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View Full Version : Technical training experiement: eyes closed vs. no mirror


Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 12:07 AM
Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
totally different as are the blades).

Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.

For giggle, I attempted Keith's suggestion of doing it with eyes closed.

bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.

So then I tried doing the same drills but facing away from the mirror
but with eyes open. Far closer to what happens on the ice, you don't
have a mirror for feedback but your eyes are open, you can watch for
various visual cues (I'm looking at a blank wall which isn't far off
from the ice/pads on the side).

Wobblier than with the mirror but doable and getting better with practice.

My n=1 conclusion, closing eyes takes away too many valuable cues to be
worthwhile, you always have some visual input to use as a cue (even if
it's to make sure that you are perpendicular to the horizon and not
tilted) and I don't see closing the eyes as being terribly relevant for
technical training in the first place.

or maybe I'm just rationalizing the fact that I really suck at it.

Lyle

Wayne S. Hill
September 23rd 04, 12:52 AM
Lyle McDonald wrote:

> My n=1 conclusion, closing eyes takes away too many valuable
> cues to be worthwhile, you always have some visual input to
> use as a cue (even if it's to make sure that you are
> perpendicular to the horizon and not tilted) and I don't see
> closing the eyes as being terribly relevant for technical
> training in the first place.

Ah, well, the eyes-closed thing is different for different
activities. In skating, the center of rotation is well below the
foot, so waiting for a non-visual clue that you're teetering to
the side may be too late, rending the situation unstable and
essentially unrecoverable.

In highland games, there are drills that are often recommended to
improve your weight for distance events (which are done spinning).
A well-known track & field coach, Coach 'Mac' Mackay, says you
shouldn't be happy with your spins until you can do ten 360-degree
turns down a line with your eyes closed. I've never tried that,
because I don't get so much training time that I feel like wasting
any, especially in a hospital bed, but I do see an important
point: in the HG events, visual cues are almost always less
effective than proprioceptive cues.

--
-Wayne

AleX
September 23rd 04, 01:53 AM
Lyle McDonald > wrote:

> Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
> balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
> say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
> ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
> wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
> comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
> totally different as are the blades).

Using ankle support in hockey skates to lock ankle is a
poor practice, acceptable only for complete newbies. It
inhibits the correct technique. Ankle should be flexible.

> Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
> 30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
> proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.

Why not just glide on one skate back and forth as everybody
does? The standing balance and the dynamic balance on the
skates are kinda different, aren't they?

> For giggle, I attempted Keith's suggestion of doing it with eyes closed.

> bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.

The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.

---
Signature has been removed to save disk space.

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 02:36 AM
AleX wrote:

> Lyle McDonald > wrote:
>
>
>>Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
>> balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
>>say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
>>ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
>>wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
>>comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
>>totally different as are the blades).
>
>
> Using ankle support in hockey skates to lock ankle is a
> poor practice, acceptable only for complete newbies. It
> inhibits the correct technique. Ankle should be flexible.

right, flexible fore and aft.
Not laterally, not that I'm aware of anyhow.

Like a good pair of in line skates.

Speed skates have no support in any plane, fore/aft or laterally.
Heres a picture to help you visualise.

http://www.adamsinline.com/blades.html#blizzard

Compare that to a hockey skate.

The blades are also different between speed and hockey.

>
>
>>Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
>>30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
>>proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.
>
>
> Why not just glide on one skate back and forth as everybody
> does? The standing balance and the dynamic balance on the
> skates are kinda different, aren't they?

because:
a. I have limited ice time (where I also do lots of gliding on one skate
in various positions)
b. The above is IN ADDITION to that ice time.



>>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
>>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
>>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
>> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
>
>
> The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.

But I still question the point of trying. You always have visual cues
on the ice, how doing that stuff with eyes closed is of benefit is
beyond me.

Lyle

AleX
September 23rd 04, 01:30 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote:

>>>Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
>>> balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
>>>say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
>>>ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
>>>wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
>>>comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
>>>totally different as are the blades).

>> Using ankle support in hockey skates to lock ankle is a
>> poor practice, acceptable only for complete newbies. It
>> inhibits the correct technique. Ankle should be flexible.

> right, flexible fore and aft.
> Not laterally, not that I'm aware of anyhow.

Laterally too. One should be able to apply skate's blade
to the ice at different angles "independently" of the rest
of the leg.

> Like a good pair of in line skates.

Inline skates are poor example IMHO. For inline skates
there's no reason to vary the angle of skate to the
ground because the traction doesn't depend on that angle.

> Speed skates have no support in any plane, fore/aft or laterally.
> Heres a picture to help you visualise.

I know, I've seen them. They've much thinner and much longer
blade also.

In my high school we used to play some hockey. On of the guys
had speed skates. And he had problems skating on hockey skates
because they lacked this lo-o-ong blade he's used to -- he
tried hockey skates once or twice and he constantly fell forward
or backward. So decided he'd stick with the long "knives".

It was quite funny sometimes watching how he, after loosing pack,
had to make those big-radius speed-skaterish turns.

>>>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
>>>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
>>>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
>>> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
>>
>>
>> The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.

> But I still question the point of trying. You always have visual cues
> on the ice, how doing that stuff with eyes closed is of benefit is
> beyond me.

I personally don't think it is of great benefit.

---
Signature has been removed to save disk space.

Elzinator
September 23rd 04, 02:03 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in message news:<-
> AleX wrote:
>
> > Lyle McDonald > wrote:

> >>Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
> >>30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
> >>proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.
> >
> >
> > Why not just glide on one skate back and forth as everybody
> > does? The standing balance and the dynamic balance on the
> > skates are kinda different, aren't they?
>
> because:
> a. I have limited ice time (where I also do lots of gliding on one skate
> in various positions)
> b. The above is IN ADDITION to that ice time.

I base the following comments only on my experience from years of long
hours of ice skating (until ~20 yrs ago):

Alex has a point; actual ice time is the only way to master this. But
I suspect that the one-legged drill will help your balance, i.e.
cross-specificity. I remember the long hours I tried to master (and
never really did) a one-legged position (squatting down on one leg
with the other leg extended out in front). It was an obsessional
challenge and I never could maintain that position for more than 20
sec (then it was a cold crash and bang). In retrospect, I think that
if I had done accessory one-legged squats and balance drills, I may
have had more success due to the carry over (my balance was ****ty).
But optimally the drills must be trasferred to long ice time.

