Catching any type of object in my hand is challenging. Especially in my left hand, which seems more impacted by CP. One of the goals of Bernard has been to work on hand dexterity. Working on not only the left, but right hand as well. It has also been important to work with each hand individually. The way we have accomplished this is by bouncing the ball with each hand on its own. In the very beginning of our workout sessions the single-handed work was introduced. The bouncing and catching was with the lacrosse ball being used. With the left hand, tossing the ball onto the ground, then catching it as it bouncing back. Usually allowing the ball to reach it peak as it traveled skyward off the floor. I would catch it underhanded as it fell back downward. The lacrosse ball has a good amount of weight for its size. Making it less challenging to catch from other types of objects. The weight and firmness causing an ease in concern around finger dexterity. A lacrosse ball doesn’t require a softness in my fingers to provide security. The way it is designed, simply grabbing onto the ball with any type of force is okay. I can give it a death grip if need be and the weight of the ball makes it less likely to pop out of my grasp.
The lacrosse ball has been excellent at helping with left hand dexterity. The exercise has come and gone from our routine over the past couple years. But, the impact on helping improve my hand movement is undeniable. Helping the fingers wrap around the ball as it hits my palm is one thing. There has been another aspect of the hand bouncing the ball that helps. The action in the wrist shows improvement from this movement. Bringing the concept of targeting into the equation of ball bouncing. When I toss any ball onto the floor, the contact point is important. For the reasons of predicting where the lacrosse ball will bounce back up. Providing me an idea of hand placement in order to make the catch. Much of my ability to bounce the ball onto a predictable place on the floor, seems to be dependent on the wrist. Whether I can control my ability to bend and release the wrist with the correct velocity. Causing the ball to bounce back up at the comfortable height for me to catch. While, getting the toss to contact the intended area on the floor. Making the entire exercise into a success.
The mind is cluttered with all of the things that need to go correctly. Everything needing to occur is impacted by my disability. The slower motion in my hands, wrists, and fingers. They all play a role in bouncing and catching the ball successfully. The most challenging part of this exercise is the catch. Making it the aspect taking up the majority of my thought from the beginning. The anticipation of how the ball will bounce off the floor. Where I might be required to move the hand for a reception. The lacrosse ball having good weight helps the bounce as well. The sturdiness allows the ball to bounce pretty consistently. Making the lacrosse ball a good ball to begin this movement using. Over the years of working this exercise, comfort has been found. It began as uncomfortable, but the repetitions have led to familiarity. Causing me to feel much more confident when being handed the ball today. I just go to work with it, understanding how much better my coordination has become. There was so much nervousness when I began trying this process. The lacrosse ball would be fumbled on a consistent basis.
Beginning this exercise with the lacrosse ball was excellent. It helped me learn with a ball of good weight. When it would be fumbled and bounce away, the ball would do no harm to anything. Though many times I could be found running down the lacrosse ball in the gym. As my fingers, might not collapse around the ball accurately. The ball would bounce away, along the hard surface of the gym floor. The consequence for missing the catch was having to scurry down the gym floor in its pursuit. So, I was challenged with keeping my concentration on really receiving the bounce. Scurrying down the floor after a miss, caused a slight feeling of embarrassment. Again, making me focus more intently. As time passed, the catches began happening much more consistently. Signaling to Bernard the readiness for a new challenge. It took some time before a new idea came along. But, the single-handed lacrosse ball bouncing helped tremendously. Providing me with better understanding over how to manipulate my hands. Catching any kind of ball using just my left hand didn’t seem possible. Bernard had different ideas and we got the left hand working on its own.