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Teaching athletics vs physio

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Just a thought:

Physiotherapists have long developed routines for post surgery patients that follow these three steps:

1) Stability
2) Flexibility
3) Strength

Stability refers to the joint recovering enough so that it can be moved without too much pain. Say a knee that can begin to support weight, and does not swell up too much when used. The supporting musculature must once again start to do it's job and hold the knee together. Having done that, the range of motion then is increased.

Flexibility simply refers to that increase in the range of motion -- get enough motion while remaining stable. This is done under light load -- as the patient manages that range of movement, the load is increased in small increments -- strengthening begins.

Strength is just that. Starting with small forces, and working to the large. Coordination of the prime movers once the stabilizing musculature has proven it is capable of handling the load. Again, small increments, since the muscles are still weak and not coordinating well.

If you look at a beginning skier as a patient that has to learn how to move EVERY joint effectively, you'd do the same thing.

Stability: Is giving the student a sense of control. Balance is the key element. Stopping/turning slowly -- "slow" is determined by how much speed the patient can handle while remaining stable.

Flexibility: Begin to push the limits of their movements. Fore and aft, vertical, lateral -- have them explore and understand what movements are part of this new sport -- all the while remaining "stable" ie. in balance.

Strength: Finally cranking it up a bit to create and react to stronger forces, all the while building on those same moves they discovered in the flexibility stage. Coordinating the actions so that the body remains stable and manages the increased forces more effectively. Slow graduation to skiing blues.

In fact, each new skill that we acquire goes through a very similar process: We are first exposed to the skill/movement. We can do it, but with a small range of motion. (eg. low edge angles). As we learn more about that skill, and explore the corresponding ranges of movement, we can begin to "crank it up a bit". For example, we might get the edges to engage earlier using more lateral movement, then at higher angles and obviously, higher speeds and loads.

It looks to me that teaching athletics and physical therapy share similar roots!
post #2 of 22
LOL! You just created a synopsis of one of the earlier chapters of my book! In terms fo flexibility, we are always trying to balance flexibility with stability. Some sports med experts call it "mostability" which is flexibility in motion.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
That's too funny. Do you have a working title you'd like to share?
post #4 of 22
I was really hoping you would not ask! There is a discussion on this in the lounge. Despite my protestations that the book title will be a turn off to the entire male population and any femalewho is not an airhead, the book is part of a series about the benefits of taking up a hobby as an adult. The publisher wants the series to be titled "open your heart...." The working title is still up for discussion. I am trying to come up with something powerful enough to neutralize the flakey New Age focus.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
An "Open your heart" series? Yiikes, that's really sad. Tell your publisher that'll go straight to the buck a discontinued book reseller -- regardless of the content. Can't see many of those being sold that don't have the obligatory black markings on each page. Someone with huge cash must be bankrolling this "brainstorm".

I'd make a hasty exit.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE

In fact, each new skill that we acquire goes through a very similar process: We are first exposed to the skill/movement. We can do it, but with a small range of motion. (eg. low edge angles). As we learn more about that skill, and explore the corresponding ranges of movement, we can begin to "crank it up a bit". For example, we might get the edges to engage earlier using more lateral movement, then at higher angles and obviously, higher speeds and loads.

It looks to me that teaching athletics and physical therapy share similar roots!

as there are different approaches as well as in therapies and skiteaching one could see the bullet points also from a different point of view:
  • range of motion
  • strength
  • coordination
  • sensation
wich means to reduce poor balance, unnecessary effort, and lack of self-awareness
the key in this way lies to build up self awareness first -
as you learn to move with greater awareness and fluidity, your body will naturally align and balance itself in gravity. skiing skills emerge as a byproduct of fluid aware movement

most of the skiing doctrines proceed on the assumption that skiing is more a question of limbal movement than of a "whole body agility". so the guidance often follows to imagine a movement of arms and legs first, wich otherwise could be seen as the result of a spinal movement. e.g. if i would like to help a client to reduce stiffness and bend his knees more i would not tell him "bend your knees" i would suggest exercises to move his torso vertikal downwards to find out more about the range of movement. not before this bending motion is understood as an interactivity with gravity, i can suggest exercises to bend ankles and knees - otherwise the subtle koordination wich is required for economic motion in all skiing levels can hard be found.

what i want to say - in many therapies and most of the skiteaching methods economy of movement disappears behind strength, self awareness behind visual instructions.
post #7 of 22
Good movement patterns in skiing require discipline of body parts. I had a young student (5) on a novice slope who wanted to walk instead of slide while skiing. Interesting enough, another instructor with a student of the same age was encouraging more independent leg action to in improve agility and balance. What works for one person is another person's poison.