> >>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> >>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> >>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> >> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
> >
> > The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.

No, not odd at all. In fact, very common. Asymmetry is apparent in our
physical appearance and in our motor recruitment. Ramachandran
discusses why in his explanation of the motor cortex and movement:

> But I still question the point of trying. You always have visual cues
> on the ice, how doing that stuff with eyes closed is of benefit is
> beyond me.
>
> Lyle

Elzinator
September 23rd 04, 02:17 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in message news:<-
> AleX wrote:
>
> > Lyle McDonald > wrote:

> >>Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
> >>30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
> >>proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.
> >
> >
> > Why not just glide on one skate back and forth as everybody
> > does? The standing balance and the dynamic balance on the
> > skates are kinda different, aren't they?
>
> because:
> a. I have limited ice time (where I also do lots of gliding on one skate
> in various positions)
> b. The above is IN ADDITION to that ice time.

I base the following comments only on my experience from years of long
hours of ice skating (until ~20 yrs ago):

Alex has a point; actual ice time is the only way to master this. But
I suspect that the one-legged drill will help your balance, i.e.
cross-specificity. I remember the long hours I tried to master (and
never really did) a one-legged position (squatting down on one leg
with the other leg extended out in front). It was an obsessional
challenge and I never could maintain that position for more than 20
sec (then it was a cold crash and bang). In retrospect, I think that
if I had done accessory one-legged squats and balance drills, I may
have had more success due to the carry over (my balance was ****ty).
But optimally the drills must be transferred to long ice time.

> >>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> >>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> >>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> >> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
> >
> > The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.

No, not odd at all. In fact, very common. Asymmetry is apparent in our
physical appearance and in our motor recruitment/movements.
Ramachandran discusses why in his explanation of the barin, motor
cortex and movement.

> But I still question the point of trying. You always have visual cues
> on the ice, how doing that stuff with eyes closed is of benefit is
> beyond me.

In addition to Wayne's excellent explanation, I will add that given
the added component of balance, proprioception (temporal and spatial
perception of the body) on ice will be acquired with practice. I don't
think that closing your eyes to train for proprioception on ice is a
realistic goal. Rather the converse: the more you practice on the ice,
your proprioception will progressively increase to where you can
eventually close your eyes and perform skate movements. Right now, you
need the visual cues from all around you to imprint the foundation
upon which your proprioception develops.

Only after years as a youngster skating (I was on the ice all winter)
did I arrive at the point where I could skate with my eyes closed
(which was an awesome feeling). I occasionally ran into things :)

This is where Keith and I disagree about the issue of closing the eyes
to develop proprioception (based on reading Ramachandran and
discussions with some of the neurologists here). Prorprioception is
acquired based on a foundation of experiences and sensory inputs. Not
the other way. (one of these days I'll have some time to write up my
thought experiment on this and training).

Just my five cents.

Keith Hobman
September 23rd 04, 03:12 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
> balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
> say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
> ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
> wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
> comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
> totally different as are the blades).
>
> Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
> 30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
> proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.
>
> For giggle, I attempted Keith's suggestion of doing it with eyes closed.
>
> bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
>
> So then I tried doing the same drills but facing away from the mirror
> but with eyes open. Far closer to what happens on the ice, you don't
> have a mirror for feedback but your eyes are open, you can watch for
> various visual cues (I'm looking at a blank wall which isn't far off
> from the ice/pads on the side).
>
> Wobblier than with the mirror but doable and getting better with practice.
>
> My n=1 conclusion, closing eyes takes away too many valuable cues to be
> worthwhile, you always have some visual input to use as a cue (even if
> it's to make sure that you are perpendicular to the horizon and not
> tilted) and I don't see closing the eyes as being terribly relevant for
> technical training in the first place.
>
> or maybe I'm just rationalizing the fact that I really suck at it.

Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.

Once you develop some skills start closing the eyes to enhance those skills.

What you are saying is right now you are relying almost completely on
visual feedback. For an athlete that doesn't cut it.

BTW - doing something you have difficulty doing without a mirror
blindfolded is like telling someone who has insufficient flexibility to
squat deep. You aren't ready for it, you havene't developed the necessary
skills or physical attributes and you do one test and rationalize a
valuable training aid - well, isn't. I'd really suggest you quit using the
mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once and a while to check
form is fine) and progress from there.

Also FWIW - the head coach of the Saskatoon team had Katriana Doan doing
one-legged partial squats on a short 2x4 standing on edge - blindfolded.

She has world records, olympic medals and all that. But still, n=1. OTOH
pretty much all the elite team did that drill. So n is higher, but AFAIK
only two of the team went on to olympic prominence.

So there is nothing magical about the drill. But valuable? I think so, at
a certain point in the athletes development. Primary exercise? No.

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Keith Hobman
September 23rd 04, 03:19 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> AleX wrote:
>
> > Lyle McDonald > wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
> >> balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
> >>say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
> >>ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
> >>wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
> >>comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
> >>totally different as are the blades).
> >
> >
> > Using ankle support in hockey skates to lock ankle is a
> > poor practice, acceptable only for complete newbies. It
> > inhibits the correct technique. Ankle should be flexible.
>
> right, flexible fore and aft.
> Not laterally, not that I'm aware of anyhow.
>
> Like a good pair of in line skates.
>
> Speed skates have no support in any plane, fore/aft or laterally.
> Heres a picture to help you visualise.
>
> http://www.adamsinline.com/blades.html#blizzard
>
> Compare that to a hockey skate.
>
> The blades are also different between speed and hockey.
>
> >
> >
> >>Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
> >>30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
> >>proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.
> >
> >
> > Why not just glide on one skate back and forth as everybody
> > does? The standing balance and the dynamic balance on the
> > skates are kinda different, aren't they?
>
> because:
> a. I have limited ice time (where I also do lots of gliding on one skate
> in various positions)
> b. The above is IN ADDITION to that ice time.
>
>
>
> >>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> >>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> >>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> >> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
> >
> >
> > The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.
>
> But I still question the point of trying. You always have visual cues
> on the ice, how doing that stuff with eyes closed is of benefit is
> beyond me.

