Offseason Hand Eye Training

In every sport, there is some sort of task that an athlete must complete that requires some sort of hand eye coordination. Hand eye coordination is a skill that some people are better at than most, but at the same time that skill can definitely be trained to a higher level. Take a look at the “5 Major Sports North America Sports” Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer and Baseball. All these sport require an elite level of hand-eye coordination to either score in that sport, or to play defence in that sport! In this blog I’m going to give you a few cool ways to train hand eye to help with your ability to see and react to whatever is happening on the field or court in your sport!

Hand Eye coordination in athletes

Left Hand Training

This one is pretty straight forward! Most people have one dominate hand. For me I’m right handed and during the early part of my career I really struggle with my left hand. As a center in football I snapped with my right so I had to get better with my left hand as it was my first line of defence. So I started doing everything I could with my left hand; writing, opening jars and doors playing catch, before I knew it I had my left hand caught up with my right. Here the deal though, it has to be a constant effort. You cannot just do this for 2 months and have a great “offhand” it’s something that you must continually train or you will lose this skill you have gained!

One Handed Catch Training

Again another very straight forward drill, but extremely effective! Have someone throw you a tennis ball and catch it will one hand. The key to making this drill work best is to have the throw come at you on different angle, don’t just have the ball come straight at you as this isn’t realistic! This drill is really good for football and baseball guys. They have to make one handed catches all the time, so they should be constantly training that skill. One cool little way to make this drill harder is have the player who is catching the tennis ball slowly jog to the person who is throwing it; this will add different levels of depth perception that will help the hand eye!

Reaction Ball Drill

This is by far my favourite hand eye drill that I have in my tool box! There are two reasons why! Number 1; you can do this drill by yourself and number 2 the ball makes you react and move your feet instead of just standing in one place or jogging to a spot! Here is the drill; stand about five years away from the wall and throw the ball on a one hop at the wall and react and go catch it before the ball hits the ground! Seems simple right!!! It is but the great part is no two reps will be the same! The ball will always jump somewhere different! Below is a picture of the ball that I have, it’s a Nike product I used it for a long time and saw great results!

Off season is the time to get better! Come into the gym today to see how we can help you prepare for next season!!

Using The Gym To Mentally Prepare For Competition.

One the biggest problems with young athletes today is that they don’t know how to completely focus all the time. You can also see it during their competitions. Athletes get out of place or don’t react fast enough because they didn’t see something or couldn’t see something because it was happening to fast for them. Here are three tips to use to increase an athlete’s focus!

Eliminate Technology In the Gym; Athletes and people are way too reliant on technology. When athletes lift, they should not be on their phones. It should not be used in between sets. They do not have cases to their phones during their competition, so don’t let them use a phone during training. When athletes are resting during sets, I teach them how to breath and give them a skill they can us on the field of competition. This is a learned skill set that can be practiced instead of being on a phone.

Quiz Them In States Of Exhaustion; This could be my favorite of all time. When I work with my Offensive Lineman, I often ask them question right when they finish working. They are tired and this is when their brains sometimes don’t want to work. I try and mimic this so that when they are tired they are used to thinking, and it’s not new to them. Something as simple as asking them what 8×7 is when they are huffing and puffing. It’s really simple yet so darn effective.

Simulate Game Situation In Group Training; Make your athletes work as a team when they train as a group. For example when doing the fictional training with hockey players I like to make one athlete of “off” and have one athlete run “on” to start and finish their set. This simulates a shift change. You can also do to with 5 players at a time if you are working as a big group. Something as simple as that will help them get used to stay mentally focused during their competition.

Come in to SST Burlington to put these and more training tips into your training routine!

Q&A with Coach Delroy Rhooms

I really enjoy training soccer teams. Soccer was one of the first team sports we had come to us for training when we started SST Oakville. My staff and I have spent many hours with soccer athletes and have a great understanding of what is required for a soccer athlete to succeed. Our reputation and our results with soccer athletes have spread through the soccer community.