RW
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
Good movement patterns in skiing require discipline of body parts.
well ron, I found out that the majority of people learning or improving to ski, in a first step have to be taught less the special movements as a matter of discipline of body parts, but more to reform their patterns of motions. we all have those habitual movement patterns arising from our experience. the freedom of movement we know from very small children is often early disrupted by parents unbounded ambition, injury, trauma etc.. even if these events subsided, the movement patterns remain. students should learn to recognize habitual movement patterns. with this understanding, they can initiate changes that will produce ease of movement.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
in many therapies and most of the skiteaching methods economy of movement disappears behind strength, self awareness behind visual instructions.
skifex, I think you just hit on a very important insight. (Where's the blown away icon?)

"Economy of movement disappears behind strength, self-awareness (disappears) behind visual instructions." This ties in perfectly with a puzzle a teacher recently presented to me: If nothing important can be learned by copying another, why do we ski instructors place so much emphasis on demonstration?

Thanks for turning on the lightbulb.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
skifex, I think you just hit on a very important insight. (Where's the blown away icon?)

"Economy of movement disappears behind strength, self-awareness (disappears) behind visual instructions." This ties in perfectly with a puzzle a teacher recently presented to me: If nothing important can be learned by copying another, why do we ski instructors place so much emphasis on demonstration?

Thanks for turning on the lightbulb.
Skiflex, I'm with Nolo. You have eloquently made a very important point. Of the two issues I think the self-awareness is the one most often lost in the shuffle.
post #11 of 22
skiflex,

Quote:
well ron, I found out that the majority of people learning or improving to ski, in a first step have to be taught less the special movements as a matter of discipline of body parts, but more to reform their patterns of motions.
I don't disagree, but maybe we are talking semantics. Less is almost always more in skiing. Disciplined upper body, arms, hands and feet are more efficient than the opposite end of the spectrum which is rotating, flailing and inefficient lower body movements. For me, it takes concentration to change something in my skiing, and discipline, both physical and mental are the tool I use to accomplish it.

RW
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
If nothing important can be learned by copying another, why do we ski instructors place so much emphasis on demonstration?
maybe some of us are mixing the slope with a vanity fair ...:
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
Thanks for turning on the lightbulb.
continuing in this way one can enable an experience intensive base for self-determined development of motion ...
post #13 of 22
ron, please could you express me (austrian english dumbo) a bit more detailed what you mean by
Quote:
Disciplined upper body, arms, hands and feet
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifex
continuing in this way one can enable an experience intensive base for self-determined development of motion ...
Yes! There can be no independent movement without awareness. There can be copying, but to copy is not indepedence!
post #15 of 22
skifex, welcome to epicski. I look forward to reading more of your very interesting thoughts in the time to come.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but the idea that demonstrations serve little purpose in actual learning (vs. the appearance of learning, which is short-lived) and are mainly self-indulgent is kind of radical. It calls into question the generally accepted assumption that contemporary humans have adapted to be more attuned to visual cues than any other learning modality (through TV), and predominantly learn by watching (vs. thinking, feeling, or doing).

I suspect that students gain more from watching their teacher free ski in an inspirational and exciting way than from watching him or her perform perfect demonstrations in eloquent detail. Good teaching is about optimizing the student's performance; even if the teacher's demonstrations are to die for, there's no such thing as osmosis in learning, as anyone who has slept on their textbook the night before a final exam can tell you.

What I am saying is that I think instructors should be great skiers, not because great skiing can be copied but because great skiing can inspire people and ignite the fire within, to use an overworked but accurate phrase, to ski as well, as beautifully, as smoothly, etc. Not to replicate the exact performance (cloning) but the expert quality of them.
post #16 of 22
skiflex,

Quote:
ron, please could you express me (austrian english dumbo) a bit more detailed what you mean by Quote:
Disciplined upper body, arms, hands and feet
A solid and stable core, shoulders not rotating unnecessarily, arms and hands are quiet and not being overused to compensate for unbalanced skiing, and precise edging, pressure control movements and appropriate rotary movements of the feet and legs.

