April 13, 2013
Improving Your Learn to Swim Program.
The “Circularity of Learning”.
By John Leonard
The Harvard Business Review is a strange place to find information pertaining to a Learn to Swim Program, but an important idea was therein recently.
That idea is that learning, far from being “linear”. (learn a skill, practice it, absorb and use it perfectly) is in fact, most often “Circular”, especially in learning physical skills. This means that the child may be taught a new skill, and try it. Over a period of minutes to weeks that skill may move from “done with thought” to “done with little thought” to “unconscious” to “done correctly under pressure.”
Or, it may not.
At any point in that cycle, it is possible (indeed likely, according to the article) that the learner will “regress” in ability to do the skill…..and the entire process must be repeated from “done with thought” onward….but the good news is, that the more often it is repeated, the faster the skill is “re-acquired”. More bad news is that “coaching” or the work of a trained teacher, must be repeated also….in order to make sure all the steps of the movement are being correctly repeated.
Clearly this has implications for what happens in our Learn to Swim Programs and our swimming teachers and instructors need to recognize the common nature of this situation and be prepared to repeat, and repeat and repeat again, the skills we wish to imbed for life.
All the Best, John Leonard