SACRED TOOL OF QUALITY COACH - Feedback
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
I want to emphasise the importance of understanding the meaning of 'intrinsic feedback'. The first thing you can do to support your swimmers develops the capability to identify and correct their own technique. In motor learning literature, coaching this element in swimming will allow your athletes to have the time to perfect their skills.
Intrinsic Feedback stimulates the senses - this is where the "feel of the water" comes into play. Just think about any sensory information, real or simulated. Fortunately, swimming pools are the best places for this to take place. This unique element from the outside environment and within the athlete's own body terrain influences and respond to appraisals provided.
I like to keep things simple and am sure that's exactly what your swimmers want. Feedback is the sacred tool of any good quality coach. We have to be excellent communicators when it comes to feedback in the shortest way possible.
Those swimmers who are rewarded with verbal praise or positive feedback always shows grater 'intrinsic motivation' and allows them to spend more time on a task. These tasks could be drills, technique work, speed work, psychological aspect of building resilience etc.
It is critical to note that the primary purpose of feedback is to help us gain a better quality of desired skill and reduce discrepancies between present understanding and performance and a training plan or goal.
At first glance, it might seem unimportant; just get on with writing sets, fixing technique, get those MV02 Max sets done, motivate swimmers etc. However, if you are trying to produce a world-class unique athlete, it is imperative that short-term learning gains are achieved with your athlete's technique. Those athletes who are intrinsically motivated tend to have a positive attitude toward a task and a higher success rate. They also spend more time perfecting the skill that you are trying to promote. This is the "power of feedback" and your greatest sacred tool.
This advancement helps us with helping swimmers acquire deep understanding and enable long-term learning gains through understanding and experience.
Allow your athletes enough time after they've completed the given practice. Provide constructive, positive feedback and allow some time for your athletes to reflect and evaluate themselves.
Generally, feedback should be provided after the completion of a swim and not during.
Let your athletes complete their Performance ↓ Provide Feedback ↓
Swimmer Evaluates Your Feedback ↓
Performance Begins Again ↓ Swimmer Evaluates Intrinsic Feedback ↓ Performance is Completed ↓ Repeat
The feel of the water and kinaesthetic learning is imperative. The swimmers must be able to transfer your instructions perfectly. Use words that are simple and do not over complicate things.
Remember, DO NOT provide too much feedback in one go...
We ought to remember the progress of learning happens slowly and from time to time if you are lucky very quickly.
This is where the excitement of teaching, coaching and learning begins.