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Art in Sport, Sport in Art


When you watch an elite performer on their stage; be it an actress on a Broadway stage, a skier tackling a World Cup downhill course, or a midfielder playing for Liverpool in the upcoming UEFA tournament, you should be able to notice common physical attributes.

Notice how the actress has the cardio vascular stamina and strength to dance while singing for an entire show, always saving a little extra for that triumphant last number. At the basic physical level, this is not unlike a soccer player’s ability to run around the pitch at a steady rate for 80 minutes while still having enough in the tank for that breakaway in injury time or the downhiller’s ability to power through turns for three grueling minutes, all the while knowing the massive amount of energy that the final combination of turns will require in order to execute them perfectly. Likewise, the perfect ski racer’s stance; hamstrings loaded, ready to power through turns, shoulders proud, mirrors the actress’ perfect posture and powerful feet in dynamic dance numbers, which, more often than not, contain multiple explosive movements such as jumps (like in skiing!), kicks, and spins.
          Consider the balance and control necessary to juggle a soccer ball, turn a double play, cut to avoid a linebacker, land a 360, and devour moguls. Now, translate that to the balance, strength, and stamina required to sing an entire Verdi opera, or dance the entirety of “Swan Lake”. These shared attributes, all essential to peak performance on their very different stages, are greater than most people, athletes, actors, or musicians, fully realize.
The pressure leading up to that high note in act four is very different, but still remarkably similar to the pressure felt before the starter’s pistol fires in track and field, or the pressure felt by the batter at the plate with two outs and the bases loaded late in an important game. While athletes have, for decades, acknowledged the need for specific, specialized training, the musicians, actors, and dancers of the world have largely ignored the real need for physical fitness and strength.
          This is a call to all who ply their craft on theatre, opera, or any live music venue’s stages around the world:

Recognize what you have in common with elite athletes; cardio vascular endurance, balance, the ability to hyper-focus, the musculature and training to combine speed, grace, and technique simultaneously, and consider the benefits of Renegade training.

          These similarities, when improved, addressed, and strengthened through Renegade training can make a huge difference in the overall affect of your performances.  Your improved physical appearance alone could mean the difference between a call-back and a rejection, between a record deal and playing cafes, between dancing in the third row and being out front.
          The next time you see a rock musician jumping around the stage, ask yourself, “how much more dynamic a performer would he be if he had more lung capacity to hold that high note a few beats longer, if his legs were explosive enough to launch himself through the air to the rhythm of his band, if his posture was perfect, giving the appearance of confidence and command which are essential to rock music?”  How much more entertaining would that singer be if he were a Renegade?

Think about the art inherent in sport, as well as the sport inherent in art.

          Then, consider the difference a Renegade coach at Hordon Health can make in combining the two.

Yours, in Art and Sport,

-Thomas Morris – Renegade Coach – www.hordonhealth.com
President of Operations, Boston Institute of Snow

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