Delroy- thanks for taking your time and speaking with me

1. So Delroy why do have so much success with Soccer teams?
I really enjoy training soccer teams. Soccer was one of the first team sports we had come to us for training when we started SST Oakville. My staff and I have spent many hours with soccer athletes and have a great understanding of what is required for a soccer athlete to succeed. Our reputation and our results with soccer athletes have spread through the soccer community. We have teams from Burlington , Oakville , Mississauga and Brampton come out to train with us. The coaching staff of these teams trust us and understand our facility is “ no nonsense “ training center, as we build our soccer training programs to get their teams prepared for the season. We have worked with many soccer athletes who have gone on to play NCCA , CIS and professionally. We soccer athletes playing at University of Miami , University of Maine, Memphis University , kent State , Eastern Michigan , Louisiana State , Miami – Ohio , Carleton University , University of Western Ontario, Mc Master University to name a few. Today , we have Dianna Matheson from the Canadian Women’s National training in our facility to get herself prepared for the FIVB womens world cup. Here is what Dianna has to say about why she trains at SST Oakville:

“I use SST Oakville when I am a home because it has everything I need to train at the highest level. I go not just for strength training, but to be a stronger, faster, and more complete athlete.”

Thanks,
Diana

2. What are some of the unique coaching points/cues and training methods you use with your volleyball players?
Our volleyball athletes are unique in their needs for success. They work within a confined
9 ‘ x 9 ‘ area, so they need to be quick and very , very explosive athletes. We spend a tremendous amount of time teaching our volleyball athletes how to load their hips and fire their glutes so they are explosive in their attack. We use several lateral and linear movement drills like the “ N” drill and Figure 8 drill to help our athletes move quickly in a low volleyball posture. We do a lot of single leg work , like TRX single pistol squats and single leg opposite side load plyobox heal touches these are tremendous for our middle attackers. We work the trunk with a variety of Medicine ball throws and also land mine rotations to develop power for our outside attackers. Our Setter use a variety of Medicine ball wall drills and well as extended medicine balls pushes from the floor , so they can develop more power to push the sets out to the antennas during play. During the off season we spend a lot of time developing the vertical jump through a variety of power movements focusing on the posterior chain.

3. Can you add some insight into your strength coaching style?
My style of coaching stems from the type of coaches I had growing up as a young athlete to the coaches I had , as I trained while playing the Canadian pro Beach Volleyball Circuit . It was “ no nonsense” work hard , give a 110 percent and leave it all on the field. I have taken this approach with all my athletes and adult clients , I am tough and I expect you to give me everything you have while you are on the training floor. I have had athletes and adults see my car in the parking lot and tell me we know it is going to be a tough day when “ the dark over lord “ is on the training floor. I treat everybody the same, I want the same for everyone of my clients. Results period. I approach every training session with energy that fills up the facility. I want all my clients to have fun , challenge themselves and most of all work hard. For my athletes I treat them like family , my goal is help them all understand from my own experience and the experience of my high level staff what it takes from a training stand point to get to the next level. Mentoring is so, so important to me for my athletes. As I move around the community nothing makes me more happy than to here an athlete shout to me “ hey Coach “ . I absolutely love to train.

4. You have had many girls in many sports on scholarships…is there a key to your success?
I believe you need to understand the female athletes in order to get the best out of them. We have had such success with female athletes who have received scholarships , because we have created an environment at SST Oakville were these ladies feel they are at home . We have seen other facilities focus on “ just the boys” and at SST Oakville we treat everybody the same. The female athletes who come to us like us because we push them , we discuss their goals , we are not afraid to have them try complicated movements and they see the results of their hard work. Communication , Communication , communication is the key ingredient when dealing with high performance athletes. We take the time to explain , critique and most importantly coach and this seems to work really well as our female athletes respond and get tremendous results.