How the Alexander Technique can help sports people
Many sports people suffer from strains, pains and recurring injuries that can either limit the enjoyment of their physical activity or put a stop to it all together.
Pain is not always a bad thing – it’s the body’s natural way of telling us that what we are doing is not good and we should stop. Listening to our body’s aches and pains, signals sent out by our central nervous system, can help us to avoid more serious injuries that can stay with us for a lifetime. The challenge is trying to find out which of our actions we are doing wrongly so that we can correct them and keep our body happy.
The great news is that the Alexander Technique can help sports people to find the cause of their pain, improve their performance and give them relief from physical discomfort.
For many decades, prominent sports people and their coaches have engaged the Alexander Technique to improve the way they function during activity. From swimmers to cross-country skiers, both recreational and elite athletes have benefited from the Alexander Technique in three ways:
1. Technique – understanding how they are moving during their activity and adjusting any motions that are incorrect
2. Injury recovery and prevention – learning how to avoid putting unnecessary stress and strain on tissues and joints
3. Overall fitness – learning how to engage in their chosen activity without wasting energy
Australian swimmer Jordan Marcus Kelly says that by studying the Alexander Technique, he learnt that it was tension, not lack of training or practice, that was slowing him down in the pool.
“As I gained awareness of my body,” he explains,
“I began to recognise where my tension lay. Awareness allowed me to recognise and release that tension; and to permit my body to do what it already knew.” (1)
Horse riders are also benefiting from the Alexander Technique, stating that it has helped them to feel more aware of their bodies, improve their breathing and posture while riding, and better connect with their horses.(2)
Whether you’re a horse rider, swimmer, or weekend runner, you may benefit from the Alexander Technique. During an Alexander Technique lesson, your instructor will use their hands to gently guide you through both simple, everyday movements and movements that are more specific to your area of interest, aiding you to engage your body more efficiently and effectively.
About Kathy Driscoll
I want to share information, insights and a few stories about Alexander Technique with you. I’ve used Alexander Technique in some extreme circumstances including the birth of my twins and when I had appendicitis! I also use Alexander Technique for everyday activities as well.
I have been involved with Alexander Technique for more than 25 years. I meet Greg Holdaway (Director of Sydney Alexander Technique) just as he was transitioning from a professional career as a dancer into Bill Brenner’s Alexander Technique teacher training program in Sydney.
Greg now has been teaching for decades, he remains passionate and totally focused on positive results for those he works with, which now include his own teacher training program.
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