Sometimes we're lucky enough to hit the nail right on the head and I was lucky on my 30th birthday to pick a cinema trip that will stay with me for the rest of my days. If you haven't seen Whiplash (brutal multiple Oscar winner), I strongly suggest you do.

There was some musical terminology I was made aware of in the film through the question, “Are you rushing or are you dragging?” In case you haven't seen it, I've attached the clip of the scene so you can get an idea of the context in which it was used.

In case you can't currently watch the clip, “rushing and dragging” refers to being ahead of or behind the intended tempo of a piece of music. Being in time is a pretty big deal in music. It is in sport too, regardless of your sport.

Let the rugby ball go a fraction of a second off-time and the pass goes astray. Jump a millisecond off-time for a volleyball spike and it doesn't go well. Protect your face too early or late in a fight and it can be lights out.

Timing isn't the only thing that we need a keen sense of. We need fine sensory discrimination to make many things in our sporting performances work. Distance, size, weight and body position to mention but a few.

Back to our Whiplash conductor. Regardless of whether you agree with his coaching style, I think we can all agree that he prizes being musically on-time highly. If you watch the movie, you will see just how much. I agree that rushing and dragging need to be minimised in terms of timing and all other aspects to enhance sports performance.

There are now many consultants to sport that specialise in getting the senses working better for enhancement purposes. Amongst these I have came across sports vision specialists who work to help athletes achieve better eyesight related skills, body control experts, rhythm and timing experts, brainwave training experts and many others.

In the next part of this blog, I'm going to delve a little into what I have came across and what sort of effects in has on “rushing and dragging” in sports.


Arton “The Conductor” Baleci
Float Sting – Sports Performance and Rehabilitation

AuthorFloat Sting