As a NASO sports official, one of the key elements you have to account for is the ability to stay flexible and mobile. By the very nature of sports officiating positions, it’s important to maintain your ability to be exactly where you need to be, exactly when you need to be there.
As you linger in your home for yet another week during the COVID-19 quarantine, you’re probably not as active as you typically were before the lockdown began. You may very well be suffering from an onset of tightness due to excessive sitting.
The tightness can be anywhere, but the primary zones will be the lower back, hamstrings, quadricep, hip flexors, and calves.
What exactly is mobility?
The last thing a sports official needs is tightness. It significantly limits your capabilities while in play, and increases your risk of injury.
For example, an umpire, when standing behind the plate, are flexed at the ankle, knee and hip. They not only need to be able to get into that position, but they also need the strength, stamina and mobility to stay there and move out of it when required.
Mobility is the ability to move actively through a range of motion, while flexibility is the ability of a muscle to lengthen between two joints.
When it comes to being game ready, you have to be confident that you’ll have the requisite mobility to accomplish the tasks required of your position quickly.
Regarding flexibility, the number 1 litmus test is usually “can I touch my toes”? Though it’s important to have length between two joints, you want to be able to effectively and efficiently perform the tasks needed on the field. You want to be able to run when you need to run, stop exactly when you need to stop and change direction on a dime.
Strength + control + mobility = efficiency
Agility isn’t the only skill that’s important to fine tune. You also need to have the required strength to move the way you will need to move.
One of the best training tools are mobility exercises, primarily because they are extremely effective at helping with patterning and they improve range of motion more efficiently.
How to make your body more mobile
- Start with an active warm up – hop on a bike, jump rope or jumping jacks are great ways to get the core temperature up, get the blood pumping and get the joints lubricated so you can actively go through your ranges of motion
- Roll out – foam rolling has proven to be a very effective way of helping restore tissue health and increase mobility at a joint.
- Dynamic mobility exercises – after you’ve rolled out, you want to stretch your muscle while integrating balance, body control and coordination through dynamic exercises. As you’re executing the exercises, slow and control your breathing. Having controlled breathing maximizes the body’s parasympathetic response (helps you relax) which helps limit tension as you’re performing the exercise. It oxygenates the tissue as you take bigger breaths.
- Perform 4-6 movements – research has shown that warming up properly minimizes risk of injury and brings performance benefits.
Mobility exercises you can do right now
Check out our mobility playlist that we put together just for our sports official colleagues at NASO! We’ve got three exercises for you to start with and each video will roll one after the other:
-Dynamic mobility sequence
Get professional mobility training at home
We aren’t letting coronavirus keep us from getting you game ready. Check out our NASO Sports Officials Training Programs right here. They start this weekend, with the wonderful Christina Specos is teaching a unique Strength & Length session, as well as an interval training class.
Don’t miss out & sign up today.
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