To enhance proprioceptive skills. Hint: check out the studies for feedback
and compare visual to proprioceptive.

Your statement is akin to saying you always move the foot in skating so
what is the point of squatting? Answer - you squat to enhance strength
that has carryover to skating.

Proprioceptive skills have carryover to skating. Enhancing them will
benefit you. You are trying to develop an athletic template of movement
and body position right now. Being able to do it blindfolded will enhance
what you get when you have a visual cue.

If you can read McClements (the aforementioned skating coach) and
Sanderson. "What an athlete learns when when they learn a motor skill".
I'll have to go check my papers at home and get the real title. It is a
simple paper, but I find the concept very useful in training.

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

AleX
September 23rd 04, 03:41 PM
Elzinator > wrote:

>> >>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
>> >>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
>> >>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
>> >> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.

>> > The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.

> No, not odd at all. In fact, very common. Asymmetry is apparent in our
> physical appearance and in our motor recruitment/movements.
> Ramachandran discusses why in his explanation of the barin, motor
> cortex and movement.

Well, I tried that stuff myself and the biggest problem for me, it
seems, is that you get a dis-balance signal from your vestibular
apparatus (and whatever else is involved) later than from visual.
So, the necessary correction is greater and so are the chances of
over-correcting. That means that you start swaying and which side
you fall eventually is pretty random.

BTW, that means that one should have problems with balance in a
pitch darkness, in a snow blizzard and other similar situations when
there're no visual points of reference. Interesting, never thought
of that.

---
Signature has been removed to save disk space.

Keith Hobman
September 23rd 04, 04:38 PM
In article >, AleX
> wrote:

> Elzinator > wrote:
>
> >> >>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> >> >>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> >> >>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> >> >> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
>
> >> > The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.
>
> > No, not odd at all. In fact, very common. Asymmetry is apparent in our
> > physical appearance and in our motor recruitment/movements.
> > Ramachandran discusses why in his explanation of the barin, motor
> > cortex and movement.
>
> Well, I tried that stuff myself and the biggest problem for me, it
> seems, is that you get a dis-balance signal from your vestibular
> apparatus (and whatever else is involved) later than from visual.
> So, the necessary correction is greater and so are the chances of
> over-correcting. That means that you start swaying and which side
> you fall eventually is pretty random.
>
> BTW, that means that one should have problems with balance in a
> pitch darkness, in a snow blizzard and other similar situations when
> there're no visual points of reference. Interesting, never thought

There are two aspects to this type of control. Vestibular and kinesthesis.
If you think about it - you can close your eyes and raise you arm
vertically and get pretty close to vertical. So the vestibular is
primarily for balance and the kinesthesis is primarily for where your
parts of your body are relative to other parts of your body.

Both are trainable, as any gymnast or diver could tell you. The first time
you do rotations, whether on the floor or on the apparatus, you get dizzy
and lose your balance. Eventually you don't. Similarly, when you are doing
rotations about various body axis at first you aren't really away of where
your arms and legs are and what they are doing. But you learn. It takes
time and practise.

Which I why I don't think Lyle's experiment is really indicitive of
benefit. If he has poor balance and motor control than I suggest he train
them. A good start is using the mirror only sporadically to check form
instead of all the time.

Further along in his training he may find it useful at times to add stress
to training these senses by doing some reps blindfolded. Or not. I
wouldn't suggest training this way all the time, but at certain times in
the training cycle if balance or proprioception is an issue it is a good
way of addressing some aspects of those problems. It is not a good way to
train all the time because you do have visual cues and you want to use
them where you can. So during in-season training (where you aren't likely
to be spending time on boards anyhow - you should be on skates) you
wouldn't do blindfolded reps.

During the off-season - maybe. But it is an advanced technique and Lyle is
not advanced (in this aspect of motor control). Yet.

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 04:45 PM
Wayne S. Hill wrote:


> In highland games, there are drills that are often recommended to
> improve your weight for distance events (which are done spinning).
> A well-known track & field coach, Coach 'Mac' Mackay, says you
> shouldn't be happy with your spins until you can do ten 360-degree
> turns down a line with your eyes closed. I've never tried that,
> because I don't get so much training time that I feel like wasting
> any, especially in a hospital bed, but I do see an important
> point: in the HG events, visual cues are almost always less
> effective than proprioceptive cues.

I can see an argument for this while spinning, since you don't really
have visual cues of much note to get feedback from.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 04:46 PM
Elzinator wrote:

> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message news:<-
>

>>because:
>>a. I have limited ice time (where I also do lots of gliding on one skate
>>in various positions)
>>b. The above is IN ADDITION to that ice time.
>
>
> I base the following comments only on my experience from years of long
> hours of ice skating (until ~20 yrs ago):
>
> Alex has a point; actual ice time is the only way to master this.

See what I left unsnipped above? What do a and b say?

You peple are reading what I wrote as if I'm doing the balance board
stuff INSTEAD of on ice training.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 04:50 PM
Keith Hobman wrote:

> In article >, Lyle McDonald
=
>>My n=1 conclusion, closing eyes takes away too many valuable cues to be
>>worthwhile, you always have some visual input to use as a cue (even if
>>it's to make sure that you are perpendicular to the horizon and not
>>tilted) and I don't see closing the eyes as being terribly relevant for
>>technical training in the first place.
>>
>>or maybe I'm just rationalizing the fact that I really suck at it.
>
>
> Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
> away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
> mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.

Bull**** Keith and I'll argue this with you until the end of time.
Because you are absolutely wrong about this. Either that or you skipped
basic motor learning classes.

When someone is LEARNING a new skill, immediate feedback is a critical
aspect so taht they can make adjustments.

There is NO way to ensure proper body alignment in the first place
without some source of feedback. I don't have a coach and I don't have
a video camera. What does that leave me with?

put differently: let's stay I start out LEARNING these positions witout
feedback as you seem to be suggesting. How can I POSSIBLY know what is
the proper position in the first place?

>
> Once you develop some skills start closing the eyes to enhance those skills.

Again, bull****, this is so far removed from normal activity that i see
zero point in it. You always have visual cues, at least in the
activities I'm doing.

>
> What you are saying is right now you are relying almost completely on
> visual feedback. For an athlete that doesn't cut it.

See above and actually read what I wrote, I'm doing some of my drills
facging away from the mirror.


