December 21, 2014

RESEARCH: Odd Shaped Balls – Reactive Skill Development?

Last week at the NSCAA National Conference, I picked up a few balls from Corpus Training LLC to start a study on reactive dribbling and quick feet that we plan to start in the Spring. Last night I began our process, by letting some of our athletes play with the Rasenreich balls in a “free play” environment. No coaching, no teaching, just passing and dribbling at their own pace in set patterns… just dribble and move with the ball and tell me what you think. Here is a short 2:00 minute video of some of our players in this session.

One player’s response to the training session was typical. “That was amazing! I feel so FAST with the regular ball now.” But the trick now is documenting how FAST she actually was. Was this a psychological “feeling” or was it an actual improvement in speed. Many times with these types of devices, whether it be bands, weights or reaction based balls, the athlete will focus on the more difficult task (weighted movement or more complex task) and then when they move back to the normal movement or piece of equipment, they “feel” faster. This activation, focus or post-activation potentiation effect may actually be faster (for the short time after the session), but will these improvements last?

What we are finding is that the single session effects of this training can improve control and touch when we switch back to a normal shaped ball. I would love to hear your comments and questions below…

About Scott

Leave a Reply