Friday Brainstorm

How did it get to Friday already?

I was having severe difficulty coming up with something to write about, probably because I’ve been so distracted by all the agents and kit manufacturers trying to contact me and get in on a piece of the action after my silver medal at the weekends British Championships. Or possibly, far more likely, I’ve just been super lazy this week, you pick.

So in an effort to bang out something meaningful, when all I really want to do is crash out in front of some cartoons before bed on a Friday evening (yes, this is the real exciting life of an athlete), I’m going to elaborate on a quick conversation I had with sprint coach Dave Lease this week.

The Brain

Brain Power
Brain Power

The brain is amazing, if you think about it, our entire reality is created just in our brains. Light waves that we can’t even see, reflect off the atoms that form objects, those atoms are basically just 99.999% empty space, the light waves reflect into our eyes, where the rods and cones are stimulated to produce electrical signals, these electrical signals head straight to our brains where they create the image that we think is what we’re seeing. What you see, only really truly exists inside your brain.

When you feel something, you’re touching the exact same 99.999% empty space atoms, well actually you’re not, you’re very close to touching them, but in reality the electromagnetic forces repel each other over a really small distance so you never actually touch it. This “touch” stimulates receptors in your tissues, which again send electrical signals all the way up to your brain, where they’re decoded and translated into the sensation of touch and feel.

The brain uses complex electrical and chemical signals to put the feel and the sight together in order to manifest what we perceive as our reality all around us.

The coach-athlete relationship

“The coach can see but can’t feel, the athlete can feel but can’t see”

Dave Lease

To use these two independent signals to manifest the perfect technical execution, the coach and athlete don’t have anything as complex as brains chemical and electrical signalling, unfortunately we have something a lot simpler but a lot more easily disrupted, talking to each other.

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