> Also FWIW - the head coach of the Saskatoon team had Katriana Doan doing
> one-legged partial squats on a short 2x4 standing on edge - blindfolded.

Good for her. I'm sure it made her a tremendous blindfolded speed skater.
When that event comes along, I'll work on it.

Since I get to keep my eyes open when I skate, I'm skipping nonsensical
irrelvant drills.

>
> She has world records, olympic medals and all that. But still, n=1. OTOH
> pretty much all the elite team did that drill. So n is higher, but AFAIK
> only two of the team went on to olympic prominence.

Hooray, I bet I can find dozens of top skaters who have never done such.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 04:51 PM
AleX wrote:

> Elzinator > wrote:
>
>
>>>>>bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
>>>>>cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
>>>>>position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
>>>>>And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
>
>
>>>>The same side -- that is wierd. Otherwise, it is hard, but possible.
>
>
>>No, not odd at all. In fact, very common. Asymmetry is apparent in our
>>physical appearance and in our motor recruitment/movements.
>>Ramachandran discusses why in his explanation of the barin, motor
>>cortex and movement.
>
>
> Well, I tried that stuff myself and the biggest problem for me, it
> seems, is that you get a dis-balance signal from your vestibular
> apparatus (and whatever else is involved) later than from visual.
> So, the necessary correction is greater and so are the chances of
> over-correcting. That means that you start swaying and which side
> you fall eventually is pretty random.
>
> BTW, that means that one should have problems with balance in a
> pitch darkness, in a snow blizzard and other similar situations when
> there're no visual points of reference. Interesting, never thought
> of that.

All great martial arts movies invaraibly have a training sequence of the
hero blindfolded. It prepares him for when the evil guy throws blinding
powder in his face.

Lyle

Keith Hobman
September 23rd 04, 05:12 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
> > In article >, Lyle McDonald
> =
> >>My n=1 conclusion, closing eyes takes away too many valuable cues to be
> >>worthwhile, you always have some visual input to use as a cue (even if
> >>it's to make sure that you are perpendicular to the horizon and not
> >>tilted) and I don't see closing the eyes as being terribly relevant for
> >>technical training in the first place.
> >>
> >>or maybe I'm just rationalizing the fact that I really suck at it.
> >
> >
> > Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
> > away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
> > mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.
>
> Bull**** Keith and I'll argue this with you until the end of time.
> Because you are absolutely wrong about this. Either that or you skipped
> basic motor learning classes.
>
> When someone is LEARNING a new skill, immediate feedback is a critical
> aspect so taht they can make adjustments.
>
> There is NO way to ensure proper body alignment in the first place
> without some source of feedback. I don't have a coach and I don't have
> a video camera. What does that leave me with?
>
> put differently: let's stay I start out LEARNING these positions witout
> feedback as you seem to be suggesting. How can I POSSIBLY know what is
> the proper position in the first place?

I discussed this with a grad student.

I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed you had
gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your body is
supposed to be doing. So now I would suggest that you start doing some
reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror EXCEPT using
it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.

If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training) than you
have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body position.

I think one of the problems you and I have in communication is we both
tend to state our example in extremes to make a case. In reality there is
no black and white here. And I've been using simplified and actually
erroneous descriptions (ie kinethesis for proprioception) in an attempt to
simplify the position.

How is this for a learning progression.

1. Begin by using the mirror to ensure body position.

2. As you get comfortable with your body position add stress occasionally
by facing away from the mirror.

3. Eventually work to where the majority of your reps don't use the
mirror, but it still can be used as a check once in a while that body
position is being maintained using kinesthetic senses (vestibular and
proprioceptive).

4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to add stress
(very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps with a
blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.

As far as using mirrors for weight training to ensure body position - I
still maintain for most exercises (powerlifting and olympic lifting) there
are better ways. Which is what I discussed with the student.

To learn to squat properly - do front squats in a narrow power cage or
near the front of the power cage. The bar racked on your shoulders will
give you better feedback about your lower back rounding than a mirror. If
your torso twists or a knee travels in the bar will hit the uprights on
the power cage. Another way to do this with less obtrusive feedback is to
suspend bungy cords from the rack in the desired bar groove. I maintain
you could learn squat tecnhique very well progressing with this technique
from front to back squat without ever using a mirror. If you are concerned
about your shoulders twisting suspend golf balls from the rack square to
your body position in the squat and make sure you don't hit the strings on
the way down.

During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine while
in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling off the
tape.

There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in athletic
events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!

:^)

My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time. My point is that they
are over-used in gyms. I got into this discussion after watching a track
athlete squat. She would check her depth (they were told 90 degrees at the
knees) in a mirror on her right. Everytime she checked it the bar traveled
from the '3/9' position clockwise to about the '4/10' position. Which was
why I went on the rant about mirrors.

I think they are majorly overused by elite athletes.

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Lee Michaels
September 23rd 04, 05:18 PM
"Lyle McDonald" wrote
>
> All great martial arts movies invaraibly have a training sequence of the
> hero blindfolded. It prepares him for when the evil guy throws blinding
> powder in his face.
>
You would think that they would wear goggles.

Adam Fahy
September 23rd 04, 05:54 PM
Lee Michaels wrote:
> "Lyle McDonald" wrote
>
>>All great martial arts movies invaraibly have a training sequence of the
>>hero blindfolded. It prepares him for when the evil guy throws blinding
>>powder in his face.
>
> You would think that they would wear goggles.

Ze goggles do nahthing!


-Adam

Lee Michaels
September 23rd 04, 06:55 PM
"Lyle McDonald" wrote
>
> All great martial arts movies invaraibly have a training sequence of the
> hero blindfolded. It prepares him for when the evil guy throws blinding
> powder in his face.
>
You would think that they would wear goggles.

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 08:09 PM
Lee Michaels wrote:

> "Lyle McDonald" wrote
>
>>All great martial arts movies invaraibly have a training sequence of the
>>hero blindfolded. It prepares him for when the evil guy throws blinding
>>powder in his face.
>>
>
> You would think that they would wear goggles.

yeah, well, you'd expect folks in a a horror movie to have seen at least
one other horror movie and know what not to do.

With the exception of the Scream series, they always make the same basic
mistakes. Split up, go investigate that odd noise in the dark basemenet
without a flashlight, don't just get the **** out of dodge when bodies
start piling up.

