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Teaching methods

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  • Teaching methods

    Jack, I would *always* argue for adapting teaching methods to the physical
    maturity of the student. My area is alpine ski and snowboard instruction.
    The Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) advocates use of a CAP
    model, a relatively common model in which the Cognitive, Affective, and
    Physical characteristics of the student are considered when formulating a
    lesson plan.

    Physical aspects are especially important to understand when doing movement
    analysis. As you mentioned in your posting, there is a lot of
    misunderstanding of what the pros do on TV; it's the same in skiing as in
    tennis. If we tried to teach skiers (either kids or adults) to make turns
    like Olympic and World-Cup champion Hermann Maier, we would be setting them
    up for injury! There is simply no way a typical skier could withstand the
    forces generated by Maier's technique. More typically, instructors modify
    their teaching based on the client's general fitness. Normally sedentary
    individuals (such as most white-collar professionals) are presented with
    learning situations that are less strenuous than situations created for
    more active clients. Note that the latter group would likely include young
    adults, while younger children would probably fall into a very active --
    but less physically demanding -- group.

    The relationship of lower back injury to abdominal and leg muscle strengths
    would be interesting to consider from a snowsport perspective as well.
    However, I would suggest that the issue not be considered so much
    maturational as fitness-related. Perhaps that would broaden the scope of
    available research as well?

    Best regards,
    -- Jeff
    Does anyone know of any studies of injuries of the lower back and its
    relationship to abdominal and leg muscle strength due to physical maturity?
    The idea is to determine if teaching methods should adapt to the physical
    maturity of the student. For example: The tennis serve in high level
    involve a lot back flexion and extension, and given the lack of strength in
    the abdominal area, this could lead to lower back injury (lumbar lordosis).
    There is a tendency for juniors to flex the back for the uncoiling motion,
    instead of using leg flexion and extension (and avoid hyperextension of the
    back). A lot of this flawed technique is due to misinterpretation of what
    seen on TV by your everyday tennis instructor.

    Jack Sujovolsky, MS., USPTA

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