Symphony or Jazz

Is movement and movement skill a symphony or is it more like jazz - improvisational? Yesterday when I was working with my beach volleyball players this thought occurred to me. We were working on some movement patterns and I had fallen back into the old trap of teaching them like robots, a step here, crossover there when I flashed that this was borderline useless. They have to be like Miles Davis, they need to know the notes and improvise, just play. So what I need to do is sharpen their knowledge of the notes and let them play and see what happens. I can rehearse them like a symphony but they are not playing Carnegie Hall, they are playing in a jazz club in the Village. I am reading a real thought provoking book that has really challenged my thinking on all of this. The book is Dynamics of Skill Acquisition – A Constraints-Led Approach, by Keith Davids, Chris Button, and Simon Bennett. The concepts presented will make you think of movement more like jazz. Every move is an opportunity for personal expression. Teach them the notes, sharpen the notes and let them play!


At 2/29/08, 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comparing symphony to jazz seems about like comparing NFL combine to real games. Just because you can hit the notes does not mean you can play!

Mark Day

At 3/1/08, 3:57 PM, Blogger Adam King said...

Dynamics of Skill acquisition - great book! It has some good learning theories in there to apply. Definitely an area where some more research needs to be done, but we are working on that.

At 3/2/08, 6:15 PM, Anonymous Joe Burgireno said...

To extend the analogy further, I would say that most sports in general are more like jazz, but sports such as gymnastics, diving, and track and field are more symphony-like in that you have to react less to outside influences/stimuli during the actual competition.


Post a Comment

<< Home