Implicit or explicit learning

Mark O’Sullivan, talking about non-linear pedagogy in coaches conferences in soccer in Sweden and practicing in his swedish club, was confrontated with an academy club presentation presenting its methodology as deliberate practice and explicit instructions using a research from Canada in mathematics (class room) on the short coming of discovery learning as scientific proof to why guided discovery should not be used in football training.

Marks question was: should research that has been done in one learning domain like the classroom be used as proof to explain learning in another domain such as football training (dynamic environment)? There was a very interesting discussion about this.

There is no doubt, that there are a lot of studies about the advantages of implicit learning in sport. Implicit or explicit learning weiterlesen

Differential learning enhances skills

from Ian Renshaw, Keith Davids et al: Motor Learning in Practice – A constraints-led approach. New York 2010, p. 79

Prof Wolfgang Schoellhorn has published about new methods in motor learning in sports research. His studies about differential learning form one of the most important fundamentals in our learning and coaching approach.

We transform this theory in games and drills for tennis. In the book „Motor learning in practice – a constraints led approach“ published by Jan Renshaw, Keith Davids and others, Schoellhorn describes in the article „Stochastic perturbations in athletics field events enhance skill acquisation“ of 2010 why differential  learning improves processes in comparison to traditional methods  significantly.

But read here: Stochastic perturbations in athletic field events

Experience meets theory

The „external focus“ is essential in a modern and evidence-based skill learning. There are many posts in this blog about this subject.

This morning I was sitting at the breakfast in a hotel in Leipzig.  I listened to the instructions of a mother to her perhaps eight years old son. He carried an up to the edge filled glass of orange juice from the breakfast bar to his seat. Trying not to spill the juice, he went always more slowly.

His mothers advice was: „Watch the glass“. What happened was, that hand and glass were wobbling more and more. This was something I remembered from a short phase of working in a restaurant (a long time ago 😉 )and bringing full trays to the guests.

Focused on my body, on my hand, my arms and the full tray (internal focus) I made it wobble more and more. What I learned from this was, that it is better to choose an „external focus“ like the next table or a picture at the wall. This worked not always, but significantly more often.

Years later, in my research for coaching sports skills, and after reading Gabriele Wulfs studies about the external focus I understood.

So experience meets theory and theory meets practice.

„Children’s learning of tennis skills is facilitated by external focus instructions“

Fun Integration Theory

A study about the importance of the fun factor in youth soccer found several „fun“-ideas that young players, parents and coaches found important. The authors describe FUN MAPS that provide pictorial evidence-based blueprints for the fun integration theory (FIT), which is a multi-theoretical, multidimensional, and stakeholder derived framework that can be used to maximize fun for children and adolescents in order to promote and sustain an active and healthy lifestyle through sport.

Here the ranking for fun factors in positive coaching:

Children cite ‘fun’ as the primary reason for participation in organized sport and its absence as the number one reason for youth sport attrition. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a theoretical framework of fun using a novel mixed-method assessment of participants in sport (FUN MAPS) via concept mapping.

The Fun Integration Theory

Observers view

Perhaps you are wondering what the key difference is between a non-linear understanding of learning and a traditional „if-then“ teaching.

The questions from (insecure) participants in my lectures and practical demonstrations often went in the direction: „How do I  mediate/teach the right technique, if I only work implicitly as coach?“.

These questions made it clear that a non-linear and implicit understanding of teaching and learning is a completely different point of view for the coach (see chart). In contrast to the traditional methodology, in which the view of the coach is directed towards the development of the „right technique“, the coach in a non-linear setting trusts in the ability of the biological system „human being“ to self-directed development of situation-adapted (technical) solutions.

So this is a radical paradigm shift! Observers view weiterlesen

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