The Cerebellum: The Seat of Athleticism in the Brain

The cerebellum has always been, and remains to this day, one of the brain’s greatest mysteries. This small structure, while only taking up 10% of the brain’s volume, possesses more than 50% of the brain’s neurons. Therefore it is obvious that it plays an important and vital role in our daily functioning. Here is exactly what the cerebellum does and how exercising this part of the brain can benefit you:

What is the cerebellum:

The cerebellum is a small structure (about the size of a kiwi) located at the back of the brain. Evolutionary speaking, it is much older than the frontal areas of the brain and it consists of a right and left hemisphere. Its primary purpose is the control and coordination of motor functions. Almost every action you make, from speaking to riding your bike, involves the cerebellum. It is also extremely important in maintaining posture and balance, as well as motor learning and speech.

What role does the cerebellum play in athletics:

An individual’s success in any sport ultimately depends upon their cerebellum. Coordination, reflexes, fast reaction times and learning all rely on this tiny brain structure. It receives information from the spinal cord and the sensory systems, and uses this information to regulate and execute motor movements. It is the cerebellum that helps a professional tennis player hit with ball with such precision and a short stop catch a line drive. Studies conducted on elite athletes have found differences in the neural connections of their cerebellums compared to non-athletes. This is likely due to years of training and practice that have optimized specific neural networks in an athlete’s brain

What can you do to exercise and enhance your cerebellum:

Anytime you engage in sports and physical activity you are exercising your cerebellum. The Qball is the perfect tool to enhance your cerebellum as it specifically exercises hand-eye coordination, mental processing speed, and reaction times – all important functions of the cerebellum. Every time you bounce the Qball your visual system is sending signals to your cerebellum, integrating this sensory information and sending signals to your spinal cord initiating a motor response. Essentially the cerebellum is the middleman between your eyes watching the Qball and your hand catching it. The more you play and practice with the Qball, the more you are exercising and optimizing your cerebellum. To challenge your cerebellum even more try bouncing the Qball as fast as you can or play some of the fun and engaging games.

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