Saturday, October 22, 2011

Josh Foer Talks about the Art of Practice

Basketball junkie, Sefu Bernard, sent me a great video from Josh Foer, the author of Moonwalking with Einstein.  Foer is a journalist who took up the art of memory and ended up becoming the national champion.  In this video, Josh talks about how experts practice with a different mindset than do others who simply stay in an autonomic state.The first example he explains through typing is so basic, yet so genius in describing how our brain can function with practice

Joshua Foer: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Study Yourself Failing from 99% on Vimeo.

An important factor to consider with any sort of skill is measurable results.  The experts find ways to measure if their methods are making progress.  Don't just guess.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Self Discovery in Training and Athletics

I sometimes wonder why I've fallen in love with sports and training.  What I've come up with is simple, self discovery.  Its a method to consistently challenge my body and mind on a daily basis. 

In today's technology advanced world, you can indirectly experience whatever you want through a YouTube video.  However, that indirect experience can only create a false sense of awareness.  Where we truly grow our body and mind is when we put our frame in the actual experience. I get this feeling pushing myself in a weight room, on a basketball court, or starting a new skill.  There is no iPhone app that can simulate this feeling.  Taking something you once struggled with and owning it.  Being completely in the moment, to the point where time seems irrelevant.  This self discovery takes you to places you never thought possible. 

Who said humans can't fly?

The ability to push our bodies to adapt is a beautiful process that all people should not take for granted.  This is something I worry that kids in our technology age won't get the chance to experience because of our lack of physical culture.  We now favor classes teaching kids how to use a computer rather than how to use their body.  Experience is our greatest teacher, but experience must be first hand for true learning to take place. 

You only get one body in this life time.  I dare you to really see what it can do.  I also challenge you to pay it forward by creating environments for our youth to enjoy these experiences.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Reason to Stop for a Second.... or a Reason to Never Stop

There aren't too many pictures that will stop me in my tracks.  However, this picture absolutely rocked me from the inside out. If you're a poker player, many would say this kid was dealt 2 7 off suite but with the look on his face, he thinks he has aces.  I stumbled upon this on Facebook, with this as the caption:

If you can’t fly ~ then run
If you can’t run ~ then walk
If you can’t walk ~ then crawl
But whatever you do…
You MUST keep moving forward

What caption would you write?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do We Rob Athletes Of Their Creativity?

I'm a big Will Smith fan. From "Summer time" to Ali, I even have the Fresh Prince theme song as my ringtone and don't plan on changing it, ever.  One of his underrated roles was I, Robot.  It was an futuristic concept where humans created domestic robots that functioned off of 3 laws.  The robots end up evolving from these 3 laws and try to revolt and take over.  Spoiler alert, Will Smith saves the day in the end.

How does this connect to youth sports and performance training?  I was watching a soccer game with my good friend and great physical therapist, Cari McClemons, and we always get into talking about youth sports and coaching.  She was telling me about a team her son, who's 6, played for where the coach would constantly yell to the kids about where on the field they should be.  It got to the point where many of the kids would just look over to him all game long waiting to get yelled at for being out of position.  Zero creativity, zero spontaneity, zero fun.

Unlike Hollywood movies, I don't think these kids will pull the "I, Robot" and turn the coaches rules against him for total power domination.  Unfortunately, these kids end up either quitting because playing is no longer fun, or become robots waiting for there next command.

Talk about creativity, Parkour is the epitome of it.
It made me question what I do as a coach.  Am I creating robots in my own setting?  Do I ask enough questions and use the rights drills to enhance creative skills?  This is why I have my athletes go through a FedEx Day once a trimester.  It shows my areas of weakness as a coach, and also gives them a day to be creative and program their own workout.  

I want my programs to enhance the ability to be a critical and creative thinker.  I do this by asking a lot of questions, encourage athletes to ask a lot of questions, and set up drills that enhance creativity within movement, e.i. mirror games, human foosball, etc.  I can only coach them for 4 years.  I want them to take this knowledge of movement for the rest of their life. 

Creativity within the movements and rules of the sport are what makes it fun.  We all go after the same result but in so many different ways.  It's what make us human, but we can't rob our youth athletes by making them follow a piece of paper everyday.  Be creative in ways to teach creativity. 

One last video to show you a creative way to fish.  I think I need to try this....