The video clips attached to the blog are priceless. They are funny, because the boy's processed their father’s instruction in a totally unexpected way. This also provides a clue as to why verbal instruction as a primary driver of “coaching” complex skills is not very efficient. That is, you do not know how the player is going to interpret the instruction.
Here are just several weaknesses regarding verbal instruction. Furthermore, they took the same cue, "keep their eye on the ball" and took different approaches in response to the command.
There are several inherent weaknesses in using verbal instruction as the primary source of coaching complex skills:
The coach gives an instruction and the player does not understand what the coach is saying.
The Coach gives an instruction. Player understands the instruction but does not have the ability to do what the coach wants.
The coach gives an instruction, the player understands the instruction and can physically do it, but the instruction given is wrong.
One of the most difficult things to learn to do as a coach is to stop talking when we are instructing our players. We find ourselves having to fight this urge to “say something” all the time, and we know better.
The quote from Dr. Frans Bosch on the home page:
“The body does not really care what the coach has to say.”
As mentioned in an earlier post was transformative for MPH101. In upcoming blogs, we will share some more tidbits we learned at the skill acquisition summit at the Florida Baseball Ranch earlier this month. A final thought for this blog comes from the presentation of Dr. Bosch at the Summit:
“Separate the goal of the action from the action itself.”