Laser Targeted Coaching

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December 31, 2013
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February 12, 2014

Laser Targeted Coaching

Purposeful, laser targeted instruction creates massive change on performance with minimal stress to the muscle tissue by altering neuromuscular excitation. #Bam #MinimalDoseEffect #JustReadtheBlog!

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Wow!  I love posting a tweet like this where it makes people think you are soooo smart and then you don’t have to back it up with what the hell it means. Then the reader is left thinking, why don’t you make another bold statement with multiple layers that make no sense on their own and then drop the mic and walk off stage?  And be like everyone else on twitter?  Not this time!

Note: If you don’t like long-winded writings from a man who is putting his thoughts on paper with no references to back it up then stop reading and watch one of my 2 minute Facebook rants that have no substance, have a chuckle and move on. For those of you who are still with me, here is the experience that created this statement.

I am on the way home from another National Team camp where we are trying to squeeze the last 5% of performance out of our amazingly talented and driven athletes. I was planning on writing a post summarizing some of the light bulb moments and learning experiences I had with our athletes. In the process of summarizing the weekend, my opening statement popped in my head.

I am working with an athlete on some very specific motor learning drills that the coaching staff and IST team agreed upon and determined to be critical elements to optimizing this player’s success. The session starts and the athlete is expecting a kick ass workout because they have been groomed with the concept that great trainers can make you work so hard you won’t be able to breathe or think straight. Now what kind of learning environment would this create? Would it create an environment that would foster positive changes in performance? What if instead I give them a fantastic warm up with exercises that will stimulate their nervous system and energize them so they are attentive and open to learning? The kick ass approach creates an athlete stuck in victim mode where they try to protect themselves and save energy out of fear for what could come next. I hate to see an athlete in this victim role. Instead, we choose the stimulating lower stress approach and once I felt the athlete is mentally and physically ready for the motor learning drills we start the exercise. Here is how it went down:

  1. First 4 reps I allow her to fail. #NaturalMovement
  2. Then I give some verbal cues while I physically imitate the error by grossly over exaggerating the way she performs the movement then quickly demonstrate what I was looking for with perfect form. #Modeling
  3. Go! She tries 4 more reps and performs better but was still firing the wrong muscles. #BodyAwareness
  4. I jump in with some tactile cues and perturbations. #Laser
  5. Bam! She’s got it! So we continue for another few reps and then stop. #Learning
  6. Move to another exercise with a completely different pattern. This pattern is a brain dead movement that she could do in her sleep. #Change
  7. Pop back to the focus drill we just worked on while providing her with the verbal cues reminding her what gave her success the last few reps of the last try. #Revisit
  8. Yes! She’s got it! Let her do a few quality reps and then stop. She then asks me “ how many reps do you want” I said to her “None. you got it!” #MinimalDose
  9. 5 exercises and 8 minutes later we revisit it again. Still got it so I challenge her to perform the skill while I distracted her. I wanted to see if she could do it without focusing on the muscles firing but instead just acted as an athlete and moved without conscious effort. She did great! Share the film with her coach and ask him” Is this what you are looking for?” Yes! #Distraction
  10. I revisit the drill again the next day to see if it sticks. She mentions that she could feel the focus area or felt the same feeling in her swing now and loved the feeling of proper loading. Smile on my face was almost as big as hers. #High5!
  11. Lastly I will include the cues that she created in her own words into her At- Home program so she can revisit the exercise over the coming month. #Mastery

 

Could we have accomplished this if she was puking in a bucket? I think not! Did we have purposeful laser targeted coaching with minimal stress to the body while maximizing her performance? Minimal dose with maximum effect! I guess we got lucky eh?

The only way you have these amazing learning experiences, and I mean that from the standpoint of ME learning from the player here, is if YOU have laser focus, deliver with passion and celebrate with excitement when they get it to create stickiness and deep learning. You can’t do this for everyone, every hour or you and your students would be exhausted wrecks. But when you have that light-bulb moment and both you and your student are engaged and 100% present….. it is amazing and reminds us why we do what we do!

 

Coach Glass

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