How Much Can Athletes Teach Themselves
This is also how the USA teams became the best beach teams in the world for decades – no coaching, just playing and mentoring.
It is not my intent to get rid of coaches. It is my intent to help us all understand that by controlling things, drilling them, telling them what to do (extrinsic learning is the worst retained), using spike machines or blocking paddles and the whole gamut of non-reality based “training devices” we are simply slowing down the players learning. We are, in the words of a great motor learning scientist, the late Dr. Richard Schmidt, “Practicing for practice and not for performance.”
Our role is to put up the net, get out the balls and provided a SAFE environment wherein to learn; physically and emotionally. Coaches who scream and yell at players are failing to teach. For the most part they are about themselves and not about the player’s development. Coaches who physically punish for failure or loss are doing the same; not providing the optimum learning environment to promote synaptogenesis, and seek more angiogenesis. These last two long words are a test to see if you listened to Dr Bain’s webinar by now, as you would know the importance of the differences between the two. The learning comes when coaches and parents step back, and only when needed, guide the discovery of what they know, while letting the learner discover “the answers” on their own or with their peers. If a player can show you, without a ball, the key parts of each technique in your sport, then they KNOW the technique. Doing it at the right place and time, THAT comes from the reality of each sport, and in general is as random as all get out. We are here to guide the process, and make it as effective as we can through how we teach. For entire article, view