The Nervous System and Muscle Control

You are here

The Nervous System and Muscle Control

The brain can control the skeletal muscles.

It sends a message or impulse to the appropriate muscles to contract in a certain way, producing the necessary action.

When performing a movement, other factors become important too.

Returning a badminton shot requires more than repeating a stroke that has been learned. The speed, flight and direction of the shuttle have to be worked out before the return shot can be played. The senses (see sensory organs)send the information to the brain and this information is combined with previously acquired knowledge of how to play the shot.

Information from senses + How shot should be played = Message sent to muscles

The more experience the player has, the more able the player is to interpret the information from the senses.

The Nervous System and Muscle Control

Most sports require athletes to react quickly to situations. This reaction time is dependent on:

  • the senses
  • the speed of the message travelling to the brain
  • the processing time in the brain
  • the speed of the message sent to the muscles

Movement time is the speed and accuracy of the muscle action. The time taken in responding to a situation can be equated:

Response time = Reaction time + Movement time