Methods of Practice
Certain skills are best taught in different ways depending on the learner, the skill in question, and the intent of the lesson Here are some ideas on how much to teach and when:
The skill is first demonstrated and then practiced as a whole, from start to finish. It helps the learner to get a feel for the skill, timings and end product. This is good if the end destination is essential. If you want students to focus on where they are going or if the skill is simple with few parts this method works well. This would work just fine for something like a simple upa escape from mount. This takes every student to the same destination so if you are interested in students using their brain creatively this method is not the right one.
|Objective- Teach a technique. Use this where technique is simple or where a sense of flow or unity is needed to fully understand the skill.|
The parts of the skill are practiced in isolation which is useful for complicated skills and is good for maintaining motivation and focusing on specific elements of the skill. It is possible, however, that the transfer of the skills from parts, to a whole may not be effective and it may also reduce the kinesthetic awareness (feel) for the full skill. This is best for complex movements or movements that have a lot of parts. It’s also good if you are focusing on using a movement or technique to teach a concept. For example, if I’m really focusing on hip mobility from bottom guard I may break up a scissor sweep into parts in order to better emphasize the hip movement concept. Concepts would be things like framing, fundamental 5 of passing, posture etc.
The part method is also good if you don’t want to emphasize a particular end point. Here students can use their imagination to think about where to take the technique or skill. This would be teaching the posture and pressure but leaving the possibilities up to the student.
|Objective- Teach concept. Use this when you are using a technique as a way to teach a particular concept.|
The whole skill is first demonstrated and practiced, before being broken down into the constituent parts to practice the individual elements and improve on these, before putting the whole skill back together. This can be very effective in skills which have easily distinguished parts, where the whole skill together is complex. This gives the performer a sense of the whole skill before they break it down and improve on the weak aspects of the performance. As with the part method this may affect the transfer of the skill from parts to the whole.
I like this method a lot. It’s expedient in that it allows the coach to see what the students are having trouble with and go back to intro stage to fix. That way you don’t have to show all the details and trouble spots right from the start. This is the idea of fixing problems as they arise naturally instead of having to fix them all ahead of time. Sometimes I find that if I try to teach every possible tip and nuance of a technique before I have students work on it I’ll lose some of them.
In this method you have a destination in mind but the technique is either too complex or you want to emphasize certain concepts along the way.
|Objective- Teach a complex technique. Use this if you have something complex to teach. It allows the students to see the end point and try that first to see what they do and don’t know about how to get there.|