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Watch and Learn

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
This is a bit of a split off from the Tin Man thread (that's gotten a bit complicated). (BTW if you read through the 1st couple paragraphs you'll see that it relates to skiing).

I was traveling this past weekend and the tennis club where my son and I went to hit was one of the sites for a large tournament with an open division (above 6.0 for those who know about USTA rankings). We got to watch some 35 and over open level players and some open singles.

When we went to work out afterward I found myself climb out of a small slump I'd been in for a couple of weeks and really hitting the ball well, my son likewise. I didn't think about it beforehand but I came to the realization that watching the high level tennis had helped noticeably tune my game. I have experienced this before after watching live tennis of an appropriate level. The result are strokes that are much smoother and "professional" as well as improved "quality of ball contact." These results carried over to all three days of the weekend (and hopefully will continue now that I'm back).

I have had very similar experiences in skiing, especially following better skiers than myself.

I know that at last year's NCAA Tennis Coaches conference there was a presentation which likened x hours of watching with y hours of practice (which I heard about second hand). I don't remember the exact ratio but it was something like 1 hour of watching equalling 6-8 hours of practice. In my most recent experience I would say the jump was greater than any amount of practice I could imagine in the near future.

The same can be said for my "watch and learn" ski experiences. However, in both cases the "effect" tends to gradually fade or be lost over a few days time.

Now, if someone could just give me the virtual reality system that would allow me to maintain these gains... Seems to me that if we could better understand what's going on with this type of learning (assimilation) process we might be able to really develop some tools along these lines to supplement more traditional teaching methods.
post #2 of 9
I have one word for you, Si.

post #3 of 9
Yep Si - that was what I was (going to) get to in the other thread.

I don't learn a lot of stuff visually - due to the nature of my disability. However even with the stuff I do learn that way - it takes a LONG time to remember it so my body does it pretty much at a lower level of conciousness. The stuff I learn by feel seems to be learnt a LOT faster at that level (where I can just reproduce the movement when desired)

I may be a bit more aware of this - because I rely so heavily on learnt movement patterns - I have little else to use. (One of my instructors laughs - it takes so long to teach me something - but once I learn it I will reproducce the same movement - almost robotically so. He says he can't get instructors to do that easily - they are generally 'naturals' & are used to responding to stimuli)

On the other hand - maybe my disabilty gives me poorer visual learning?

[ May 27, 2002, 09:57 PM: Message edited by: disski ]
post #4 of 9
Back in the Dark Ages, before I started teaching fitness, my learing style was predominantly physical. But when I began teaching, one of the marks of professionalism is to be able to gear your teaching style to all types of learners.

{SIDEBAR: I do not completly buy into the NLP idea that we are all one specific type of learner, either visual, auditory or physical}

What I have found, is that in learning to teach fitness using multi sensory cues, my own learning style is multi sensory. Miles' video was accompanied by some music that I loved. If I were to watch that right before skiing, I bet it would have a profound effect on my skills.

BTW, Disski, just a personal, not a scientific opinion, but I have found that some people learn fast but miss many details. Slow learners often learn slow but well. The again, being a record breaking slow learner, my view point is somewhat prejiduced! [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by nolo:
I have one word for you, Si.

Thanks Nolo, your a bud. I really appreciate your helping me get started on my second career. Imagine, I've got the perfect name - just no product!
post #6 of 9
Not too sure about slow learners - for non-physical stuff I learn very fast & (until I got old & drank too much) had great memory!

I can say though - that even my rollerblade instructor comments that from a technical viewpoint I am 'strong' - good technical skills - because I have WORKED hard at learning them.
Skiing is the same - going for a wander on my own was never an option for quite a long time - so I don't really have bad habits so much - as stuff I have not yet learnt.

I think you inherently value something you work hard for a little more than something that is easy. I find many people will readily blame 'snow conditions - too icy' or 'equipment' for their lack of perseverance. When you learn slowly (thus need to persevere) you place a lot of 'value' in doing so well.
post #7 of 9

This explains why watching skilled performance can improve your performance.


This explains how the brain hierarchy works to produce movements.

post #8 of 9
Sybervision is a product from the '80s that used "neuromuscular programming" after NLP. It enjoyed flash in the pan success and now has faded into obscurity.

I have both Skiing tapes: the original Sybervision and Black Diamond Skiing. If you like, I'll lend them to you so you can decide if the concept is worth updating.
post #9 of 9
This is making me resolve to remember to do a bit of 'show off' skiing when teaching.
I'm not visual at all (well maybe a little bit), although I find myself skiing like the people i'm skiing with...when out for a potter with the ladies, it's a bit slower and less precise (prolly cos we're busy gossiping), with the gung=ho big boys it's all power and precision, and with a mixed group, tends to be a bit sloppy.

It's easy to forget or discount the learning styles one doesn't favour, this is going to remind me to not do that!
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