Using your own sounds to improve performance

Human actions often produce sounds.

If you are a tap dancer, the sounds are intentional.  If you are a hurdler, they may not be ( I can still “feel” the sound of my knee hitting a hurdle all these years later).  According to recent research, it is intentional sounds, i.e. where we intend to produce a sound with our action, that are used by the brain as sensory feedback. (Heins et al, 2020).

So what does this mean practically?

It means that we follow the golden principle of aiming for what you do want, rather than what you don’t want. For example when you are running, instead of listening for the heaviness of your foot fall., you might make landing quietly an explicit goal which informs your movement.

Make choices and use your senses – it actively programmes your brain to modify your movement.

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