The Perfect Training for Every Athlete
Team sports like soccer, baseball and football have kept your child in shape and built their confidence. But how do you keep them ready during the off season? It’s time to look into activities that will serve up the same excitement and improve on your child’s athleticism.
Dancing is the ideal activity for your child to build strength during the off season! He or she may even enjoy dancing enough to continue into the sports season. After all, many professional athletes attest to the benefits of dancing.
In the summer of 2013, 320-pound Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Steve McLendon shared his love of ballet in an interview with CBS Sports. He has been taking ballet since his senior year of college as a way to keep himself injury-free, and he attributes dance with strengthening his knees, ankles and feet so much that he can tell the difference when he hasn’t taken ballet in a while. But even when he isn’t taking lessons regularly, McLendon still enjoys to practice. “I still do some of the same things, the Plié, walking barefoot on your toes,” McLendon explained. “I just walk barefoot doing the lateral.”
If professional athletes can take the time and find the confidence to leap across a dance floor, surely young athletes everywhere can be inspired to do the same! Here are five ways your young athlete will benefit from his or her experience dancing:
1. Improve Performance by Cross-Training
In order for an athlete to improve his or her performance in a sport, they may need to step outside the field, court or wherever they play in order to do it. Many athletes participate in dance as a cross-training activity. Cross-training can help reduce an athlete’s risk of injuries by balancing out muscles and providing relief to the ones that are constantly worked or moved.
2. Gain Agility and Speed
Agility is the ability to move your body quickly, easily, and with control and balance –something athletes require. Performing a dance routine takes a great amount of agility. Ballet can especially make your child more agile, as he or she moves quickly and changes direction with great balance, stability and range of motion.
3. Gain Flexibility
Whether it’s ballet, jazz or hip-hop, every style of dance requires a great amount of flexibility. Dancing causes muscles to become soft and move with ease, and also increases joint range of motion. As your child dances on a regular basis, he or she will gain greater mobility in their joints by gradually lengthening tense, short muscles. Athletes who are flexible will become lighter, more graceful and versatile in their sport. Flexibility may also prevent sports-related injuries.
4. Become Disciplined and Focused
Dancing engages cognitive and physical processes. It requires coordination of the body and brain, which can benefit athletes who must constantly use critical thinking in their sport. Dancing teaches patience, diligence, concentration and focus. It requires your child to analyze their body alignment and practice controlling the movement of every limb, teaching them how to isolate body parts. Dancing also enhances awareness of themselves in space and in relation to other people, another skill that can benefit athletes.
5. Gain Strength
Dancing is one of the best workouts your child can do because it tones their entire body. Those bends, turns and leaps will give your child an amazing full body workout. Dancing builds strength by forcing the muscles to resist against a dancer’s own body weight. Not only does it strengthen muscles, it also keeps bones strong and helps build bone mass. These are all important for growing strong, healthy young bodies.
We hope to have your child join us at Dance Endeavors to experience the fun and benefits of dance during the off season or throughout the year! For additional information contact us by email. We are MORE than just great dancing!