skill acquisition

Transfer of learning : Importance in skill acquisition of weightlifting & implications for coaching and programming

Yun Chol Om in London. Credits@Olympics

Yun Chol Om in London. Credits@Olympics

In my last article about skill acquisition, I made the statement that  improvements, in the cognitive stage of skill acquisition, are mainly due to thinking and planning as well as the ability of the athlete to uses existing knowledge/skills as a basis for the new skill. I gave the example of a lifter that I coach. I mentioned that most of the technical errors in her lifts came from previously learned skills that she was trying to consciously – or not- repeat in Weightlifting. I received many e-mails about this statement which lead me to believe that perhaps I should extrapolate on this concept. I will discuss the definition of what transfer of learning really is, its importance for coaches as well as its many possible applications.

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Weightlifting is a skill and it should be trained as a skill

Medina, Credits @ Ironmind

Medina, Credits @ Ironmind

The recent ”spurt” of popularity of Weightlifting, by different actors such as Crossfit, may also have  given the impression that weightlifting is a ”work out” which in turns may influence the way the lifts are being programmed in Gyms. We are seeing the lifts performed with major technical flaws on T.V (Here is an example by a very famous non weightlifter Athlete) and programmed in ways that do not lead to proper skill acquisition/refinement, which makes the general public believe that 1) weightlifting is just like any other resistance training movement 2) technique – or technique development- does not matter. It isn’t and here is why.

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