Understanding the learning process.
are all aware that words are a poor substitute for visual and kinesthetic
learning. Yet most coaches, most of the time whilst coaching,
spend their time speaking. It's a challenge to us all, as good communicators (which most coaches are) really do enjoy talking. John Keller,
a former Florida teaching pro explains this dilema very concisely and explains there are four steps in teaching:
1/. Verbal instructions (words)
2/. The receiver must translate those words into sybols (what the sounds represented mean)
3/. The receiver must then create an image or visualize that verbal message.
4/. Finally, the receiver must figure out a way to "feel" the requested instruction, sometimes physically (kinesthetically) and sometimes emothoinally.
The main point is that we have choices. If the receiver of verbal commands can take a shortcut to step 4/. without going through the other
steps wouldn't that be great. Or if a visual aid is most suitable for a specific part of the instruction (i.e. to increase the height of the net to
make players hit deeper groundstrokes) then the best shortcut is straight to step 3.
Think about this carefully, as it clearly indicates from practical experience that visual and kinesthetic instruction works, and they also
work more dramatically than most of give credit to.
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