Kind of like my argument that the archaeologist in Alien Vs. Predator
should have known not to **** with the temple stuff if for no other
reason than he should have seen the Indiana Jones movies.

Lyle

bc
September 23rd 04, 08:32 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in message >...
> Ok, so as part of my overall training, I've been spending some time on a
> balance board. We can argue the merits of this later but sufficed to
> say that balancing on one foot on top of a 1.1 mm steel blade gliding on
> ice isn't the piece of cake you'd think it would be. That's on top of
> wearing a 'boot' that has almost zero ankle support (which is why
> comparing something like hockey skates is a poor comparison, the boot is
> totally different as are the blades).
>
> Anyhow, so I'm doing various one legged balancing drills on the board.
> 30 second holds apiece. Originally done facing the mirror to watch for
> proper body alignment, give me some visual feedback.
>
> For giggle, I attempted Keith's suggestion of doing it with eyes closed.
>
> bottom line: impossible or I have something seriously wrong in my motor
> cortex. I tipped over every single time. I would sit into the
> position, make sure I was aligned in the mirror and then close my eyes.
> And go over every damn time. Always to the same side, I don't know why.
>
> So then I tried doing the same drills but facing away from the mirror
> but with eyes open. Far closer to what happens on the ice, you don't
> have a mirror for feedback but your eyes are open, you can watch for
> various visual cues (I'm looking at a blank wall which isn't far off
> from the ice/pads on the side).
>
> Wobblier than with the mirror but doable and getting better with practice.
>
> My n=1 conclusion, closing eyes takes away too many valuable cues to be
> worthwhile, you always have some visual input to use as a cue (even if
> it's to make sure that you are perpendicular to the horizon and not
> tilted) and I don't see closing the eyes as being terribly relevant for
> technical training in the first place.
>

Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates back when?

- bc

Neil Gendzwill
September 23rd 04, 08:44 PM
AleX wrote:

> BTW, that means that one should have problems with balance in a
> pitch darkness, in a snow blizzard and other similar situations when
> there're no visual points of reference. Interesting, never thought
> of that.

I've certainly developed vertigo driving in a blinding snowstorm.

Also, one of the exercises they do during orientation in mines is to
take you to an unused tunnel (back drift, in miner parlance) and turn
off the lamps. In a Saskatchewan potash mine, the tunnel is over 20
feet wide. It is completely dark, dark in a way that few people have
ever experienced. You can literally not detect even the motion of your
hand in front of your face.

They start with you in the middle of the road and simply ask you to walk
straight. Noone can do it. They all careen into a wall. Some just
fall over while walking.

Another "fun" exercise is to ski during a white-out. When the light is
"flat" and you are surrounded by fog and/or snow, there are no visual
clues. You get vertigo. You have no idea how fast you're going. You
tend to fall over for no apparent reason as you lose track of which way
is vertical.

Fun with perceptions. I expect the suddenly blind have a few
weeks/months of balance and orientation problems before they're able to
use non-visual cues to move and stand straight.

Neil

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 08:54 PM
bc wrote:

<snip>

> Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates back when?

Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.

The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff wrote.

Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
know if that is the case.

Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).

Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
powers of understanding.

Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
with your eyes closed.

In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.

When I'm skating outdoors, I can watch the horizon (giving me feedback
about my position relative to such and whether or not I'm about to fall
over). On the ice I have the horizon, the lane lines. In both cases, I
still have to rely on proprioception to know where my feet are, the
degree of knee bend, where my torso is, etc, etc.

In the case of my balance board drills, I have been doing the first few
reps towarsd the mirror (to ensure proper body position) and then face
away from the mirror.

When I did the PL meet, I had the judges, the crowd and even the squat
stands giving me feedback. Note that I spent several weeks prior to the
meet squatting/DL'ing facing away from the mirror. I personally also
had zero problem making the switch from doing it facing the mirror to
doing it outside of the mirror. After you've done a movement enough
times, it's still going to get programemd into the motor cortex mirror
or not. It's not as if the mirror completely removes the
kinesthetic/proprioceptive cues entirely.

When you bench, you can usually find a reference point in the cieling,
folks always seem to have problems when the bench isn't lined up with
the lines that are on the cieling. etc, etc.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 08:55 PM
Neil Gendzwill wrote:

> AleX wrote:
>
>> BTW, that means that one should have problems with balance in a
>> pitch darkness, in a snow blizzard and other similar situations when
>> there're no visual points of reference. Interesting, never thought
>> of that.
>
>
> I've certainly developed vertigo driving in a blinding snowstorm.
>
> Also, one of the exercises they do during orientation in mines is to
> take you to an unused tunnel (back drift, in miner parlance) and turn
> off the lamps. In a Saskatchewan potash mine, the tunnel is over 20
> feet wide. It is completely dark, dark in a way that few people have
> ever experienced. You can literally not detect even the motion of your
> hand in front of your face.
>
> They start with you in the middle of the road and simply ask you to walk
> straight. Noone can do it. They all careen into a wall. Some just
> fall over while walking.
>
> Another "fun" exercise is to ski during a white-out. When the light is
> "flat" and you are surrounded by fog and/or snow, there are no visual
> clues. You get vertigo. You have no idea how fast you're going. You
> tend to fall over for no apparent reason as you lose track of which way
> is vertical.

All situations where I can see relevance to training without visual cues.

Seem to be few and far between, especially in the world of sport.

Lyle

Steve Freides
September 23rd 04, 09:25 PM
"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
...

-snip-

> During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
> determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine
> while
> in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling off
> the
> tape.
>
> There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in
> athletic
> events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!

