Technique can help both amateurs and
professional athletes to increase their
effectiveness and discover the joy of movement
again. The Alexander Technique teacher is not a
better football, swimming or athletics coach.
The Alexander Technique teacher is an expert in
mental and physical coordination. It is a kind
of a basic training, which goes ahead of sports
activities and provides benefits for any sport
Here are two practical examples.
Sample Scenario 1: "Football"
In the middle of a game, player X is preparing
to pass the ball to a team mate. In this
situation, he has to coordinate his own body and
simultaneously identify his team mates and
opponents in a three dimensional space - a
scenario that changes dynamically from moment to
moment. One complicating factor may be that an
upcoming tackling of an opponent additionally
puts the player under pressure. Player shoots X
... and the ball lands at the opponent.
What does the Alexander Technique have to say?
Player X would probably always be in a position
to successfully pass the ball to his team
players. In the language of the Alexander
Technique, however, the following happened: The
complexity of the game situation and the
pressure of the (approaching) tackling form a
stimulus situation which causes an undesirable
additional response with player X - a stress
response. His perception and his movement are
disturbed. This disturbance response is "too
much" - too much of neuro-muscular activity. The
Alexander Technique helps athletes to be aware
of this "too much" and to stop it – it is called
"inhibition". This is a big challenge especially
for athletes, because they are used to "make an
effort". Inhibition does not mean "more" but "less".
This results in easy, effortless, aesthetic and
The situation shown from the field of "football"
can be applied to any sport, for example to
tennis players before the strike, the show
jumper before the jump, the swimmer before the
start or the turn, the gymnast before the
acrobatic element or the runner before the next
Sample Scenario 2: “High Jump”
The flop technique in the high jump is
characterized by an arch shaped approach. To
compensate for the centrifugal forces, when
turning, the athlete is inclined to the centre
of the curve and jumps out of this inclination.
Many high jumpers tend to early give up the
necessary inner inclination when approaching and
to lean towards the bar (external inclination).
As a result, the bar falls already in the phase
of the rise. The Alexander Technique refers to
the underlying response pattern as "endgaining".
The jumper is in the decisive moment too much
influenced by achieving his goal, namely to try
to cross the bar, and forgets the design of the
process, which is to be passed in order to
achieve the objective (the persistent internal
angle). He inclines too soon towards the bar,
thereby affecting the direction of the movement
negatively. Surprisingly, most high jumpers are
aware of this "inclination" and yet they often
cannot stop it. Even if top high-jumpers seem to
have overcome that miscoordination externally,
it may still act as a disruptive factor. This is
demonstrated by the fact that top athletes
sometimes fall back into the old mistakes, when
they are under pressure and have to go to their
power limits. Similar forms of target fixation
fundamentally affect the performance of athletes
in all sports. They also cause unnecessary
tension in the body and increase the risk of
The Alexander Technique teaches us to control
ourselves in motion, and thereby overcome
unwanted habit patterns (e.g. endgaining). The
movements are thus more effortless and more