HOW, structured variation

Our first digital instructor day in a skating season where we certainly don't know how it will go yet. Let's stay flexible. How then do we give skating lessons: structured variation . Last season we introduced the 3 circles. Let's start with the middle one. We receive information – give that information a place – and turn it into a movement. That is what everyone has to offer and what shows itself is a natural movement pattern created by self-organization.

Do we as instructors have no influence at all YES DEFINITELY DO and that is that 1st circle. If we understand/know the learning needs of a student, we can stimulate them in many different ways

A good skating lesson is therefore about the interaction between the learning needs of a student and what you, as an instructor, stimulate or offer to fulfill them.

HOW: unconsciously initiating the learning process through structured variation.

All the themes mentioned are necessary in the skating movement, they all occur. In order to make the total or global skating movement possible, you can always emphasize the various themes. They support each other and reinforce each other and that applies to all levels. Each level has to do with a relaxed attitude, with an effective push-off, with a manageable balance, with good timing in, for example, placement.

Each level has different learning needs on those themes and you will have to come up with different solutions. If you build the lessons around those themes, you are doing well. If you build a series of lessons around those themes and review them all, you are doing well. This is because you know that they are all in the global skating movement and are all related to each other. If you emphasize one, you automatically touch the other.

Of course you must have knowledge about the group because the group roughly determines how you can offer the different themes. You have to know shapes that resonate with a certain group. Sending novice skaters away for 10 minutes or say 5 laps is not a good idea, putting advanced skaters on a small cone track for 15 minutes is not a good idea, addressing 12+ people as if they are 5 year olds is not a good idea.

So you need global knowledge about the target group you stand for and which forms could possibly fit in with that group.

There are many ways you can package your solution, and a lot depends on your goal and time in class. This way you have to answer the question which shape do you choose

I'll give an example: people come on the ice and actually want to start relaxed, they prefer to do that with something they already know, for example what they learned last time, to get a little free again to warm up . Call it a warm-up. Of course they also come to learn something new, this is actually best if they are warmed up but not dead tired, So now, teach them something new, a theme or an angle that they have not yet had and let them practice , take the time to provide feedback with a prospect of a solution. If they have a good feeling about that then it's time for the physical-sport part of the lesson, just skate, ride, get really tired, feel that you've done something, with your nose in the wind, sweat on your back not from anxiety/stress but from activity. You should of course draw less attention to the implementation of this part, students should also be able to apply, use,

If you are talking about variation in exercise material, you have a lot of options if you take a theme as a basis and fill it in varied with many different stimuli such as speed – rhythm – frequency etc etc etc.

Variation is infinite, but you must be able to explain it because repeating the exercise is also the well-known route for the student to learn something. Variation is therefore not just doing something, but there is a structure and reason behind it.

FROM Drilling/Repetition as a learning strategy (traditional) TO more Variation as a learning strategy (modern) .

We are all educated and brought up with the assumption that to learn something you have to repeat a lot. I've been playing the piano for years and still play the same pieces as when I was 15 and damn I keep making the same wrong strikes in the same places. I also made a lot of mistakes by repeating. I even get nervous when I get close to that part. Who does not know this somehow.

Bottom: If you have practiced something a lot, you think that, for example, your placement is at a stable level. But actually that's not the case. That stable level is actually a variation within a certain bandwidth. (sometimes it goes better than other times - it's slightly different every time because you can never repeat the same placement)

If we want to take your placement to a higher level, so that the variation is on a higher bandwidth, then the question is HOW do we get there.

You then have to enlarge the variation that is there, add more variation, make the movements more extreme under many different circumstances, stimulate, challenge. For example with placement. Extreme on the inside, extreme on the outside, pointing forward or really sideways, do this while skating forwards and backwards, at different speeds, laces unlaced, with support, without support.

In short, make as much variation as possible in placing so that your body can return to a somewhat stable skill level at a different, say higher level (Then you have learned something)

So get creative, let yourself go, within the safety margins you have a lot of possibilities to stimulate the body to find a solution at a "higher" level

FROM a more explicit way (traditional) TO a more implicit way (modern) .

Explicit (consciously) actually means that a student must have a precise idea of how the movement must be performed and must be able to consciously perform it step by step, as it were. That image is often introduced by an instructor, but can also be a television image.

The instructor or trainer often has a technical picture of the skating movement or of himself / his trainer / a skating book. He analyzes the movement he/she sees based on his/her knowledge and indicates what is good and what is not good about it and then tries to improve this through exercises in the direction he/she thinks. Improvement is often based on the idea that something has to be improved (ie is worse). A consequence of this route is that you make a student aware of what he/she is NOT doing well. To deal with this in a good and positive way is not always easy and even undesirable because the solution is often in the why question that makes someone think a lot and then you put someone in their head (thinking position) with the result that a motor solution or answer does not just come out smoothly.

Thinking about how to do something is like riding a horse and telling that horse exactly how to walk.

Implicitly therefore means that you learn a movement without using the conscious control of the movement. In fact, the student is dominant, he/she starts working with an "inlaid" theme (the body has many creative solutions (different assumptions). What comes out is then always the maximum of what is possible at that moment. .