Evidence Based Improvement

  • Online learning, swimming or boxing?

    One of the first reactions that we sometimes get when we talk to trainers about their role is that ‘you cannot learn swimming or boxing online’. Face-to-face training will always be needed. At first glance this is absolutely true. Nevertheless there are a few enticing points on the subject…

    Net Face-to-face Training-time

    In a group face-to-face training the net training time is on average very little. The training starts with an introductory round, a bit of theory is explained and the work form is shared out on the basis of which participants will prepare and then a discussion leads to the adoption of a role-play. After that the intention is for the participants practice in small groups. If the training group is already small then participants have the chance to individually take turns in the role-play. Now add to the idea of the training program stating at around 09:30 and ending at around 16:30 (if there isn’t an evening program involved). Then take into account the coffee and lunch breaks which tend to be longer because of the school field day atmosphere. At the of the day net face-to-face training time is actually not very much. Maybe this is a caricature but if you are a participant, two hours of effective training is already a lot.

    A picture of the reality, the elevator pitch: skills training online

    In our programs we allow participants to take up their own elevator pitch in advance. They receive an explanation online of how an elevator pitch should be, an example of an elevator pitch, a check-list to self-assess the elevator pitch and a task: record your own elevator pitch and send it to the trainer. From practice we know that participants record themselves up to 20 times before they are satisfied and send the elevator pitch to the trainer. This comes closer to the meaning of training, whereby there is the room to repeat and practise the exercise. Think of what this does to the effectiveness of face-to-face training time. With the online method the trainer can coach the participant to make the pitch stronger and the training becomes more fun. The trainer has already seen the pitches that were sent and can start off the training a good example: “John, I found your pitch very inspiring; would you care to show your colleagues?” This creates a safer environment with less pressure than an initial invitation to try something and whereby many participants can show ‘genuine’ behaviour.

    How do you use your imagination and visualisation in sports?

    Learning skills is not only in the doing. Research shows that is the preparation that ensures skills are learnt. This also applies in sports such as swimming and boxing. Especially in competitive sports visualisation and imagery is commonly use to prepare for a game, match or competition. Learning skills only through group-wise training is then a limited view of reality.