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Think About It

Frontal/Occipital Hold performed by the driver prior to a race.
Frontal/Occipital Hold performed by the driver prior to a race.

It is race day, and the racing machine is sorted out and in a highly competitive state of tune. What else is left to do? A driver who invests a few minutes in “tuning up” his or her central nervous system just before a race will give themselves a measurable advantage over those who do not.

In its simplest form, stress causes changes in brain function. Without getting too involved in the scientific basis of brain function, let’s examine normal and abnormal brain function. There are two halves or cerebral hemispheres, the left and the right. It is “normal” to have a functionally dominant side of the brain. Most of the population has a dominant left hemisphere. Under stress, brain activity becomes more focused into the posterior (back) portion of this dominant hemisphere. Any technique that can restore an even balance and more easy access to the subordinate hemisphere is valuable, as creativity and originality are enhanced. An athlete will perform best when he or she has nearly equal brain activity left to right and front to back. Relaxed, focused brain function is the ultimate goal. Adrenaline is a chemical of the stressed body, and any benefits it may provide are short-lived. Over the length of the race, adrenaline does more harm to performance than good.

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