Learning is the most empowering thing there is. The look in the person’s eyes when he/she “gets it” is something that not only empowers them to train more and get better but also gives something very special to the ones teaching and coaching them on that subject. In the everyday work of all the coaches and teachers this is something we all are getting our “kicks” from.
The science on how people learn has been under constant study for decades if not for centuries. As technology is developing, we are all the time getting more and more tools to help us learn and help us teach. We have studied from books, checked out the videos and later DVDs and now we are keenly looking at global video-sharing platforms for ideas and things to train in our designated areas of interest. The next phase, actually already here, is to use systems that give us feedback on our performance. One thing is to look at video and do the “trick” and another thing is to see how we performed on that. This was the key question and challenge we took when we started developing NAIP® technology: How could one get instant feedback on their movement with minimal tools and set ups.
Getting good at the right thing
When we are learning new skills, there is the everlasting questions: Am I doing this right? Am I missing something? What should I do to get better? This is where we need coaching. It is very easy to get good at the wrong thing. For example, in self- defense, it is not about the move, “a technique”, itself but also the psychological elements of the situation. Should we not take into consideration the natural stress-related reactions within our training, the reality tears the performance apart. The same psychological elements are there, naturally, in all competitive sports as well. So, lesson one is that all technique must be trained with the consideration of in what kind of situation the act is about to take place.
Another key element is the need for feedback: are we doing the right thing and are we doing it right? The feedback must be constant and delivered at the right time. Now this is where we can use the modern technology as part of the training. We use videos and platforms and apps with possibility for the coaches to comment and help the athletes and trainees to go to. To think about the learning experience, once we are doing the exercise, we are set up for the feedback. If we do the exercise and get the feedback the next day or even few hours later, it takes us much more to get to that same psychological place we were at the time of performance. This is what drove us to take this further and create an AI Coach to help both the coaches and trainees to get feedback immediately, at the scene of the exercise and even without the coaches’ presence. With the NAIP® technology any coach can create reference movements that the athletes and trainees can easily compare their own performance with. So, the lesson number two is to make instant feedback achievable at any time!
Deliberate practice is not fun – but it can be
To get good at something takes time and needs deliberate practice. This is also where we easily get good at the wrong things that then take time to correct. This is everyday work of all the coaches and everyday work of all the athletes and trainees. When we use technology as an assistant in deliberate practice, we help ourselves to stay motivated. Deliberate practice turns into a game. We all get a child-like enthusiasm to our training and the thousands of repetitions on designated exercises turn into something fun. The work needs to be done and the use of technology helps us stay focused. So, the lesson number three is to turn the deliberate practice into a game-like experience.
The new era of skill-training
We are entering the new era of skill-training. We, the coaches, and the teachers, are playing an important role in helping everyone to experience the most empowering feeling there is, learning. To think how I can use the technology in helping my athletes and trainees to achieve the skills they are training for faster while staying motivated and having fun while they are learning, is the key question to the new era of skill-training. How to indulge ourselves and the athletes and trainees to a game-like deliberate practice and how to offer immediate and constant feedback even when we are not there physically? We at Naiptech.com are thriving to help everyone in this journey.
To summarize the ideas, I’d like to point out few key elements in the skill-training:
- All technique must be trained with the consideration of in what kind of situation the act is about to take place. Steer and create the environment accordingly.
- Make an instant feedback achievable at any time and all the time.
- Turn the deliberate practice into a game-like experience and enhance the motivation and thus the learning.
- Take advantage of the technological tools there are to help your athletes and trainees as these tools will help you to serve even larger groups and share your experience wider.