This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)

-S-
http://www.kbnj.com

ester
September 23rd 04, 09:46 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
...
> bc wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> > Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
back when?
>
> Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
> ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
> enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
>
> The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff wrote.
>
> Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
> conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
> came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
> asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
> closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
> know if that is the case.
>
> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>
> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> powers of understanding.
>
> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> with your eyes closed.
>
> In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
> available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
> cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
>

true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception

whit

> When I'm skating outdoors, I can watch the horizon (giving me feedback
> about my position relative to such and whether or not I'm about to fall
> over). On the ice I have the horizon, the lane lines. In both cases, I
> still have to rely on proprioception to know where my feet are, the
> degree of knee bend, where my torso is, etc, etc.
>
> In the case of my balance board drills, I have been doing the first few
> reps towarsd the mirror (to ensure proper body position) and then face
> away from the mirror.
>
> When I did the PL meet, I had the judges, the crowd and even the squat
> stands giving me feedback. Note that I spent several weeks prior to the
> meet squatting/DL'ing facing away from the mirror. I personally also
> had zero problem making the switch from doing it facing the mirror to
> doing it outside of the mirror. After you've done a movement enough
> times, it's still going to get programemd into the motor cortex mirror
> or not. It's not as if the mirror completely removes the
> kinesthetic/proprioceptive cues entirely.
>
> When you bench, you can usually find a reference point in the cieling,
> folks always seem to have problems when the bench isn't lined up with
> the lines that are on the cieling. etc, etc.
>
> Lyle
>

Keith Hobman
September 23rd 04, 10:31 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> bc wrote:
>
> <snip>
>
> > Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
back when?
>
> Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
> ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
> enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
>
> The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff wrote.
>
> Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
> conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
> came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
> asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
> closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
> know if that is the case.

Yeah, I've heard the same thing.
>
> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>
> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> powers of understanding.

I don't think it should be a regular practise. But I think for some people
it has application at some point of their training. It isn't something I
do much of, but if I was trying to change a motor pattern I might.
>
> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> with your eyes closed.

See my previous post. Mirrors can be damaging, but my assertion is that
they are overused by adapted athletes.
>
> In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
> available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
> cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
>
> When I'm skating outdoors, I can watch the horizon (giving me feedback
> about my position relative to such and whether or not I'm about to fall
> over). On the ice I have the horizon, the lane lines. In both cases, I
> still have to rely on proprioception to know where my feet are, the
> degree of knee bend, where my torso is, etc, etc.
>
> In the case of my balance board drills, I have been doing the first few
> reps towarsd the mirror (to ensure proper body position) and then face
> away from the mirror.
>
> When I did the PL meet, I had the judges, the crowd and even the squat
> stands giving me feedback. Note that I spent several weeks prior to the
> meet squatting/DL'ing facing away from the mirror. I personally also
> had zero problem making the switch from doing it facing the mirror to
> doing it outside of the mirror. After you've done a movement enough
> times, it's still going to get programemd into the motor cortex mirror
> or not. It's not as if the mirror completely removes the
> kinesthetic/proprioceptive cues entirely.
>
> When you bench, you can usually find a reference point in the cieling,
> folks always seem to have problems when the bench isn't lined up with
> the lines that are on the cieling. etc, etc.
>
> Lyle

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Keith Hobman
September 23rd 04, 10:43 PM
In article et>, "ester"
> wrote:

> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
> ...
> > bc wrote:
> >
> > <snip>
> >
> > > Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
> back when?
> >
> > Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
> > ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
> > enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
> >
> > The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff wrote.
> >
> > Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
> > conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
> > came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
> > asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
> > closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
> > know if that is the case.
> >
> > Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
> > all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
> >
> > Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> > to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> > processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> > taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> > powers of understanding.
> >
> > Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
> > can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> > should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> > actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> > with your eyes closed.
> >
> > In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
> > available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
> > cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
> >
>
> true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception

Virtually any dynamic movement being an exception to having a mirror. For
slow movements mirrors are okay at some points. But if you are trying to
create speed watching yourself in the mirror is a killer. The visual sense
is both too slow and the image in the mirror distracts from the cue you
are trying to work on.

So the reality is for most sports they are useless. Strength training for
those sports (which in most cases is slow movement) being the exception.

Which is why you never see mirrors in gymnastics rooms. And I would use
that sport as an example of probably the most high degree of complex motor
control exhibited - and developed completely without the use of mirrors.

Of course, you need a coach. Which was part of Lyle's point. The fact he
is self-coaching himself is why he needs the mirror in his case. Which is
less than optimal - he would be better off with a good coach.

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Lyle McDonald
September 23rd 04, 11:05 PM
ester wrote:

>>In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
>>available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
>>cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
>>
>
>
> true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception

How is OL'ing an exception?

Lyle

elzinator
September 24th 04, 12:53 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 09:46:22 -0600, Lyle McDonald wrote:
>Elzinator wrote:
>
>> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message news:<-
>>
>
>>>because:
>>>a. I have limited ice time (where I also do lots of gliding on one skate
>>>in various positions)
>>>b. The above is IN ADDITION to that ice time.
>>
>>
>> I base the following comments only on my experience from years of long
>> hours of ice skating (until ~20 yrs ago):
>>
>> Alex has a point; actual ice time is the only way to master this.
>
>See what I left unsnipped above? What do a and b say?
>
>You peple are reading what I wrote as if I'm doing the balance board
>stuff INSTEAD of on ice training.

I read it through rather quickly. So bite me.


"What if the forces of anarchy and chaos appeared while
you weren't thinking?"
- Inspector Raymond Fowler

elzinator
September 24th 04, 02:19 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 13:44:56 -0600, Neil Gendzwill wrote:
>AleX wrote:
>
>> BTW, that means that one should have problems with balance in a
>> pitch darkness, in a snow blizzard and other similar situations when
>> there're no visual points of reference. Interesting, never thought
>> of that.
>
>I've certainly developed vertigo driving in a blinding snowstorm.
>
>Also, one of the exercises they do during orientation in mines is to
>take you to an unused tunnel (back drift, in miner parlance) and turn
>off the lamps. In a Saskatchewan potash mine, the tunnel is over 20
>feet wide. It is completely dark, dark in a way that few people have
>ever experienced. You can literally not detect even the motion of your
>hand in front of your face.
>
>They start with you in the middle of the road and simply ask you to walk
>straight. Noone can do it. They all careen into a wall. Some just
>fall over while walking.
>
>Another "fun" exercise is to ski during a white-out. When the light is
>"flat" and you are surrounded by fog and/or snow, there are no visual
>clues. You get vertigo. You have no idea how fast you're going. You
>tend to fall over for no apparent reason as you lose track of which way
>is vertical.
>
>Fun with perceptions. I expect the suddenly blind have a few
>weeks/months of balance and orientation problems before they're able to
>use non-visual cues to move and stand straight.

