Every now and again a new idea, or in this case a comparative coaching idea from another sport, yields a reward.
In today’s swim session I tried to import a coaching concept from kayak that I learned about a few years back (ok maybe a decade ago from Dr. Imre Kemecsey) and reapplied Saturday on my coaching session with Vancouver Ocean Sports. The recycled idea is that of power circles.
The power circle concept is “relatively simple”, as a coach you associate a progression of technical elements with (or through) the relevant joints and muscles AND mental pathways needed to effect that element. Power circles are an excellent visual mapping tool for sports with complex technical elements executed through multi-segmental movement acting in three or more rotational planes (i.e. canoe-kayak, swimming, xc skiing, gymnastics, dance, etc.).
There are innumerable power circles linking all the physical and technical elements together. The resulting mental map of a sport’s power circles creates a very robust and flexible web of connections.
The application of this coaching technique is tricky as you have to understand the causal pathways required to effect the technique in question. Most importantly, you have to know where a movement originates and where that movement ends. Furthermore, as a coach you can’t rely on visual demonstration any longer. You have to develop clear verbal descriptions and engage your athletes in ongoing discussions as they learn the required connections.