Sunday, August 5, 2018


NOTE - For some reason I failed to note who I got this from in my files so poor form there. 

- The dynamical systems learning theory refers to the interaction between the task, the environment and your body, to execute a motor skill

- The manipulation of any of those elements will affect how the skill is performed, such as holding a ball when running vs when you're not (task), terrain which can alter stiffness (environment) and  fatigue/mobility/injury status can affect mechanics of running/jumping etc (body)

- Hard skill vs soft skill is attractors vs fluctuators

- Hard skill/attractors are the elements that never change no matter what such as triple extension in 1 leg, triple flexion in the other leg and propulsion, which occurs in every skill you need for your sport

- When you kick, the plant leg contacts isometrically to stabilise, the swing leg flexes at the hip and your aim is to kick a goal

- Soft skill/flucuators are those elements of the movement which can change from repetition to repetition according to changes in the aforementioned factors (task, environment, body)

- When the wet and muddy weather changes how forcefully we can push into the ground when sprinting, the slippery ground will also influence how defenders move, the change of direction angle, kicking distance, wind strength etc

- For each movement you teach, identify the hard and soft skills of it

- Devise manipulations of the task through environment or the athlete’s body, to force them into correct execution of the hard skill

- Repeat the skill performed at a high level

- Repeat the skill again at a high level but this time consider how the task through environment or body, can be manipulated to learn a soft skill, looking to force a change in the execution of the skill in a manner relevant to the sport/position/technique

- For sprinting the hard skills are stance leg, triple flexion of swing leg and maintaining erect posture throughout and keep displacement of the body in a forward  direction with each step

- To cement the hard skill you can manipulate the task environment with wickets and then by tasking the athlete with not kicking or stepping on the micro hurdle, where you can prevent pushing out the back during hip extension of the stance phase and thus over striding during initial contact

- Added load like a plate or a barbell and tasking the athlete with keeping the objects overhead during a running task forces the athlete to contract isometrically, promoting erect posture etc

- Once the hard skill is cemented then you can further manipulate the task and/or environment to expose the athlete to changing learning environments and develop the soft skill which might entail running on different surfaces or you might include carrying a ball or an unstable load like a water ball to make stability unpredictable.

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