Is Speed Reading Considered a Sport?
Speed reading is a mind sport that requires specialized skills, techniques, mental strength, and dedication to master. It is an exercise for the brain necessary for improving your intellectual abilities.
The classification of sporting activities has generated a lot of debates from several quarters. Going by the dictionary meaning of the word, a sport is any activity that involves significant physical effort, skill, and competition.
However, some games are considered a sport but do not require much physical exercise. An example is board games. Such games are called mind sports and require more mental strength than physical strength. This also applies to speed reading, which requires mental effort and dexterity. But unlike other mind sports, there is no competition.
Learning a technique that will help you read, process, and absorb a large quantity of content faster than average is a sport. Students and professionals who wish to improve in their field must master this sport.
Keep reading this article to learn more about speed reading as an athletic endeavor, how to become a better speed reader, a list of speed reading techniques, and how long you need to train to become a master reader.
Speed reading as an athletic endeavor
Speed reading is an athletic endeavor that involves significant mental power, coordination, and specialized skills. It requires the dedication and the level of discipline of an athlete to be able to acquire these skills.
Speed reading is a mind sport that increases your brain power and improves the speed you process information. To master the skill, you need to be focused and resilient like an athlete.
Athletics and speed reading are mentally challenging, demanding mental toughness and cognitive abilities to improve. But whereas athletic activities require much physical power, speed reading requires more mental coordination.
However, they both need dedication and a mastery of the skills and techniques to excel.
How to train to become a better speed reader
Training to become a better speed reader involves eliminating all bad reading habits, being dedicated, constantly practicing, improving your vocabulary, employing various speed reading techniques, timing your reading speed, and using an adequate speed reading tool.
Elimination of subvocalization
Subvocalization is one bad reading habit you need to get rid of to get better at reading fast. This refers to the inner monologue you make while reading, which slows down the reading process.
As a child, you must have learned how to read by reading aloud, which helped your reading and comprehension skills. But as an adult, this is a bad reading habit that can slow down your reading speed and hinder your comprehension.
You can minimize subvocalization by using a pointer to guide your eyes while reading, listening to music, disciplining your eyes, and keeping your mouth busy.
To become better at speed reading, you need to be focused and dedicated. Get rid of anything that will distract you during the reading time and make you re-read the text repeatedly.
Lack of focus will make you read one sentence multiple times, slowing your reading speed.
Deliberate and constant practice
Like every other skill, speed reading requires deliberate and constant practice to perfect.
If you wish to become better at it, you must practice daily with different written materials. This will also enhance your vocabulary and speed up your comprehension skills.
Improve your vocabulary
Improving your vocabulary will help enhance your speed reading skills. When you have a rich vocabulary, you no longer have to stop in the middle of your reading to check out the meaning of a word.
And what better way to improve your vocabulary if not by constantly reading?
Checking out the dictionary, playing word games, and using flashcards are equally good ways to build your vocabulary.
Employ speed reading techniques
To become a better speed reader, you can use several specialized speed reading techniques. You will become better at speed reading when you use them daily.
Such techniques include:
This method involves previewing a text by running your eyes all over the pages to take note of the key ideas of the text while leaving out less important details before you settle down to start reading.
You can check out the headings, titles, subtitles, and images in the body of the text to get an idea of what it is about before you start reading. That way, you wouldn’t waste time reading unimportant information in the text.
This speed reading technique involves looking out for specific information in a text by focusing on a particular section of the page.
When you establish the purpose of reading, scanning is a valuable method that you can use to find the information you are looking for.
The pointer method
Also known as the “hand pacing” technique, this method requires using a finger, the index finger especially, to guide your eyes while reading by pointing under the lines of text.
It will help you focus on that particular line of text and stop your eyes from wandering off.
This method involves grouping pieces of information on a page into smaller parts and then reading them simultaneously instead of just reading them in bits and pieces.
Time your reading speed
Timing your reading speed will help you know if you are doing better and if you need more improvement.
Once you start reading, set the alarm to monitor the reading process. Once the alarm goes off, you can stop and check your progress.
If you find out that you did not beat the alarm, there is nothing to worry about. This is the push you need to do better and increase your reading speed.
Use a speed reading tool
Using a speed reading tool such as AccelaReader is another way to improve on this sport.
AccelaReader is a perfect speed reading software that uses Rapid Serial Visual Representation to help you read faster by flashing words in front of your eyes.
It eliminates the problem of rapid eye movement that usually takes place whenever you are reading.
How long do you need to train to become a master reader?
Learning how to become a master reader will take some months or weeks. This can be determined by the level of effort and commitment you are willing to invest in honing this craft.
If you are a fast learner, a high commitment level will make all the difference in determining how long it will take you to perfect your speed reading skill.
Speed reading can take years to learn if you do not put in much effort or are not intentional about meeting your goal.
But if you wish to learn how to speed read in a couple of months or weeks, you need to practice constantly to improve in this sport.
Have you ever seen an athlete who got better at their craft by folding their arms and daydreaming about being a master? Certainly not! They went to work and sharpened their skill.
Therefore, you need to approach speed reading as every other sport. It is a sport that requires constant practice and focus.
Speed reading is a mind sport that requires specialized methods, skills, and focus to get better. If you wish to get better at speed reading, you need the tenacity and resilience of an athlete to improve.
To accomplish this, you need to eliminate subvocalization, be dedicated, constantly practice, improve your vocabulary, employ various speed reading techniques, time your reading speed, and use an adequate speed reading tool.
And if you are looking for an easy way to sharpen your skill, take this comprehensive speed reading course that will guide you on your journey to becoming a master speed reader.