CrossFit Embracing uncertainty Training theory

Embracing uncertainty pt 2: The built-in benefits of CrossFit

When learning movement there must be room for self-organization of the motor patterns forming this movement. Otherwise we would only learn how to perform a very specific movement in a very set environment. Variation serves the important purpose of managing fatigue levels and to increase motivation, but also for learning flexible patterns allowing us for solving task specific movement.

It has been shown to improve the rate of learning of skills to have either a non-systematic (random) or a non-consecutive order (serial) order of execution of skills compared to the more perfect organization of practice that a blocked practice provides.

Over-prescriptive coaching may be detrimental to learning. Everyone will have their personal “best solution”, which while looking somewhat general, still must be constructed on the resources of the specific individual. And this individual solution will emerge and stabilize more quickly if we disregard the urge to try to force the process. What coaches should do is to use their understanding of how to manipulate movement constrictions and key factors that underpin performance to provide understanding on what a successful outcome would be. To use their trained eye to help shape the learners performances through guided discovery and self-exploration. Not overly telling “how to do it” but “what to do” in a movement that seems likely to learn. And then – and this might be the hardest thing to do for us coaches – to back off in order for learning to happen.

It has also been shown that practice in dyads, as compared to individual practice, can enhance motor learning and increase the efficiency of practice

Knowing this, one can clearly see how facilitated group training, with an knowledgeable coach in control of the practice setup and individual movement constraints together with a group of individuals, operating in a culture that allows for exploring those movements in a non-perfect fashion could be quite successful at skill acquisition.

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