It comes quickly. They have a 'zombie' inside them that guides their
movements. That 'zombie' is alert and capable of making complex
movement patterns, even without visual input, even without conscious
awareness.

Perception is more than just images in the brain. What we see are
symbolic descriptions of events and things. Every time you see
something, the brain makes an unconscious judgement. The brain
interprets the visual input and infers a conclusion based on
assumptions.

There are two processing pathways in the brain for visual input: the
'what' and the 'how.' Information from the optic nerve travels to the
'new' pathway (referred to as the 'new' pathway because it is more
recently evolved in our brains) It resides in the primary visual
cortex and leads to conscious experience. The information then
diverges into two other pathways: the 'how' pathway (in the parietal
lobes) and the 'what' pathway (in the temporal lobes).

The 'how' pathway is concerned with spatial functions, such as
grasping and navigating, visually guided systems. The 'what' pathway
is concerned with recognizing objects.

The latter area of the brain houses 30 visual systems that help you
identify a pear, an apple or a piece of iron. When you look at a piece
of round flat iron, information travels down your optical nerve and
into the 'what' area of the brain; a group of cells fire and another
message is quickly relayed to another part of the brain in the
temporal lobe containing your memories and knowledge of that flat
round piece of iron. Emotions are then evoked associated with that
sight (this is the 'old' pathway in the limbic system, the oldest part
of the brain that all mammals have. It is mostly unconscious.
Sometimes the 'new' pathway will deny the 'old' pathway, but it still
surfaces in one form or another. This is one contribution of our
appreciation of art.)

The two systems work in a smoothly coordinated unison, but they also
work independently. Sometimes what you 'think' you see, your
unconscious 'how' pathway will 'know' otherwise. And your sight can
play tricks on you.

When a basketball player stands on the same spot and practices a throw
into the net, he develops a visual and spatial imprinted movement
pattern in his brain. Sometimes if he focuses too hard, he can't make
the basket. But if he stops, relaxes and closes his eyes and tosses,
he may make that basket, over and over. He released the 'zombie' in
his brain and let it do its thing.

Is the zombie smarter than us? Ask Yoda. Sometimes the hands and feet
know something that the eyes do not. If you lived in your house or
apartment for a long time, I bet that you can blindfold yourself and
navigate around without killing yourself.

The 'how' part of the brain still remembers where things are: when to
slow the feet, when to grasp for the door knob, and where you put the
coffee. It has a foundation of experiences, memories, and stored
information from a long time of visual input to use as guidance, to
the point where you don't even have to think about it.

We have to have these visual cues while we perform a movement, feeling
where the parts of our body are in space and time (proprioception
development), and repeat them over and over and over, imprinting them
into the 'how' and 'what' pathways of our brain. Then we can
progressively remove the visual cues, one part at a time, to
eventually close our eyes and perform the same movement, feeling it in
our brain and body what is already there. The zombie again does it's
thing.*

That's how a drunken weight lifter could safely do squats, how a
powerlifter can squat or deadlift without a mirror and surrounded by
distractions, how a person who became blind in his late 20's can still
find his coffee cup and pour hot coffee into it. That is how I used to
skate on the small pond behind my house in the dark when I was a kid.
That is how and why Elzi is one with the deadlift bar: it is an
extension of my body and my mind. The rest are just details.

And that is how Lyle will eventually be able to skate on one leg on
ice. And how Elzi will eventually be able to do hi-bar,
shoulder-width-apart squats.

That is perception.
and it's all relative.


* Zombie is also relevant to mimicking, like a baby does watching a
parent talk, drink, etc. Even in autism or Asperger's Syndrome, where
the afflicted individual mimics another but lacks one part of the
overall equation: emotion. Some are very proficient at mimicking.
That's how they adapt.

"What if the forces of anarchy and chaos appeared while
you weren't thinking?"
- Inspector Raymond Fowler

Wayne S. Hill
September 24th 04, 02:38 AM
Lyle McDonald wrote:

> Wayne S. Hill wrote:
>
>> In highland games, there are drills that are often
>> recommended to improve your weight for distance events
>> (which are done spinning). A well-known track & field
>> coach, Coach 'Mac' Mackay, says you shouldn't be happy with
>> your spins until you can do ten 360-degree turns down a
>> line with your eyes closed. I've never tried that, because
>> I don't get so much training time that I feel like wasting
>> any, especially in a hospital bed, but I do see an
>> important point: in the HG events, visual cues are almost
>> always less effective than proprioceptive cues.
>
> I can see an argument for this while spinning, since you
> don't really have visual cues of much note to get feedback
> from.

True: if anything, the surroundings are just plain too
confusing, so you can't really afford to use visual cues.
Everything's happening way too fast for that.

--
-Wayne

elzinator
September 24th 04, 02:41 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 08:12:21 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:

>Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
>away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
>mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.

I don't agree, as I mentioned before and in another post in this
thread. Mirrors and other visual cues can be very useful during the
beginning of learning a new skill or technique.

>Once you develop some skills start closing the eyes to enhance those skills.
>
>What you are saying is right now you are relying almost completely on
>visual feedback. For an athlete that doesn't cut it.

Not in an 'elite' or highly skilled athlete who is proficient in their
skill and techniques, but it does if one is learning a new skill or
technique. Visual input is significantly helpful to lay the beginning
foundations for imprinting a movement pattern. As the proficiency of
the individual increases, then the visual cues can be progressively
weaned. Gradual is important because abrupt withdrawal will disrupt
the unison and coordination and integration of the systems. But the
movement pattern is there, imprinted in the brain.

In time, as the spatial and temporal perception (proprioception)
becomes less reliant on visual cues, the 'how' pathway (the 'zombie')
becomes stronger. Eventually, the athlete is proficient at the newly
introduced skill or technique enough that he/she can perform it with
eyes closed. This will 'cement' the proprioception: imprint that
movement deeper with confirmation. But in the beginning, feedback from
mirror can be very helpful.

>BTW - doing something you have difficulty doing without a mirror
>blindfolded is like telling someone who has insufficient flexibility to
>squat deep. You aren't ready for it, you havene't developed the necessary
>skills or physical attributes and you do one test and rationalize a
>valuable training aid - well, isn't. I'd really suggest you quit using the
>mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once and a while to check
>form is fine) and progress from there.

