Expert or not?
I was talking to a swim client last night. We are getting set for an intensive technique session. Time permitting, with all of my 1 to 1 swim technique sessions; we will first go over some fundamentals on dry land. I believe it is really important to go over the fundamentals before getting in the water. Once we have discussed the fundamentals we will begin with the swimming proper. This will involve me assessing from the poolside and providing the necessary feedback and drills. I will then either film and provide feedback or I will get in the water myself and demonstrate. As soon as I mentioned me getting in the water and demonstrating, my client (let’s call him Mr B) said that would be terrific. He went on to say that he had employed a 1 to 1 coach for some time who had been providing feedback from the water’s edge. He had repeatedly asked for the coach to get in the water and show him exactly how the action he was instructing should be carried out in order that they could ‘see’ the correct movement for themselves but the coach had never obliged. As far as I am concerned this is a fundamental of 1 to 1 coaching, otherwise you may as well go to a group session and pay a 10th of the price! My point today is that if you are seeking professional advice on a fitness or sporting activity one of the best ways to ensure you are getting expert advice is to ask for a demonstration. It is all very well to understand the theory behind a subject, true combined with good communication skills this can allow for a certain level of instruction. However, if the teacher has never experienced the messages that flow through the nervous system, what it feels like to properly conduct the activity and receive feedback from the body it will be Very difficult for them to accurately lead others down that path.
In summary unless someone can walk the walk I would be cautious about listening to them talk the talk!