Tuesday, March 29, 2016

State-dependent learning


Mike and Randy were talking yesterday about an interesting coaching/training phenomenon that Randy recently read about. It turns out that athletes bomb out when their coaches give a lot of feedback in practice but are then quiet during a game/competition, and also when coaches give little feedback in practice but a lot during a game/competition. The best situation is to match the level and type of feedback in practice and competition.

This was no surprise to me, as it is a classic Psych-101 concept called state-dependent learning. The typical example is schoolwork - you want your study conditions to match your test conditions as closely as possible. If that's not possible, for example, if you don't really know what your test conditions will be, you should vary your study conditions so that you're not relying on one specific environment to cue your recall.

What does this mean for us? Well, if you're competing in a weightlifting competition, you're not really going to be able to get a ton of advice on the platform, so you don't want to rely on practice cues - you need to be able to lift heavy without a voice in your ear. And if you don't really know what you're going to with the work we do, if you don't know your test conditions, you want to mix it up. Some gyms have very prescribed language/cues/instruction that all their coaches follow. We are more organic, with differences from coach to coach, and plenty of differences from day to day too. This is deliberate. It will instill in you good form that doesn't depend on hearing certain cues.
Workout
strength - add weight from last time (more info) 

deadlift 2x5 

then

20 rounds:

every 1:00
10 KB swings AHAP