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Old 11-08-2005, 05:45 PM
ryancostill ryancostill is offline
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Default Scientific Discussion of the Week--The art of coaching: feedback, modelling and skill failure

I’ve been PMing Venom over the last couple of weeks to garner some insight into the area of motor learning and specifically the mechanisms through which motor learning optimal occurs. Over the course of this correspondence he was sent me some fascinating information and I thought it might be worth posting here for other members’ benefit. Feel free to add to the discussion!!

Let me set the scene. I have just begun coaching weightlifting(snatch and clean and jerk) to novices. These are individuals who have no weightlifting experience at all. A number of things I have been concerned with are the issues of feedback, demonstration and failing lifts. For example, how much feedback should the learners be given and can there be such thing as too much feedback/instruction/coaching.

Secondly, I am an ok weightlifter but have some problems with my own technique. Will demonstrating with my (imperfect) technique be of detriment to the learners?

Finally, is it beneficial or detrimental for a weightlifter to fail lifts? For example should we always keep the novice weightlifter lifting weight which we know he or she will be able to successfully lift or should we allow them to increase the weight to a point where they “fail” the lift?

Obviously I am compiling this information with the sport of weightlifting in mind and applying it to that sport. However, the information here is generally applicable to all sports/skills.

Below is edited information he has sent me along with some of my own thoughts and comments as well as other online and text sources I have come across.

All feedback and discussion would be warmly welcomed. How would you apply this information to body building or other sports?? Do you have any personal experiences relating to this discussion?
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