Why is my balance so good?

Whether it be hockey or lacrosse, I just seem to man-handle people out there. If people take full runs at me I don’t even budge an inch. Do you think this has alot to do with ab work on tempo days or just strength levels in general from lifting weights? I don’t do any specific balance work. What’s up with this?

Wayne Gretzky was known to be “strong on his skates”. Certainly it wasn’t due to physical strength. I imagine that you have the knack of being able to precisely time the impact and shift your weight to compensate.

It could be that you have a naturally good body position in these situations. That comes from be good at the game (being to anticipate what is going to happen).

I guess the question I’m getting at is… What is balance a combination of? I doubt it has much to do with anticipating checks because even when I get blind-sided I’m still able to maintain my balance. I’m quite positive it has a strong correlation to core strength. I’ve played with many players too who have been “strong on their skates” and I can’t seem to pin point one specific trait that makes them better than the rest. Even when you throw big hits on these guys they’re still able to stay up?

I would agree with the core strength correlation. I think all the guys who are “farmer strong”/“wrestler strong”/“dad strong”, have this non-weightroom strength because of core strength. These are the good wrestlers, guys who can pick up a heavy box/heavy girl/TV all by themselves, swing an axe/bat/golf club and do some damage, etc.

I’ve always been farmer strong and I’ve yet to meet more than a few who can bring me to the ground when we wrestle for fun. (even letter winner actual HS wrestlers 20-40 pounds over me, though an all-american pinned me in about 30 seconds lol.). Same thing with playing football or rugby I would always break tackles or drag people with me a few extra yards. When I first started lifting, due to my strong lower back I deadlifted 425 @ 180ish within 3 weeks ( 100+ more pounds than I could squat).

So, core strength seems like a pretty good pre-req for balance to me. I’m guessing you might fit this type of description.

I’m not saying strength doesn’t help but I maintain that it is more about reactions than strength. If a body, a, is hit by another, b, then a must move unless there is some counter action. You have the strength to make such an action, but that strength does no good unless you are quick enough to do it and coordinated enough to make the “right move”. Having good core strength can improve both the inter-and intramuscular coordination required to make these compensating moves.
If someone is super-coordinated but physically weak, like Gretzky on skates, then he can make his limited strength count by being very efficient with it. If someone is strong but uncoordinated he can be very inefficient but still do better than Joe Sixpack. If you have both, like say John Elway, you can break one tackle after another.

I agree. The thing I don’t understand is this… There was a guy on my hockey team who was a beast. He would squat 500 lbs for reps. He was by far the strongest guy out there. And his balance was brutal. He would get killed on some hits. I couldn’t believe it.

Then there was another guy I knew, who never hit the gym in his life and had unbelievable balance. You couldn’t budge the guy on his skates. So maybe the weak guy was really coordinated and the strong guy had no coordination??

Structural Strength - intermuscluar recruitment.
Core Strength
& Periperhal vision

Yes, in this context. There are so many abilities to have (or not) that we can’t assume that if someone has an apparent ly high degreee of coordination in one area, that he will have the knack in another.

An anecdote: The two fastest-learning and most talented jugglers I have seen both claim to have not been good at sports before they got into juggling. I would think that with these guys’ hand speed and hand-eye coordination thay’d be amazing. I can imagine the amazement of Adam’s buds – who saw him as nothing special --at how fast he was able to get really good at juggling.The point is that even if your big-squatting guy had other abilities, balance and keeping his balance may not have been among them.