The Nervous System is the Boss!
The nervous system is responsible for the recruitment of muscle fibres, and the coordination of all movement. The quality of all sporting skills is determined by the efficiency of the CNS.
Your nervous system is also the control centre of motivation. It even plays a huge role in response to stress, and in how much energy, focus, and work capacity an athlete demonstrates during training and competition.
The key to training success is simply this: train hard in a focused way. You can’t do that, at least not for long, without motivation. And to be motivated it has to fit the neurological profile. How you react to certain neurotransmitters in the brain determines everything. How you react to inhibitory or excitation neurotransmitters should guide all aspects of fast bowling performance Training to take advantage of neurological nature will aid in motor learning and skill acquisition. Boredom is the main enemy of progression and acquiring new skill.
One of the very best going and a good friend Christian Thibaudeau has developed a system that I believe is a game changer for sports preparation training. It’s based on neurotransmitters and how they impact on all aspects of human performance.
It takes individualization to another level. It’s called ‘NEUROTYPING’. I think it’s important I discuss it briefly as it forms the basis of my coaching intervention methods. However, it needs a book on its own to cover everything. Here are the basic principles.
Neurotyping is based on the ‘Cloninger Temperament and Character Inventory’ (TCI) “The TCI is an inventory for personality traits based on a psychobiological model. In a nutshell, people have different personality types because they have different genetic levels of certain neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. When scientists measured neurotransmitter levels and compared them to the personality types, they indeed found them to match up. This dictates how we perceive a training stimulus and how we can benefit from our training and coaching sessions” -C Thibaudeau
Selecting the training system that suits their time scale, lifestyle, interest and neurotype.
Many generic programmes simply focus on general strength and ‘cookie cutter’ one size fits all programme designs. This leads to failure. Scattergun approach may work for a few, but never guarantee a transfer of training. This is common. And the problem isn’t the program, the coaching ability, athlete work ethic, or genetics. The problem is that the programme didn’t fit the psychological and neurological profile – basically, their personality type.
Personality profiles are genetically determined by the balance of neurotransmitters. And neurotransmitters control everything.
Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain. They are involved in most things that take place in your body. They have a huge impact on personality traits, how well you perform under stress, anxiety levels, memory, capacity to learn, creativity, emotional responses, etc.
Three key neurotransmitter systems develop during early childhood. The dopaminergic system (dopamine), serotoninergic system (serotonin) and cholinergic system (acetylcholine). And while you can improve them as you are getting older, it’s really hard to make up for an underdeveloped neurotransmitter system once the brain is fully developed.
‘The human brain isn’t fully developed until 25 years of age. Everything is there except for the frontal cortex, which is the last thing to mature. An immature frontal cortex explains the spectrum of teenage behaviours: it’s what makes adolescents adolescent’. – Sapolsky
Neurotransmitters impact on all human behaviour. Poor development of either system determines behaviour and performance. Each system manifests itself in key characteristics.
- Dopaminergic system: motivation, self-esteem, resiliency, happiness, reinforcing behaviour
- Serotoninergic system: being able to deal with anxiety/stress, well-being, ease of adaptation
- Cholinergic system: speed of brain operation, memory, learning, motor learning, information retrieval, creativity. Helps deal with stress
THERE ARE THREE MAIN BASIC PROFILE TYPES IN NEUROTYPING:
Neurotype 1: This type has low dopamine levels, so he or she seeks out novelty or new things to stimulate their naturally low dopamine. In psychobiology, they call this the novelty-seeking type.
Neurotype 2: These types have low norepinephrine levels. Since norepinephrine is associated with confidence and a sense of well-being, these people seek out rewards to boost their norepinephrine levels. It’s referred to as the reward dependent type in science.
Neurotype 3: This type is associated with low serotonin. They don’t like change; they like to master a repetitive activity. “Technique geeks” fit this profile. In psychobiology, they call this the harm avoider type