find another word to describe what we do in our exercises in tennis? I think, that the way of differential learning (DL) is a better way for learners and players to develop technique and tactics in a sport like tennis. Still tennis coaching is dominated by methodical traditionalism and explicit learning.
Wolfgang Schöllhorn, scientist at Johannes-Gutenberg-University at Mainz, after long research about motor learning, has written an nice article about the history of nonlinear pedagogy und the constraints led approach (CLA). And why they are different to DL.
In this blog I use nonlinear pedagogy and CLA very often. They are following systemic theory and implicit learning. Making this real on courts, would be a milestone. But Schöllhorn has researched about motor learning and discovered, that there is a more effectiv way to learn. He called this Differential Learning (DL). In this article from 2019 he describes, why CLA is still dominated by the idea of leading the learner and that the coaches goal is still to bring him to a nonautonomous goal.
I think, Schöllhorn is right. This means in consequence: I have to overthink the terms I use to describe what my players do in trainings. Constraints can be understood as a term for changing courtsize, material, partners, tasks, emotions,…. but not from a pedagogical view and in distinction to CLA.
Die Vorträge beim Bayrischen Tennisverband (BTV) und beim Württembergischen Tennisbund (WTB) über „Neue Wege im Tennistraining – vom Inner Game zum Differenziellen Lernen“ hatten immer etwas Gutes: das Feedback der Teilnehmer*innen, jeweils C/B-Trainer*innen bei der Trainer*innenfortbildung des Verbandes.
Die Reaktionen reichen von ungläubigem Staunen über heftige Kritik bis zu heller Begeisterung und Zustimmung.
Ich habe mich nun entschlossen, den Vortrag in ein Video zu packen, da das Thema aktueller denn je ist und es höchste Zeit ist, dass die wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse zum motorischen Lernen auch bei den Tennistrainer*innen und an der Basis ankommen. Leider lässt sich im Tennistraining noch viel zu häufig der alte „methodische Traditionalismus“ mit einer starken Technikorientierung vor spielerischem und selbstbestimmten Lernen beobachten.
Der Vortrag und die im Schnellverfahren beschriebenen „Neuen Wege“, die manchmal schon ältere, aber nicht wertgeschätzte Trainingsmethoden sind, sollen Kolleg*innen anregen, ausgetretene Pfade zu verlassen und Wege zu gehen, die auch ihnen die Arbeit in einem immer komplexer werdenden Bereich erleichtern können.
Das komplette Video soll bis Ende Januar veröffentlicht werden. Solange empfehle ich Euch diesen Blog und den Inner Coaching Kanal auf youtube.
Following the principles of differential learning and the constraints led approach, we can change the constraints without repeating them the next practice. Regular variation without repetition and the trust in new studies about motor learning gives the coaches and the players more than a handful of various drills. This one is about changing constraints by starting from unusual points in the tennis field. This requires adaptation to all players and opens doors to new solutions of game situations.
Playing the game with rules outside the rules brings players in a situation where they have to solve problems outside the manifested behaviour. We can manipulate court size, rules, time, counting, context of the game and other settings surrounding the game. This improves tactics and skills. In this double drill players have to adapt the direction of the service, the return in a double, the netplay and particularly in the teamwork collusion between server and netplayer.
This is from Nick Jacques Tennis. Nice ideas for a constraints led approach (CLA). This already shows the difference between CLA and differential learning (DL). In the CLA the intention and the plan for the development of the skills is an idea of the coach („avoiding backswing“). In a DL approach the coach also offers different situations (like those in this video). But the solution is in the responsibility of the player, not in the responsibility of the coach!
Both approaches are implicit, but there is an important difference in the attitude to the learning athlet. While the coach in the CLA drill has a goal (backswing), the DL coach knows and intends nothing. The system „player“ is a black box and there is no expectation in the long term development of individual skills. The examples in Nicks CLA are in DL only one possible solution for the motion and will not be repeated.
Thx to Nick for the nice ideas ?. I love his quote: „I have no influence over this as I am still with very little noise from me.“
“ 3 constraint led approach drills that have helped reduce the size of my students take back. Lillian has previously been taught a large loop on her take back which has isolated her upper body from her lower body, making it very hard for her to adapt to the many different balls she would need to cope with in a match situation. Lillian has made great improvements on her coordination, here are a few key exercises that have helped her progress. Note how Lillian is intrinsically motivated as the exercises engages her and draws out the effort, you can see I have no influence over this as I am still with very little noise from me ? „