Posted by: charleenesfitness | October 28, 2009

Athletes Edge

The Athlete’s Edge

By Greg Roskopf

Taking Performance to the Next Level with MAT

 Traditionally, sports performance training, injury care and recovery for athletes have been provided by coaches, doctors and physical therapists. Collectively, they have done their best in getting athletes prepared to compete again and back in the game after injuries. Nowadays with the highly competitive nature of sports, even at the younger age levels, it has become necessary to “step up” the quality and type oftraining, injury care and recovery support to the next level to keep athletes “in the game.” Sports performance training, has taken athletic training to that point by providing professional and Olympic-level training to athletes ofall ages and abilities.

      Thankfully, in the world of injury care and recovery there has been a huge breakthrough, as well. If an athlete is on the sideline, someone will be there to replace them and they may have a hard time getting their spot back. This breakthrough is called Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT). MAT is the missing link. It is a technique designed notonly to help athletes recover from injuries quickly, but also to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. MAT prepares the body to be more efficient in training and athletic performance. In order to reach optimal performance capabilities, an athlete is forced to train at a high level of intensity. Because of this, there is always the potential for injury.

      Some athletes may be predisposed to an injury, due to them having muscular imbalances that place increased stress on their joints and tissues. These athletes can bean injury waiting to happen. When they train at a high level, the imbalances are magnified and the body can no longer handle the stress. It eventually breaks down. It’s like driving a car with bad alignment. The faster you drive it, the faster the tires are going to wear out. The body functions the same way. If an athlete has muscular imbalances, the abnormal alignment results in increased stress on the joints and muscles.

     The goal of MAT is to correct the problem before an injury occurs. An injury is just a “symptom” with a deeper issue. The symptom is not the problem. It is the result of the overstressing of an area of the body, due to muscular imbalances. Conventional therapy will typically treat the symptom. This means that the cause of the injury is not being addressed. The end result is that the athlete does not heal or they go on to experience a more severe injury.

MAT not only helps to prevent injuries, but it can also speedup the rehabilitation process. By balancing the muscular system, MAT provides an improved environment for healing. This allows the athlete to return to participation faster. The end result is improved athletic capabilities. The benefit of MAT is that the changes can be immediate. A professional baseball pitcher increased his throwing velocity by 10 miles per hour immediately following an MAT session. Professional Golfers have increased driving distance substantially because there bodies can not get in the proper position.

 This was due to improved mechanics combined with pain free motion.


Charleene O’Connor            

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