In people, balance occurs when their mass is centered evenly between their supporting limb(s). Whether you are standing on two feet, one foot or on your hands or your head (!), when your center of mass is no longer in the middle of what is holding you up, you fall!
It doesn’t take a baby long to figure out how important balance is. From struggling to roll over, struggling to sit upright, struggling to stand upright and struggling to walk without falling over, controlling your balance is not something that we are competent in at birth. But as adults, we don’t have to consciously think that much about balance UNTIL we start to lose that balance! In class, we are going to run drills to help accelerate the body’s learning curve in developing a heightened sense of balance. This will help your child in 3 distinct ways.
Regardless of the actual sport, excellent balance is the one physical characteristic that can be found in all the greats. From Ali to Gretsky and from Brady to Federer, their ability to maintain their physical balance was the foundation of performing the technical aspect of their sport. After all, it is hard to dodge a punch and counter if you’re falling over. It is hard to take that shot if you can’t stay up on your skates. It’s hard to throw that deep strike if you can’t set your feet. And it’s hard to chase down that lob if you’re laying on the clay.
An athlete’s ability to “stay in the play” and be successful is often determined by their ability to keep their balance.
Think of all the times that you got hurt as a kid. Think of all the times your kid has gotten hurt! Chances are that falling played a large part in a lot of those injuries. It is true that sometimes having better balance would not have prevented the cause of the fall. But sometimes better balance could have reduced if not purely eliminated the injury from the fall!
When we hit a pothole on our bike but shakily recover rather than “wiping out”. When we trip over the curb but, after a few awkward steps, remain on our feet.
So not only can balance help us move about better but it can also save us when things don’t go as planned. Which for kids can happen a lot!!!
Having better balance also allows us to try out new activities and go on new adventures in our world. Our body can translate some of its skill of balancing on a bicycle to balancing on a motorcycle. Or from skateboard to snowboard to surfboard! We know we could walk the balance beam at school and now can try it on the log out in the woods. I know that I can physically navigate my current world with exceptional balance so I am less afraid and more open to expanding to a larger world. So yes, better balance does give me more opportunities for fun. And the end result to that, my friends, just happens to be more confidence too!
Whether you want your child to be more athletic, more safe or have more fun, better balance is going to be critical! That is why we put a major emphasis on balance in our drills.