How to Make Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR) More Effective
Human bodies react to all kinds of stimuli, internal and external. Some we aren’t even aware of. From sunlight to that sense something is wrong, such as someone following too closely. Athletes need to be constantly in-tune with their bodies.
One way to improve performance is to use a method known as Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR), which we cover in more detail in this XPS Sports Series article.
Numerous stimuli can change our responses to situations, state of mind, heart rate, and physical performance. Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR) is a method of breathing and tactile inputs that helps “reset” a body from survival to performance mode. For athletes, this is crucial to achieve the best levels of performance possible in training and in competitive games.
What is Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR)?
In a world of contestant stressful stimuli, human bodies and minds work together to minimize stress inputs and the impacts on ourselves. Think of water for a moment. Water always seeks to find the easiest route from the source to the sea, or larger body of water. Gravity compels it.
Our bodies are no different. Except, when it comes to reducing stress from multiple stimuli, our bodies create and often stick to inefficient compensation patterns we know work. Even if those compensation patterns are unhealthy, unhelpful, limit performance, and even lead to injuries.
Reflexive Performance Reset (RPR) is a proven way of resetting the body and mind, using breathing and tactile inputs and exercises. Compensating for the unhealthy compensation patterns.
Athletes that use RPR methods, such as Wake-Up Drill Sequences, can shift their bodies out of inefficient compensation patterns into efficient and powerful patterns. Coaches can ensure athletes use RPR methods to improve performance, flexibility, and make them more resilient to injury.
How Can Coaches Use RPR More Effectively?
When players push or rub their legs, arms, or different body parts, this is an example of RPR in action. It’s a way of athletes “resetting” themselves to improve performance, to get ready for a game, or for the next half of a competitive game.
Numerous coaches and athletes already do this without realizing. But what’s exciting is when RPR is used consciously and concisely to improve performance. Let’s take a closer look at the misconceptions and methods being used, and how these can be improved.
#1: Use a Wake-Up Drill Sequence
Too often, coaches will search online for a reset drill for a specific body part, and then use that. For example, a player’s knee often hurts, so they need a knee reset.
That can be effective for a short period of time, or short-term issues. But if you want long-term and effective performance improvements for athletes, then a Wake-Up Drill Sequence is needed. Is this something you already do as a coach? Compared to turning on a computer, various systems and software need to “boot up.”
An athlete’s body, capable of much more than the average person due to a higher level of fitness, stamina and endurance, needs a more effective “boot up” sequence. Regardless of the sport, RPR is a sports-agnostic approach to fitness, stamina, flexibility, and overall physical and mental health.
Wake-Up Drills need to be learned, practiced, and used properly before and during training and matches to ensure an athlete’s body is at peak performance. It’s equally essential to prevent and reduce the risk of injuries.
#2: One touch isn’t enough
A common misconception is that RPR is only needed for certain muscles and body parts that need an input at that point. Say, when an athlete’s leg is hurting. RPR is useful in specific instances, but even more useful for the whole body. One touch isn’t enough.
Wake-Up Drill Sequences combine breathing exercises with tactile spots across the body to reset the whole body. Shifting it from those inefficient compensation routines to more efficient, powerful routines that improve performance. Everyone on a team should be trained to go through these, and do them before games and training.
#3: RPR isn’t just for athletes
Coaches, sports development professionals, trainers, and other members of the team can use RPR too. It isn’t just for athletes. A company founded by three athletic coaches — Cal Dietz, JL Holdsworth, and Chris Korfist (Reflexive Performance) — pioneering this approach, has found it to be just as effective for professionals in and out of sports. It’s a form of mindfulness, in a way, with a physical element, not unlike Yoga or Tai Chi, except for athletes and coaches.
Combining breathing exercises with physical inputs improves performance, and it only takes a few minutes to reset select muscle groups. Or a ten to fifteen minute Wake-Up Drill to shift compensation routines into a positive flow, making a player ready for a game or training session.
#4: Keep athletic power flowing
Because our bodies are dealing with a constant stream of perceived “threats” — physical, mental, social, environmental — we always look for the safest way to avoid these. It’s hard-wired into us. Our fight or flight response system. Hence using inefficient compensation patterns.
For athletes, this can mean the brain sending a signal to various muscle groups to reduce power. Also known as down-regulating activity. Unfortunately, this can leave athletes more vulnerable to injury. So the best response is to use RPR Wake-Up Drills to send the signal to those muscles that they’re needed, the body is safe, and peak performance is required.
Rather than choosing what seems like the safe, “flight” response, RPR can reactivate the whole body and various muscle groups. Whenever an athlete isn’t performing at their best, it’s time to remind them to perform a “reset” exercise. It doesn’t take long. And it resets them to improve performance, knowing the body is safe.
#5: Train athletes to implement Wake-Up Drill Sequences
Athletes need to learn to implement Wake-Up Drill Sequences as part of regular in-season and off-season training. Plus, before and during matches and training sessions, which you can do with XPS Network, as part of training session planning. Make a conscious effort to plan this into every training session and pre-match sequence.
Give your team the best chance to perform at their peak, because life and professional stresses — including social media harassment and mental health impacts — are constant. Players need to give themselves every advantage. RPR-based Wake-Up Drill Sequences and other exercises are the most effective ways to achieve this.
Key Takeaways: How to use RPR More Effectively?
- Use a Wake-Up Drill Sequence: Learn them, teach them, and encourage players to use them before and during training and matches.
- One touch isn’t enough: Rubbing a sore leg before a match isn’t enough. A full Wake-Up Drill Sequence is needed regularly to keep performance at its peak.
- RPR isn’t just for athletes: Coaches and other sports staff benefit from these exercises too.
- Keep athletic power flowing: When you use Wake-Up Drill Sequences and other RPR-based exercises.
- Train athletes to implement Wake-Up Drill Sequences.
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