Think about it for a moment... even if you could shoot,
move, and jump like MJ you'd still be at his mercy if you didn't have his
Meaning react unexpectedly, see defenders before they move, & beat
the head fakes. Again this carries over to most every sport imaginable.
Take the boxer, his whole game, the entire fight is react as fast as possible
before your opponent does & don't get faked out!
Before we get started I want to clarify a couple things. There are 3
phases of speed.
1) Reaction time: This is the perception of an attack,
or rather the interval between stimulus and the beginning of response.
2) Response time: This is the time it takes to choose
an appropriate response to the initiation of the actual movement.
3) And finally, movement-speed. Quite simply how quick
your counter punch is or how fast your body moves getting out of the way
of trouble, etc. You will notice some of these examples seem geared more
towards martial artist and there methods of training but not to worry you'll
also see how the can be adapted to any sport.
Reaction & Recognition Woods Running:
I can't think of an easier drill to start doing that requires no training partners
or equipment for enhancing coordination & reflex speed. All that is needed
is a little bit of nature, so go to a local park with a batch of thick untamed
woods, shrubs, ditches, canals and other natural obstacles. What makes this
a Grand exercise is that you have to react with your body in very unpredictable
ways, uneven footing, while making cuts, ducks, jumps, bobs, & shuffling
of the feet. The key to a successful session is RUN FAST! Yes the faster you
run the harder adapting will be. Interestingly enough your mind will be so
preoccupied with this live video game that you won't even notice how winded
You can make this drill harder in a couple simple ways.
1) Try putting on an eye patch. This creates a major deficit in depth
2) Try this wearing sunglasses, giving you less distance vision in a shady
3) Simply add ankle weights, that will throw off your innate sense of timing.
Dodge Ball: "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball"-Patches
And if you can dodge a dodgeball the way I'm going to challenge you to,
you'll evade anything that's slower than a bullet! So to start you need
a partner to be a thrower. You can switch up to make it fun & interesting
for both of you. Begin at about 10' apart and use a soft rubber or foam
ball. Start slow, then as you get better have the pitcher increase his
velocity & get closer. Here's a short list of some variables you should
use to continually make dodgeball more challenging & fun.
1) Use multiple throwers.
2) Start with eyes closed and have the pitcher cue you before he throws.
3) Thrower can disguise his toss with "feints".
4) Color code balls: Red ball = catch, blue = dodge, green = strike. These
force you to recognize as well as react.
Solo Wall Bounce: Stand in front of a wall
with any kind of ball that bounces. Throw and catch. Make this more difficult
by: increasing your velocity, standing closer to the wall, progressing
to smaller balls, switching catch/throw hands, and starting facing away
from the wall, throwing the ball over your shoulder then turning around
at the sound of it hitting the wall. Jump USA sells a "reaction" ball
that looks like an odd, uneven bouncing ball that can go in any given
direction. These sell for about $10. Pick one up after you've mastered
my previous methods of bouncing!
Response Times Once you've learned how to appropriately
identify stimulus and speed up the recognition, or need to do something,
the next phase of training deals with programming your nervous system with
a proper response. This will just as easily improve your overall speed.
If you see things even before they happen what good is it if your body
clumsily tries to move? You need to have a storehouse of nervous "memory" responses
that are quick, smooth, & graceful.
Balloon Kicks: This exercise is mostly a
coordination builder but it is so fun I had to throw it in. It will improve
accuracy and responsiveness quickly without seeming tedious at all. Blow
up a balloon and go into a room that has numerous natural obstacles like
chairs, stools, counters, & coffee tables. If you're so inclined,
get some cones and small objects to clutter the floor. Now, start kicking
balloon with the purpose of not letting it touch the floor. Kick, kick,
kick! If It drops you lose. Time your self to see how long you can last
Side Shuffles: Here one your football & basketball
coaches wish they knew. If you have access to a treadmill you will make
agility leaps & bounds. You are certainly going to look ridiculous
doing this but that's ok, my theory is the more embarrassing your training
is the better it works! Hey I was training with jumpsoles back when they
first hit the scene, before they were the commodity everyone knows them
as. Now picture this skinny 17 year old Florida boy sprinting up and down
blacktops in Giant horseshoe like strap-ons. Yeah I got funny looks! So
will you. Anyway what you need to do is crank that machine up to 5mph to
start and gallop if you will, sideways trying to gradually increase the
speed to your limit. Switch sides. Next slow it back down to 5mph and try
cross-stepping front & back. See what your threshold is in terms of
mph. Your objective is a slight increase each session. Final set is backpedaling.
Better start slower than the 5, this ones harder. The treadmill is necessary
because if forces a pace. Next time some ball hog tries to take you on
a dribble he'll have another thing coming!
Visual Speed & Acuity Video Games: This is a perfect
way to enhance response action, and visual perception all while having
fun! You don't need to go out and purchase a $200 X-box, a simple Gameboy
to carry around for the next time your waiting to renew your plates or
visit the dentist s fine. Stay away from the Mrs. Pac-man that you've
mastered ages ago. Try something new & challenging, change-up every
other time you play to keep it unpredictable! I recommend 2 days a week
for 30 minutes a little video gaming. It's training!
Peripheral Driver: Not much need to go into the importance
of side vision awareness & expansion, its usefulness carries over
to every sports activity imaginable. You need to know if a potential
defender or tackle is just out of your sight coming up the sides of your
vision. Here is a great way to develop your P.V. while driving. Next
time you're on the road try to be consciously aware when you catch a
glimpse of a vehicle in the corner of your eye. Call out the color or
make if you can. Gradually you'll be noticing them much sooner. The real
trick is jut remembering to practice it when you get in the car so my
suggestion is to write it on the rear view with dry erase.
Eye Accommodation: Or rather the ability for you eyes
to quickly adjust from focusing on objects close to far. Rapid adjustments
in depth perception, is a skill that can be developed quickly & easily.
This will play a key role in how well you can respond. If a fist is flying
at your face you need to be able to zoom in before you can gauge an appropriate
counter move. Try these 2 simple drills once daily. Hold a pen out at
arms length, now look across the room about 20 ft away. Shift your focus
from a far object, then back to the pen several times quickly. Rest and
repeat, changing the proximity of the pen (closer to your face) every
couple of sets. This is known as shifting. The next drill is called figure
8's. Hold your thumb up at arms length & begin moving it in yes,
figure 8's. While you're doing this also bring your thumb closer & further
from the face a well as vary the speed at which your thumb moves every
There I scratched (meowch!) the surface of what can be done to start your transformation
from slow to whoa! Let me close by saying a lot has to do with what your
tying your brain up with at the moment. So put all those pesky thoughts away
during your next game, & just BE THERE! Absorb yourself in your tactile
senses just like a feline would!There's way more secrets i'll reveal another
time like better drills, brain sharpeners, simple tricks to play, drills
you can do while watching TV, and even supplements that can improve your
reflex speed immediately! In the mean time give these examples a try a couple
days a week & in as little as 2 weeks you will be quite impressed with
This is a sample of material excerpt from y best-selling download ebook "Bionic
Reflex" which more info on is available here: http://www.bionicplyometrics.com