Motor Learning

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A few people asked me what are the best motor learning books and rattled off some popular and hot reads. When I responded with a bit lip they were disappointed that they were not unlocking the secrets to skill acquisition to the brain and wanted magic cues. I shared the simple fact, that practitioners are the most important people as research is different than reality. I do believe in teaching science if you will, but very little can be taken from the texts besides a few key concepts. Let’s be honest here, it feels good to have athletes get better and be freaks. If not one doesn’t have pride. Unfortunately if we have so many motor learning experts with magic words why do athletes still look like they are reverse curling cleans, look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo running and stopping?

Like any part of coaching and sport science, we need evidence of application. The science is fine. The difference is long term development and technique day to day with mixed goals. Right now I am reading Jacques Piasenta and looking at what his intentions were. While I think his text has limits, at the end of the day application is where rubber hits the road and one must get results. I think it’s more than just teaching or explaining or even communicating. We forget that sometimes a coach is a role model and influence that is not scaleable in private facilities or replicated in a research study. We can educate all we want but the truth of the matter it’s beyond getting people to get from point A to point A. I wish it was that easy that cues, internal or external, was that easy, but elite sport or even grade level development is about trust, something that can be read by anyone over time.

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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