What Does "Fire It Up" Mean?

What Does "Fire It Up" Mean?

In sport, the term “fire it up” is used a lot.  It gives connotations of a stove or a BBQ or something like that.  You know - firing up a stove or a BBQ is going to help you succeed in sport…Not!  Because of the lack of evidence that links the ability to fire up a stove or BBQ is to sports success, we think the term “fire it up” refers to something else.  


There’s lots of research about how sport and physical activity has a positive impact on a child’s brain development and how various movements and activities impact of different parts of the brain.


But how exactly does sport and physical activity help the brain to develop?


Sport and physical activity helps the brain through a term called “neural firing”* – a series of continuous short messages that the brain sends to the body.  Neural firing is necessary for brain functions such as sensory processing, motor control, cognition, and emotion regulation.  


In our classes we give clear and concise instructions to the children to help them execute the various sports skills.  This helps the children with their neural firing to organise their thoughts and translate that into action.  If we use an example of hitting a baseball off the tee – using instructions such as “hands together, watch the ball, step forward and swing” – helps the children to co-ordinate their bodies in the appropriate sequence to hit the ball.  As the children become more proficient, the time taken between each stage becomes quicker, ie there’s more firing happening.


So when children come to Shaws Little League to play sport – not only will they develop skills, make new friends and have fun, they will also be giving their brain a work-out too.


So back to the first paragraph, maybe the term “fire it up” in a sports sense refers to getting our brain into action – a more likely determinant of success.  Save the stove or the BBQ for the after-match.


*Neural firing can also be referred to as “Neural impulses” – but have you ever heard anyone say “impulse it up”?

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