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BBJ Fitness Corner | Clutch time preparation

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CRUNCH time or do-or-die moment — athletes of all sports will experience this type of situation and it comes down to whether they could adapt, focus and execute in order to bring their team to victory.

To acquire the ability to perform under pressure, Gold's Gym personal trainer Jerry Diaz said, an athlete, in his or her training sessions, must perform movements that can result in a higher success rate. 

It’s all about the principle of specificity, he said. For example, if one’s fitness goal is to increase flexibility, then one must undergo regular flexibility training.  An athlete should be exposed to the type of training that will help him or her achieve a specific level of performance.

“During my basketball years,” Diaz said, “I had several big moments that required quick mental and physical response time. Those moments ended in glory — or disappointment. I quickly realized that there are athletes who have the natural capability to be ‘in the zone.’ ”

Diaz said scientists and trainers are still figuring out how great athletes are capable of performing this feat.

Every day, Preston Basa trains for clutch moments. Contributed photo

 

Preston Basa works on his form. Contributed photo

He added that trainers must prepare athletes systematically so they can perform at the highest level whether they have the “clutch gene” or not. “There is only so much a talented player can do that is not conditioned compared to a semi-talented athlete who is seasoned and well-conditioned,” Diaz said. 

CNMI national basketball player Preston Basa is well-known for his ability to pull up from the three-point line at will and for completing several game-winning shots. For him, it is about always being ready and having the confidence to seize the moment.

“The three-point shot is my biggest asset so I'm going to live and die with it,” he said. “Even if we’re down by one point, it will be the shot I'll try to take. Preparation is key though. I can't tell you how many three-point shots I've taken during team and individual training sessions, and I still practice those shots." 

He added, “When the big moment comes, everything you do matters. It will determine whether you will win or lose. Communication is key so make sure everyone is on the same page. Encourage others, boost their confidence and provide the right mindset to secure victory.”

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