The skills required to master the game of football include strength, flexibility, agility and mental preparedness. Many football players exhibit strength, but may be lacking in other areas. This is where ballet enters in. Ballet lessons can improve your strength, increase flexibility and make you more agile, while providing a mind-body connection and reducing your risk of injury.
Strength is a key component of playing football. If you are not strong, you will not have much success in the game. Ballet provides a total body workout that targets muscles few other exercises use. For instance, ballet strengthens the muscles in your feet. Ballet lessons will additionally strengthen your back, legs and arms, with a great emphasis on strengthening your core muscles, which are useful while playing football. Working a variety of different muscles makes your muscles more adaptable, according to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Being flexible may not seem like a key factor in football, but increased flexibility has many benefits to the game. Ballet provided the flexibility necessary for NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann to become famous for his graceful, entertaining and successful football career. Increased flexibility can also reduce your risk of injuries, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Additional Physical Benefits
In addition to making you a stronger, more flexible football player, ballet can make you more agile, moving quickly on your feet, changing directions with greater balance, stability and a greater range of motion. Ballet can also help increase your speed, as it did with Dallas Cowboys running back Herschel Walker. Walker credits his speed and agility to his diverse exercise routine that included ballet.
One of the most important components of playing football is concentration, another benefit Walker credits to his ballet experience. Dance lowers your stress, stimulates you intellectually and helps you recognize and deal with patterns, spacial issues and sequences, which are essential to football strategy. Dance also trains you to perform in front of an audience, an aspect that can frighten athletes into poor operation at game time. Dance stimulates a connection between your brain and your body that helps you do your best in all activities, including football.
- "The Tennessean"; Ensworth Athletes Hit the Barre; Lea Anne Overstreet Allen; December 2009
- Academy of Classic Ballet: Training We Offer
- Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2001 Inductee Bio - Lynn Swann
- National Registry of Dance Educators; The Benefits of Dance; Audrey Dascomb, RDE
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Cross Training
- "The New York Times"; Walker Balances Bulk with Ballet; Thomas C. Hayes; April 1988