Teaching/Learning Skills – Creating Robots or Artists?

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Specific sport skills are a combination of patterns of complex motor programs. They are patterns that can be reproduced when we tap into the wisdom of the body. Though experiencing a variety of different patterns of movement we learn to let things happen. We learn to let the motor program run. We cue an action that results in a “chain reaction” of efficient movement. The question quickly arises: Should we try to teach every movement and then coach it? Or should we allow the athlete the joy of discovery through exploration. There seems to be a worry about them getting it wrong! My answer to that is: What is wrong? There must be a spontaneity and anticipation in movement, not a robotic-programmed approach. It has been my experience working with athletes at all levels in a wide variety of sports that athletes will find their own best way of doing something if they are put in a position where they have to adapt. They are very adaptable. Every athlete has a movement signature which is unique to their body type, mindset etc. We need to encourage an extemporaneous approach much like a great jazz musician improvises. At the younger ages we need to emphasize a free play approach that results in fluidity and improvisation in movement skills as a basis for specific sport skills.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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