Wolfgang Schöllhorn has answered to an article in TennisSport 2015, a journal for tennis coaches in Germany. Alexander Ferrauti had criticized the differential learning as an aberration.
Here is Wolfgang Schöllhorns beautiful reply (thanks to WS for the translation):
„It is always a surprise as to what people are capable of when they are overwhelmed by their own emotions. When it comes to the question of deep-seated (training) habits, including when one’s own painful (training) experiences are recognized as such, and when one realizes that lots of things could have been done differently. When one realizes that he could have possibly achieved the orignially dreamed success then often strange outgrowths under the guise of supposed science appear. One fights the new, in order not to change one’s own, life long developed view of world. One becomes polemic, starts to discredit, one blindly takes over defamation that is trying to isolate. One is doing everything in order not to face the pain that would be accompanied by one’s own changes. The evil always comes from outside.
Therefore, let us continue to avoid the pain. Let us return to the era of the master’s teachings, let us accuse others for lack of scientific basis without proofing one’s own evaluating procedures. Let us represent theories that have been imposed on us authoritarian. Let us again establish despotic teaching systems in reference to Kant and finally bury the enlightenment. „Sapere aude!“ is outdated and only applied to our ancestors. Let us continue to teach rumors – they spread faster and last longer. Let us remember that the questioning of apparent authority was once based on science and democracy. Let us continue the athlete regarded as addicts, we can fill with our limited knowledge at will. Let us continue to use those entrusted to realize the success that we did not achieve by ourself. An authority need not exhibit authoritarian behavior. Ultimately, we know how to produce Olympic champions, we are rarely lucky enough to get the right athletes for it. Because the others are indeed to blame for our failure.
With regard to the remarks on differential learning in the article by Ferrauti / Maier / Weber (2015) in the journal „tennissport“ it would be interesting to know at what point in the literature on differential learning „concrete assistance or comment“ was prohibited. Or, was the authors‘ logic dominated by „if I’m not hungry, this also means that I do not like the offered food“? The statements that it is for the coach to ensure optimum noise in the learning process (Schöllhorn, et al. 2009) and instructions or feedback information can be considered as a way to optimize the noise (Schöllhorn 2003) were indeed published only in a strictly confidential literature. As part of an extensive literature review it happens sometimes too, that the immediate reactions of Willimczik (2012) and Schmidt (2012) on the defamation of Künzell and Hossner (2012) is missed. Even more difficult seems the access to other continuing literatures on the DL. Analogously, for sure the unmasking of the polemic article of Künzell and Hossner (2012) by Schöllhorn, Hegen and Eekhoff (2014) and Schöllhorn, Eekhoff and Hegen (2015) refer only to top-secret documents.
With respect to the accompanying statements in the article by Ferrauti / Maier / Weber (2015) it would be of increasing interest, which scientific proof the following models have passed: The proposed and favored phase models of coarse, fine and finest form (Meinel 1960) or the consolidation, perfecting, variable availability (Letzelter 1978). Except that they always were disseminated only by masterful authorities and only copied afterwards and no scientific evidence is provided yet. It would be interesting to come to know which experiments were conducted for proofing the model of the technology acquisition (stabilization), technology variation (situation individuation), technology adaptation (opponents, competition situation) and technology shield (interference – psychological pressure) (Lehnertz1989). What was the study design for experimental testing of the model of stability, variability and situativity? The same applies to the model of coordination and request controller (Neumaier 1999). Perhaps all models have been inspiring prototypes that have been designed at the desk, in the end, to its best, they were normative prescriptions on a pre-scientific level. The subsequent monitoring of the application of these models in clubs and schools rather suggests on the desire for power of the training system as to their inherent effectiveness (see. Feyerabend 1980).
Criticism is advocated and is fertile for the development of an objective as long as it is well-founded, constructive and objective. However, based on superficial knowledge and prejudices, it is an end in itself and no longer has anything in common with the objective. Therefore, let us continue to emerge from self-inncurred immaturity.“