It just hit me, wouldn't a cool nick-name for Steph Curry be …. "The Boy Wonder" ?
….you know, Robin's nick-name in the old Batman and Robin TV show?
Anyway, one of the main secrets to Steph Curry's success is the "Brain Training" he gets at Accelerate Basketball, Charlotte company devoted to honing basketball player's skills.
Brandon Payne, founder of Accelerate Basketball, says "We use tools to help our players use their brain and body connections better".
Brandon doesn't like the term "Hand-Eye Coordination". He uses "Neuromuscular Efficiency"…
…the concept is behind how Brandon trains Curry to develop and strengthen his mind to body connections, giving Curry better speed, efficiency, and accuracy in his movements on the court.
One of the tools Brandon trains Curry with is the FIT-LITE system. The flashing lights on the poles serves the purpose of requiring the player to respond to the flashing lights with moments…..
…and the accuracy and speed of those movements can be measured, and level of difficulty increased.
For example, Payne sometimes places the FIT-LIGHT discs on the side as Stephen Curry goes through dribbling drills, or on the court, where Payne puts them in different spots.
Brandon controls the flashing lights using a wireless remote. Each disc can be set to 8 different colors.
Curry has to make certain moves, and take certain shots, based on what colors he sees flashing (see the second video below, about 36 seconds in).
They’ll start with two to three reads, then push up to five to six in one drill. Payne says, “It’s incredibly overloading, when Curry has so many decisions to make.”
The FIT-LIGHT system adds a new dimension to "Old School" shooting drills.
For example Curry has to make, say, eight out of 10 shots at a certain spot, and correctly respond to the flashing lights, before moving to the next spot.
In the shot drill with FIT-LIGHT system, they don’t count the shot as a "make", unless Curry not only makes the shot, but reads and reacts to the flashing lights correctly.
“That’s a pretty tough drill that frustrates Curry” Payne says. “I know when I’ve frustrated him, I’m doing my job, because he is not gonna stop until he beats it".
The marriage of "Old School" training with "High Tech"…
The underlying concept behind one of Curry's favorite drills, the basketball-tennis ball drill (see the first video below), is rooted in next level, advanced sports training, and "brain science"..
…what I mean is, in the "Old School" drill, with a simple basketball and tennis ball, Curry also wears High-Tech Goggles, but we'll get to the goggles in a second.
The Tennis Ball/Basketball Drill….
….basically requires Curry to do two things at once, dribble the basletball with one hand, and toss and catch the tennis ball in an array of movements with the other hand.
This drill forces Steph's brain to layer multiple activities at once, which exercises the brain in new ways, and enhances the brain's ability to communicate with the body. It "exercises" the brain…
Having a "Smart Brain" to begin with is key…..
…Payne says Curry is a natural for this type of training, because Curry is such an intelligent person to begin with.
Curry, is actively involved in the science behind his training. Curry aspires to understand the esoteric underlying science behind what he is doing. He wants to know the "Why" and "How" of the science.
What's Up with Curry's Workout Goggles?
Curry's workout goggles are from Sensory Performance Technology, called Eclipse Goggles.
Curry Says "I wear goggles with flashing lights that obstruct my vision (while dribbling and passing). Those kinds of sensory distractions are variables that take my mind off the ball and sharpen the brain, helping me neurologically".
The Game in Slow Motion…..
Curry says the Eclipse goggles allow him to see a fast paced game in slow motion. The reason is, the goggles force Curry's brain to work at warp speed, making Curry's brain do "More with Less".
…and the athletes who can process information the fastest, are the most successful. It's a complicated science to explain in one or two paragraphs, but Curry swears by it.
Steph Curry's High Tech "Zen Zone"
…after all this "Brain Exercise", Curry has to reverse the process and let the brain relax. He accomplishes this by going into a water and salt filled, sensory deprivation chamber.
The sensory deprivation chamber, known as a "float tank", is filled with water and a half ton of Epsom Salt. The idea is to remove any and all physical sensation, leaving only Curry's mind.
Brain Training not universally accepted….
Brandon Payne says Curry's type of Brain Training is not universally accepted, in that many athletes and coaches on all levels are still in the old paradigm of body training first.
….but with Steph Curry, training starts with the brain.
With Steph Curry, this "Brain Training" is a resounding success. Curry is not the biggest, most intimidating physical specimen on the court….
…but with his well tuned brain, the "Boy Wonder" presents a huge "fear-factor" to his opponents.
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