Self-Organization and Athletic Development


Inspired by biological development, computational development is seen as a potential solution to such problems. This paper reports on a small subset of experimental results summarised from a doctoral thesis. The work addresses the problem of understanding the self-organising mechanisms and principles of development. The application chosen was that of constructing primitive 3D, geometric shapes, which have proved useful in areas such as computer graphics. The long term view, however, is that self-organisation through developmental principles may help us to construct complex systems that exhibit advantageous properties such as self-construction and self-healing.

Sanjeev Kumar Multicellular Development, Self-Organization, andDifferentiation

Self-organization is the topic of choice for me after being hounded by Mr. Glove on the message boards. Every time a complex problem arises, our friend always asks if we are adding too much to the program. Do we need advanced physiotherapies and intricate programs to create world class athletes? Are we over-coaching the athletes in respect to motor learning? Much to think about.

Over the years I looked back at the best workouts I have witnessed and found a common thread, the workout fell into place. The result look simple but the coaching situation was very precise be it simple or complex. Since people are going to request an example, various General Strength exercises are ways to prepare the next phase for activity. My prime lesson I learned is the need for remedial exercises such as simple calf raises and slow tempos in the GPP. If one does a rudimentary jump cycle for eccentric work would we be needing to do as much gait corrections? My friend Matt Delaney and I talk every day about the olympic lifts and postural and structural self organization, in regards to the natural balancing of the body. We are not doing corrective exercises but getting natural corrective work done when the technique is excellent and the program design is beautiful. Would we have to do as much joint mobility, activation, corrective exercises? If the sequence is done right with the right loading, frequency, biochemistry. motor learning, and exercise prescription would it eliminate much of the stuff we see now? Bret Otte and Van Zanic from Geneva College shares how the body learns even at random:

The success of the random design stems from the Elaboration Hypothesis and the spacing of movement: the Forgetting Hypothesis. The Elaboration Hypothesis states that when a learner performs a series of separate skills in a random order, the learner begins to recognize the distinctive nature of each skill. By understanding and feeling how each movement was distinctive, the learner is able to store the movement more effectively within long-term memory.

I guess the take home message is the body is a tropical storm and it’s best to use the wind to sail faster than to be capsized by going against nature. By learning training theory with a perspective of self-organization perhaps we will not have to create as much patch work in our programming? Vern Gambetta has voiced this many times but not too many want to listen. I guess the practice isn’t profitable because coaching doesn’t come in ebooks and DVDs.
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Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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