance players are able to process critical information earlier in the opponent’s action. Thus giving themselves the feeling of, ‘having all the time in the world’ to respond.

This concept applies to all athletes. You can be the most athletic person but if you try and play your sport with your eyes closed and your hearing impaired, you are going to be at a severe disadvantage. In order to be able to use our athleticism that we’ve developed over our lifetime, we must also be in the correct mindset but consciously and subconsciously to respond to our environment.

Coach Cassie

The following two tabs change content below.
Cassie comes to Athletes Warehouse after winning a National Championship for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Softball team and completing her Masters where she focused on the biomechanics of the female athlete softball swing. She serves as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Softball Coach, and Director of Research and Development ensuring that she is pouring her passion for knowledge and overall athletic development into those she has the opportunity to work with. She is a published author of the book, Finished It - A Team's Journey to Winning it All; where she highlights the triumphs and tribulations of the 2012 Women's College World Series.

Latest posts by Cassie Reilly-Boccia (see all)

About the author

Cassie comes to Athletes Warehouse after winning a National Championship for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide Softball team and completing her Masters where she focused on the biomechanics of the female athlete softball swing. She serves as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Softball Coach, and Director of Research and Development ensuring that she is pouring her passion for knowledge and overall athletic development into those she has the opportunity to work with. She is a published author of the book, Finished It - A Team's Journey to Winning it All; where she highlights the triumphs and tribulations of the 2012 Women's College World Series.

Leave a Reply

RECENT POSTS

SSA Success
December 10, 2018
What Coach Jack Is Learning About This Week (12/5)
December 5, 2018
Strength for the Area Between the Ears
November 21, 2018

BLOG ARCHIVE:

SUBSCRIBE NOW

INITIAL CONSULTATION

Instagram Slider

  • I started lifting when I was 8 years old I
    1 day ago by ath_warehouse I started lifting when I was 8 years old. I trained wrong for performance until I was done with college. It wasn’t until after that I learned how to train properly and how to coach youth athletes to train properly. That is probably the main reason why I wanted to coach youth strength and conditioning - to have them doing it the right way from the beginning. - Coach Matt  #WhyI 
  • As I prepare to major in musical theater in college
    2 days ago by ath_warehouse As I prepare to major in musical theater in college with acting dancing and singing, I need to grow and reach my fitness and mental goals to be able to reach my highest level of competitiveness in theater. AW is helping me to reach and surpass my goals. - Lyndsey Minerva • • Oh and she just happened to be named All-State in soccer. A.K.A. She does it all!  #SundaySpotlight 
  • Growth leans over the table and speaks to Comfort in
    4 days ago by ath_warehouse Growth leans over the table and speaks to Comfort in a stern voice, “Listen, it’s not you it’s me. I just don’t think we are going to be able to work together.”
  • Some athletes come out of a long season with mild
    6 days ago by ath_warehouse Some athletes come out of a long season with mild discomfort in the lower back. It’s important for us as the coach, and often times the first point of contact in identifying an athletes pain, to understand when an athlete must be referred out to see a specialist. We generally see two types of back dysfunction that are exposed during movements performed in the weight room: Extension Based Pain or Flexion Based Pain.  #wisewednesday 
  • We are so excited to announce our upcoming seminar!! Hit
    1 week ago by ath_warehouse We are so excited to announce our upcoming seminar!! Hit the link in the bio to register We have gathered experts from around the area to share their knowledge in sports performance through the lens of baseball and softball! We hope you decide to join us on December 29th!