Movement Training for Humans
EMP Podcast 87
Constraint Led Coaching with James Smith: EMP Podcast 40
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Constraint Led Coaching with James Smith: EMP Podcast 40

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00:00 – Intro
02:53 – Input and Output
10:27 – Do No Harm
19:23 – Open and Closed Skills
27:33 – The Power of Task Constrained Learning and Aliveness
41:50 – Balancing General and Specific Training
50:42 – Kids and Unstructured Play
59:32 – Designing Structured Play
01:30:41 – When to Isolate Skill Work
01:37:28 – Developing the Aerobic Base

Constraint Led Coaching with James Smith: EMP Podcast 40

Coaching can be tricky.

Most of the instructors I meet are so obviously passionate about what they teach;  they’ve spent years studying their craft, learning the ins and outs of technical progression, training protocols, and movement science.

After gaining all of this knowledge and experience, we can tend to feel like our job is to funnel all of it into our students.

We want to create step by step programs that afford linear skill progression.

We want to be able to identify flaws in our athlete’s and give the perfect cues to remedy the flaw as quickly as possible.

We want to articulate the intricate details behind why they’re training each drill or developing any skill.

While none of these are inherently bad, it is actually very easy for a coach to actively (though unintentionally) get in the way of a student’s learning and growth.

One of the best ways to avoid this issue is by first realizing that the process of coaching is not about us as the coaches. It is about the student and their personal process of learning. We are simply guides in their heroic journey.

Knowing this, we can then begin to create learning environments that focus on allowing the students to solve progressively more complex problems that directly afford them a broader, more robust set of relevant skill sets.

Creating these task constrained environments and developing our awareness of when to step in and teach, or step away and let the students self organize their learning, allows us to streamline the athletes skill acquisition. 

James Smith is the owner of The U of Strength in Tyngsboro, MA.  There he’s using the power of task constrained coaching to help athletes of all ages and skill levels improve their physical abilities and problem solving capacities.

We recently found his Instagram page and immediately saw strong correlations between his methods and how we’re teaching natural movement at Evolve Move Play.

James is a great person to chat with, his enthusiasm for his work is obvious and I am really excited to begin a conversation with him about how coaches can do better at not just improving our students as athletes, but as human beings as well.

Learn More About James:

Instagram: @TheUofStrength

Related Content

[Applying Ecological Dynamics to Natural Movement with Peter Verdin: EMP Podcast 38]
[Creating Movement Problem Solvers with Shawn Myszka: EMP Podcast 37]
[How to Learn Movement? Ecological Dynamics and Natural Movement: EMP Podcast 35]

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