As always a post from me start with I was thinking. This blog finds it birth in a comment from a Facebook post. The content of the post doesn’t matter it is the premise it left that set me off thinking. It was along the lines to I only lesson to the opinions of people who are stronger or better than me they are the only ones who can know what it takes. This is something I have heard a number of climbers say previously and I am sure its the same in many other sports. The context was to do with training, which in my opinion makes the statement even more rubbish.
There are so many examples of professional coaches from other sports where the coach was not necessraily the best player. A really current example is that of Eddie Jones the current coach of England Rugby, yes he did play professionally but he never played internationally. Does that mean he does not know how to coach a team to play at an international level? Well his career history would defiantly argue with you there both Australia and Japan seemed to do pretty well with him at the helm.
I think the other important point is that why does the performer need to know everything. In essence a good coach is made up by some one who can take in a lot of information from a number of different sources and make decisions about the information an athlete needs to know and what they should be doing. This is the whole principle behind a muti-disciplinary approach that is in place in a multitude of other high performing sports.
How easy is it to also remember really successful players who didn’t make it as coaches, Alan Shearer to name one of a few. Over the last couple of months I’ve heard a number of high performance managers speak, one message that has echoed from all of them is that there is lots that can be learned from other sports. This is fundamental just as true for climbing we are a sport where a number of individuals have gone around doing it there own way and been successful. For me we need to look at what they did and work out the common factors so we can repeat it. We need more research, its all well and good saying this worked for them thats what i’ll do. We have to remember we are all individuals and no one way is going to work for all of us. This is where we need to look at whats going on and why it works so we can find the best way for all of us.
This is where you have to look at other sports to see what they are doing, understand it and see if it will work for climbing. Even then is the perform the best person to be looking at all these factors and form there own plan. Ok here is a small part where I sound like I am contradicting my self, but yes it is important for them to be involved in there own plan but they need to be an export in improving there own performance. Not an expert in taking it information from all these sources and making the best decisions based on that. This is where only listening to people who are stronger will mean you stunt your progression. I think we need to listen to everyone and come to are own decisions. The best coaches aren’t the strongest but the are the best filter of information.
The basics of what I am getting at here is listen to everyone and make the best decision for you, the best coaches aren’t those who where the best players but they are the best listeners and filters. To finish climbing needs more scientific research so that we can listen with more accuracy.
This blog may use climbing as the medium to base my argument around however, I could quite as easily be talking about learning. If your only listening to one source then you are limiting yourself. When you look at an academic source and see only references from one author it is hard to think that this paper will give me a true opinion of what is going on. I think more importantly looking back at my recent blog about lit reviews, if you only argue one side of an argument your going to have a rubbish bit of writing.
It is so important to show you all sides of an argument when you are writing. We all have are own opinion and it perfectly ok to put this out there. It is just really important that in academic writing that you show how you came to that opinion or view. You have to put one foot in each camp, forming the arguments from both sides and then using the bit in the middle to come out with a sensible conclusion. Just remember to reference where your points come from as it just leaves it looking like your own opinion (just like this blog).
Hope this helps