Some Thoughts – Theory and Practice

I found an interesting article on the USVBA web site the other day. The article entitled "Necessary Relationships: Volleyball and Sports Science," by Peter Vint, Ph.D. There was a particularly revealing and thought provoking paragraph that even though written specific to Volleyball is applicable to other sports. “Volleyball is a dynamic and complex team sport. Therefore, it is important to understand what may be optimal in terms of mechanical technique may be suicide in terms of real-life game situation tactics. Expressed differently, mechanically optimal and tactically optimal.”

The two are not equal. The message I took away from this is that we must understand the science and the practice. Sometimes they do not agree. Ultimately as coaches we must make the call as to what will work in the sport, for the athlete and for the their position or event in the sport. As coaches we have to be careful about fitting athletes into the box of technical correctness. We need to find ways that allow the athletes to put their movement signatures on the skill. I am always concerned about creating robotic movement. Movement must be flowing, not robotic and programmed.

He also suggested that we take a close look at:

What we know

What we think we know

What do we need to know


At 8/1/07, 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From my experience, I have seen coaches focus too much on technical aspect to a point the athletes become fixated with their mechanics where they can not function. Hence, "paralysis through analysis".

At 8/1/07, 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting topic, Vern. The marriage of science and practice isn't always obvious and, at times, very conflicting. It's the kind of disconnect that led to the TrA "core stability" craze or in other words critical thought is always the best guide....

Todd Langer

At 8/1/07, 10:19 PM, Blogger Joe P. said...

Vern- Happy 2 year blog anniversary this Saturday! I haven't missed one day.


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