How To Improve Reflexes And Reaction Time
Athletes who participate in high speed, fast reaction sports like football, soccer, lacrosse, and tennis need to be able to quickly turn their hips to be in a good position to make a play. A defender in soccer who comes face to face with an offensive player will have to perform a fast reaction as soon as the offensive player picks which direction they will move. Athletes without fast reaction times will allow that offensive player to move right by them and put more pressure on your defense and goal keeper. A defensive back covering a potential receiver must have quick hips in case the offensive player fakes a short route, and instead continues on a longer passing route.
These are two great sports specific scenarios which show the importance of fast reaction times and learning how to improve reflexes in athletes during training. Defensive back drills and defensive drills for other sports should all include these fast reaction hips movements whether it is more from the stationery position, like the Rapid Response Drill, or in a higher speed sprinting format, like drills found in the Speed 101 and Cone Drill FX.
Rapid Response Drill For Fast Reaction
The Rapid Response Drill is a great fast reaction drill which can be utilized on its own, or paired with defensive back drills, or regular defensive drills, in a circuit style workout format. Using Kbands Leg Resistance Bands with the Rapid Response Drill and other defensive back drills will allow athletes to build greater strength in the muscles of the upper thigh, hips, abdomen. This constant pushing apart of the knees will also help athletes avoid injuries to the knees and hips.
To perform the Rapid Response Drill athletes will need a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands, a coach or partner, and 4 Speed and Agility Cones to create 2 lines which the athlete and partner will start and finish the fast reaction drill at. The lines of Speed and Agility Cones should be 10 yards apart.
Before attaching the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands athletes and coaches need to ensure they are using an appropriate amount of tension for the Rapid Response Drill and that the long resistance band is placed in front, while the shorter resistance band is placed on the back side. When choosing the correct amount of tension to use with the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands it is important that athletes and coaches do not see excessive internal rotation of the knees or any other altered movements caused by the resistance. Athletes should possess the strength to push through the resistance and maintain proper body movements and positioning. Athletes and coaches can go to the Shop Section to see the different levels of resistance which comes with the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands.
After picking the correct amount of resistance, and setting the Speed and Agility Cones, athletes will attach the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above their knees and stand 3-4 yards from their partner. Both partners and athletes will slightly bend their hips, bend at the knees, and come to a great athletic position. To start the Rapid Response Drill partners and athletes will begin to bounce quickly on their toes. Athletes will follow their partner and mimic their movements as the partner moves backward between the Speed and Agility Cones. Partners will either quickly rotate their hips one direction, perform a quick squat, or perform a fast reaction jump. Athletes will mimic these movements as quickly as possible before returning to bouncing on their toes. As athletes reach one end of the Rapid Response Drill they will return to the starting line of Speed and Agility Cones by moving backward while mimicking their partners movements. Perform 8-10 sets of the Rapid Response Drill before moving into additional defensive back drills, or other defensive drills.
How To Improve Reflexes In Advanced Athletes
The Rapid Response Drill is an advanced fast reaction drill. Athletes should be able to master basic speed and agility drills before moving into this and other advanced defensive drills and defensive back drills. Drills like the Baseball Power Jumps and the 79’s Agility Sprint and Power Shuffle are two great drills for younger athletes to build the base for more advanced fast reaction drills.
Part of this advanced training comes from the utilization of resistance with the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands. Athletes should always take advantage of drills used to strengthen muscles which perform a sports specific movement. If athlete can become more powerful in these movements that will help to induce a fast reaction. Since power is the combination of speed and strength combining the two elements will teach the body how to improve reflexes and how to be more explosive during sudden movements.
Fast Reaction With Good Squats, Jumps, And Turns
Whenever an athlete is jumping from a moving position they always want to focus on their landing. A fast reaction should not mean a sloppy jump and landing. Part of learning how to improve reflexes is learning how to perform these movements correctly at a fast pace. As athletes jump they will want to continue to keep their knees wide, do not excessively squat or bend at the knees, and swing the arms. As athletes land from the fast reaction jump they will keep the knees wide, and slightly bend at the ankles, knees, and hips.
When performing the fast reaction squat athletes will want to rock their hips back and quickly sink their butt. Athletes will need to continue to keep the knees wide as they are also conscious of maintaining a straight back and not allowing the knees to come over their toes.
As athletes perform their fast reaction hip turns they will want to keep their shoulders squared up in front of them, while maintaining a squeeze on their abs. This abdominal squeeze will help the athlete come back to a good athletic position after the fast reaction hip turn is completed.