“Learning is definitely not mere imitation or the ability to accumulate and conform to fixed knowledge. Learning is a constant process of discovery and never a concluding one.”
– Bruce Lee
Learning can often be visual, auditory, kinesthetic, physical, and statistical. No matter which one works for you, experience transforms information into knowledge. The key to skill acquisition is frequency. The more frequently you can practice something, the quicker you will master it. With that in mind, practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
With my clients, I refer to these three stages of learning:
Incompetent – Inability to perform a task or skill
Consciously Competent – Possessing the ability to correctly perform a skill, but with great concentration demands.
Unconsciously Competent – Performing a movement instinctively with proper execution and minimal concentration demands.
For example, tying your shoes. As a toddler, you are incompetent in the art of shoe tying. You’re then taught to cross the bunny ears and loop the bottom bunny ear over and through the top bunny ear where conscious competence is displayed. Now as an adult hopefully you can maintain other thoughts or conversation while lacing up your boots.
Without knowledge action is useless, and knowledge without action is futile. Drawing attention toward the fitness industry, there is a saturation of information filled with contradicting opinions. So how do you know what to believe and trust?
Firstly, listen to people who have been around the block a few times. They’ll generally have knowledge learned from practical application rather than text book theory. Secondly, you need to experiment and be curious.
My opinions are rarely just my own, nor are anyone’s in the fitness industry. We learn just like copying baby’s. I myself, have gathered 10 plus years of knowledge and opinion from a stack of influences. What’s funny is the more you learn, the more you realize you don’t know and the more confused you sometimes become. Therefore, if you think you know everything, chances are you probably know fuck all. The key is to take on board what people teach you and have fun discovering how to make it applicable to your life and the lives of people you coach. Through trial and error, decide what is beneficial and what should be discarded.
If you’ve only read one book, that’s all you’ll ever know.
Be curious and question everything. With this mindset and willingness to experiment, you develop tools. For example, most of the cues I coach came from observing someone perform a movement, then experimenting with all possible variations and manners in which I could think of, to use that equipment or machine to benefit.
Throughout this entire process, your brain is gather data which fuels intuition within your consciousness. Long term this will have influence on future decisions and reactions.
To summarize, you need to learn some things about your body that you don’t know, you don’t know about yet.
Guided self-discovery is where the breakthroughs occur. You learn a set of principles, you learn how your body is supposed to work, then you discover how yours work.
Now you can see a gap, create a solution, and improve the way your body works.