Be Quick, But Never Hurry

The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden had this coaching advice that applies to most any physical activity, not just basketball, or just sports:

“Be quick, but never hurry.”

It’s advice you might want to pass on to the folks you teach and coach on MoveSMART® methods.

Hurrying or rushing often results in unsafe actions. Reaching or moving without thinking or looking can be a recipe for disaster.

Sure, it helps to be “quick” if you have a good set of fast-twitch muscles – most of us don’t. And studies show that, while we can all lose muscle mass as we age, we tend to lose quick-twitch muscles at an even faster rate.

So to compensate for this – and to promote your living safer – MoveSMART® practices help people be quicker in these ways:

– Using SmartHands™ engages the whole body, so your entire system of muscles is more ready to respond.

– Line-of-Power™ gives you more balance as well as strength. The more balance, the more ability to respond and move quickly.

– Working within Safer Handling Zones puts you closer to your task, and the less space you have to cover, the less time involved in reaching out to an object. An ancient martial arts saying is that the beginner moves in big circles, the experienced practitioner in small circles and the master in “no circles.” In other words, the less you have to move, the less time it takes to respond effectively.

– Part of Shielding Yourself™ is to size up a task and anticipate what moves you’ll have to make. Anticipation is a major factor in quick action. Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Getsky said, “I don’t skate to were the puck is. I skate to were the puck will be.”

– Another part of Shielding Yourself is to recognize that there are some things, machines, loads that you simply should not try to “out-quick.” Good judgment – and knowing your realistic limitations – is essential in MoveSMART®.

– Re-energizing promotes quickness by keeping us looser and more supple. Stiff people find quickness difficult.

These are some ideas you might add to your MoveSMART® presentation.

They can also be used as a guide, akin to “a quick discussion of quickness,” if that would be of interest and value to your group.

PS: Here’s another Gretzky quote that you can throw in to emphasize the mental side of quickness: “I couldn’t beat people with my strength; I don’t have a hard shot; I’m not the quickest skater in the league. My eyes and my mind have to do most of the work.”

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