By disciplined, I mean determined, deliberate, meaningful, efficient, accurate and precise and not haphazard, sloppy, and fleeting. I hope this makes sense to you.

RW
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo
I don't want to hijack this thread, but the idea that demonstrations serve little purpose in actual learning (vs. the appearance of learning, which is short-lived) and are mainly self-indulgent is kind of radical. It calls into question the generally accepted assumption that contemporary humans have adapted to be more attuned to visual cues than any other learning modality (through TV), and predominantly learn by watching (vs. thinking, feeling, or doing).
i think it comes to an interesting point – although learning modalities have changed a lot towards visual cues in the past 50 years one should not ignore that in human evolution the erected position and walk, plays one role for the visual sense with the use of tools, but the first sense which is evolved by all mammals is the one for rhythm and tactile feelings. (e.g. embryos respond immediately to changes of mothers heartbeat). so one could assume, that basic movements are better learned on primary senses, fine skills are more related to visual learning. i found out that for example learning with down syndrome kids is much more effective over rhythm and touch than over visual sense.

Quote:
I suspect that students gain more from watching their teacher free ski in an inspirational and exciting way than from watching him or her perform perfect demonstrations in eloquent detail. Good teaching is about optimizing the student's performance; even if the teacher's demonstrations are to die for, there's no such thing as osmosis in learning, as anyone who has slept on their textbook the night before a final exam can tell you.

What I am saying is that I think instructors should be great skiers, not because great skiing can be copied but because great skiing can inspire people and ignite the fire within, to use an overworked but accurate phrase, to ski as well, as beautifully, as smoothly, etc. Not to replicate the exact performance (cloning) but the expert quality of them.
great skiing can inspire people and ignite the fire within i fully agree with you, although there still is a persistent opinion which says that a coach doesn’t have to be a good skier – i don’t think so, because to understand and more to explain the background of motion i think it’s necessary to be able to do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
A solid and stable core, shoulders not rotating unnecessarily, arms and hands are quiet and not being overused to compensate for unbalanced skiing, and precise edging, pressure control movements and appropriate rotary movements of the feet and legs.

By disciplined, I mean determined, deliberate, meaningful, efficient, accurate and precise and not haphazard, sloppy, and fleeting. I hope this makes sense to you.
thank you ron – i see ... this is the approach which conveys the impression that skis have to be controlled. almost every ski educational training for instructors is/was based on this approach. as i passed my Austrian diploma exam in the early eighties it was very fundamental.

i found out that the playful (more relaxed) access to skiing could be very effective too, especially with the new qualities of skitechnologie.
post #18 of 22
skiflex,

Quote:
i found out that the playful (more relaxed) access to skiing could be very effective too, especially with the new qualities of skitechnologie.
I totally agree, I encourage my students to "play" while skiing. Many adults have forgotten how to play, so part of my instruction is showing them how I play on skis. It allows them to use their skis and apply technique in a different way than they usually do. The benefits to them are "priceless".

RW
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White
I encourage my students to "play" while skiing. Many adults have forgotten how to play, so part of my instruction is showing them how I play on skis. It allows them to use their skis and apply technique in a different way than they usually do. The benefits to them are "priceless".
imo the most important thing for learning is differentiation. therefore a [limit boarder? : experience] is necessary. if the limits are far out it’s very hard to differ. e.g. if you carry a "rucksack" with 20kg you don’t feel if your one litre water bottle is in it, but if someone smuggles one kilo in your slim handbag you can exactly feel the weight difference.

for skiing that could be interpreted in this way: if you put too much force (muscle tension) into a stable position you won’t feel the nuances and effects of the fine motor functions, which define the quality of motion.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifex
[limit boarder? : experience] .
boundary?
post #21 of 22
skiflex

Quote:
for skiing that could be interpreted in this way: if you put too much force (muscle tension) into a stable position you won’t feel the nuances and effects of the fine motor functions, which define the quality of motion.
Agree.

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by skifex
[limit boarder? : experience] .


boundary?
I think so, disski.

RW
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
boundary
thx for the language course the german expression is "Grenzerfahrung"
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