Achieving Peak Performance

8 March 2017, 12:00 am Written by 
Published in Blog
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Whether you are a professional athlete, a weekend warrior, or simply someone who goes to the gym a few days each week, there is no doubt in my mind that you want to get the most out of your body.

For the time we all put in trying to mold and shape our bodies, for all the sweat, for the sore muscles, we want to get the most bang for our buck. Personally, I want to make sure that my body is operating as close to 100% as possible. Whether I'm at the gym with my buddies or playing baseball with my boys, I want to ensure that I'm pain free, that I don't have any physical limitations, and that I am moving as efficiently as possible. I'm sure the same can be said for you.

And, if you and I can agree that we want our bodies moving as functionally as possible, wouldn't we assume that that would be the case for a someone attempting to perfecting their craft at the highest level of sports? Wouldn't it makes sense that a professional athlete would ensure that they have zero limitations in their body?

In my opinion, an athlete wanting to be as functional as possible is a no-brainer. However, true, proper function is far from a common site in professional sports. Just this last week, the NFL held its annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. For those of you unfamiliar with the Combine, it's an opportunity for representatives from every NFL team to see draft-eligible college football players as they perform various events that showcase their speed, power, and skill sets. Players will run the 40-yard dash, perform a standing broad-jump, vertical jump, they'll bench-press 225 pounds as many times as they can, etc. Essentially, it's one big NFL meat market. Prospects can improve their draft status or hurt their draft status, depending on how they perform.

The most "important" of all the drills is the 40-yard dash. I say "important," because the 40-yard dash is the event that gets the lion's share of the attention. Scouts will drool over a guy who runs faster than anticipated, and they'll shy away from a guy who runs slower than anticipated. In fact, one of the biggest stories coming out of this year's Combine was that a new 40-yard dash record was established.

Former University of Washington wide-receiver, John Ross, ran his 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds, breaking the previous record of 4.24 seconds. Let me tell you, friends, that is moving! Anything in the 4.2-range is flat-out flying.

But...

Check out his form during his run:

 

Notice anything that looks "off" in this picture? Check out the directional angle of his knee and foot! This athlete is attempting to run straight ahead (in a north-south direction), yet his foot and knee are pointed out at 45 degrees (in an east-west direction). THIS is the guy who ran a 4.22 40-yard dash. Yet he's quite literally running against himself. His form (and remember, form follows function) is doing him NO favors. In fact, he's costing himself time, energy, and, I believe, money. Typically, the faster these athletes run in the 40-yard dash, the higher they get drafted, and the more they get paid.

Even though this athlete has run the fastest 40 in the history of the NFL Combine, I believe he can be even faster. Isn't THAT a scary thought?

Can you imagine if this player would have run a 4.00 40-yard dash?

Or...what if...WHAT IF...this player ran a sub-4-second 40-yard dash?

I believe that if that happened, he would be a sure-lock for being drafted #1 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft.

And he'd also break the internet.

Folks from all over the world of sports would be losing their collective minds. They wouldn't know what to do with a sub-4-second 40. It would be the modern-day equivalent of Jim Ryun, who, in 1964, became the first high-school runner to break the 4-minute mark in the mile. For as much hoopla that Ryun received back in the day, the attention directed toward Ross would have been exponential.

But, sadly, we'll never know. Ross didn't break 4-seconds in the 40. He "only" ran a 4.22. Yet from my perspective, what is even sadder is the fact that, physically and functionally, I believe he left a lot on the table. What's also true, is that Ross is the perfect candidate for an injury. He might just be one of the guys we hear about suffering a "non-contact ACL injury" during training camp one year. His body is in no shape to plant is foot and change directions while traveling at a high speed. In fact, when he crossed the 40-yard-dash finish line, he pulled up limping. The reason? Calf cramps. Stay tuned, folks. My guess is those cramps are the first signal that his body is trying to warn him to the fact that he's out of balance. Unfortunately, it could be all downhill from here.

Honestly, when it comes to our bodies, the rest of us are no different than this high-level athlete. While we might not have the athletic ability to run 40 yards in 10 seconds, we still want to get the most out of our workouts or favorite sport. We want to get in shape, stay active, play for as long as we'd like, and decrease our susceptibility to injury. Those things can only happen on a functional frame.

The key to attaining a functional frame is the Egoscue Method. Egoscue is absolutely what will help you achieve, and maintain, a peak state of performance. If you're looking to unlock your TRUE potential, contact us today. We have clinics all over the world, and we are ready to unlock your inner-athlete!

QUESTION: What do you believe is holding you back from achieving peak performance?

As always, thanks for sharing these posts with your friends and family (it's easy, just click below)! Don't forget to join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. You can follow Pete on Twitter, and you can follow me there as well. You can also follow me on Instagram, too! Let's connect!

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John Elder

John Elder is the Vice President of Corporate Operations for Egoscue, Inc. and former Clinic Owner of Egoscue Nashville.

John is the main content contributor for the Egoscue blog. A client since 1995, he was an instant believer in the Method and felt relief after his first visit at Egoscue Headquarters in Del Mar, California. It is because of Egoscue that John was able to realize his dream of playing Division I baseball while at Yale University. John has traveled internationally with Egoscue and handles many of the Midwest and East Coast speaking engagements for Egoscue, Inc. His clientele includes the young and old, working professionals, stay-at-home moms, professional athletes, weekend warriors, politicians, and the everyday “Joe.”

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# Dana Horton 2017-03-09 12:10
Hey John,

Any observations on the Cleveland Cavalier player who broke his tibia one minute into his first game? And any updated views on Tiger?
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# John 2017-03-15 17:23
I saw the Cavs player get injured and believe that was one of those "fluke" things. Wrong place, wrong time type of instance.

As for Tiger, I'd have to see him play more, but unfortunately that isn't happening right now.

Thanks,
John
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# Kim 2017-03-11 20:53
John,

I get a question often from athletes and sports enthusiasts. They worry that bringing their posture closer to 'optimal' will DECREASE their strength and power since they've spent years strengthening their compensations to get where they are.

Many of them believe that the way to improve one's performance in their sport IS to engage in that sport (regardless of posture) and the body will strengthen where it needs to.

Can you help put the conception (or misconception) of strengthening a compensation to achieve increased performance to bed once and for all?

Thank you!

Kim
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# John 2017-03-15 17:29
With their mindset, they're getting dysfunctionally strong, dyfunctionally explosive, etc.

If you think about it along the lines of car's performance, they're adding horsepower to the engine, getting high-performance tires put on, swapping out the regular doors for carbon-fiber ones, etc. but they're doing all of that on a bent frame. The car will NEVER handle/perform at its optimum level no matter HOW may bells and whistles you add.

Should I say "goodnight"? Did I put it to bed? :)

Thanks,
John
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# kim 2017-03-15 19:31
That puppy is snoring! The car analogy was what did it. Thank you for the words.
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# John 2017-03-16 14:59
Ha! Happy to help! :)
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