And I and several neuroscientists (one a cognitive neuroscientist)
disagree with you. (yes, a few of them are even athletes; one coaches
a basketball team). One, a neuropathologist and basketball player
demonstrated to me the sequence of how this all works and is
coordinated together (complete with a 'lecture' on neural recruitment
involved in motor execution, more than I asked for).

These people work with clinical patients and physical rehabilitation.
Developing athletic skills is not that different than teaching a
stroke patient to walk, talk, or move an arm again. Or how a baby
learns to move. In fact, the athletes have a distinct advantage.

Regardless, individuals respond differently to styles of motor pattern
learning. That you aren't primarily visual may be coloring your
perception and perspective. Nevertheless, visual cues can be extremely
helpful for some athletes learning new skills.

So I take issue with your universal condemnation: "If you are an
athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."


"What if the forces of anarchy and chaos appeared while
you weren't thinking?"
- Inspector Raymond Fowler

Wayne S. Hill
September 24th 04, 02:49 AM
Lyle McDonald wrote:

> I'm doing the
> balance board stuff INSTEAD of on ice training.
>
> Lyle

I don't think that's a good idea.

--
-Wayne

elzinator
September 24th 04, 02:55 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
...
>
>-snip-
>
>> During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
>> determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine
>> while
>> in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling off
>> the
>> tape.
>>
>> There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in
>> athletic
>> events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!
>
>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)

Actually, Steve; you are spot on.

Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids. In
some cases, they work even better than mirrors because they can

1. give the trainee a perspective that is from a different angle that
can not be seen while looking forward in a mirror,

2. offer a detached perspective, separated from real time and space.
What I mean by that is, the trainee can watch the video of himself
without other input (such as when he/she is actually performing the
movement) which allows for introspect and evaluation of judgement,

3. may offer a more complete view of the body during the movement.
When you are squatting in front of a mirror, you can't watch what your
feet and knees are doing or you may lose the bar. Watching your own
body in the mirror has limitations in that the act of watching
yourself can alter or interfere with your form.

However, as the trainee progresses, he/she will be able to pick up on
cues that were before unnoticed (the subconscious surfaces to the
consciousness: one of our visual systems is responsible for 'seeing'
movement that we don't consciously think about. An example is driving
while talking in your car; you unconsciously notice lights, curbs,
pedestrians, etc without thinking about it while you talk. If
something goes amiss, that part of your brain sends a quick signal to
other parts of the brain, including the motor cortex and you slam on
the brakes.)

4. It is an invaluable tool to assess and evaluate your own or a
trainee's movements.
"I know when that happened! I felt something wasn't right; so that's
what it looks like! Next time, if I move this here/do this then/etc,
it should look and feel right."

Very good point.

"What if the forces of anarchy and chaos appeared while
you weren't thinking?"
- Inspector Raymond Fowler

elzinator
September 24th 04, 03:05 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:31:38 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
>In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

>> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
>> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>>
>> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
>> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
>> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
>> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
>> powers of understanding.
>
>I don't think it should be a regular practise. But I think for some people
>it has application at some point of their training. It isn't something I
>do much of, but if I was trying to change a motor pattern I might.

Isnt' that what he is doing? Isn't that what I am doing? (at one point
you recommended I squat blindfolded; a few weeks ago I think is when
you posted that). Isn't that what you are doing?

And what about new athletes or athletes learning a new skill?

>> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
>> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
>> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
>> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
>> with your eyes closed.
>
>See my previous post. Mirrors can be damaging, but my assertion is that
>they are overused by adapted athletes.

But that is NOT what you vehemently said, repeatedly in several posts.

Mirrors can also be helpful.

Again, you are projecting YOUR preferences (and innate learning
styles) onto others. You should be careful about that.

Any good coach knows that and practices using methods that best suit
and benefit the individual trainee. Not just what works for
himself/herself. Just as medicine should be individualized for each
person, so should training and coaching.


"What if the forces of anarchy and chaos appeared while
you weren't thinking?"
- Inspector Raymond Fowler

Steve Freides
September 24th 04, 03:12 AM
"elzinator" > wrote in message
...
> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>>"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
...
>>
>>-snip-
>>
>>> During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
>>> determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine
>>> while
>>> in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling
>>> off
>>> the
>>> tape.
>>>
>>> There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in
>>> athletic
>>> events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!
>>
>>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
>
> Actually, Steve; you are spot on.

Thank you. Just in case it wasn't clear, my smiley face after that
sentence wasn't because I meant it as a joke; it was because I've posted
so much video of myself on mfw.

> Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids. In
> some cases, they work even better than mirrors because they can

I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program, period.
Not everyone who trains goes by the name "athlete", however, so I'll
broaden my bias here - I believe that, overall, mirrors do more harm
than good. That's not to say they don't do some good some of the time,
but I believe they're best avoided by most people all of the time and
the rest of the people most of the time. I certainly manage to get by
without ever using a mirror.

This being mfw, can I change the subject almost completely? What about
mirrors on the ceiling over one's bed? I remember we had one the night
we got married because we stayed in a "honeymoon" suite - neither my
wife nor I, who'd lived together for two years by the time we got
married, thought it was anything fun, just distracting. I don't think
we've ever stayed anywhere since that had one. At least _this_ is,
IMHO, an OK use for a mirror if you're into that sort of thing.

Steve "got married once, 20 years ago, and have stayed that was ever
since" Freides
http://www.kbnj.com


> 1. give the trainee a perspective that is from a different angle that
> can not be seen while looking forward in a mirror,
>
> 2. offer a detached perspective, separated from real time and space.
> What I mean by that is, the trainee can watch the video of himself
> without other input (such as when he/she is actually performing the
> movement) which allows for introspect and evaluation of judgement,
>
> 3. may offer a more complete view of the body during the movement.
> When you are squatting in front of a mirror, you can't watch what your
> feet and knees are doing or you may lose the bar. Watching your own
> body in the mirror has limitations in that the act of watching
> yourself can alter or interfere with your form.
>
> However, as the trainee progresses, he/she will be able to pick up on
> cues that were before unnoticed (the subconscious surfaces to the
> consciousness: one of our visual systems is responsible for 'seeing'
> movement that we don't consciously think about. An example is driving
> while talking in your car; you unconsciously notice lights, curbs,
> pedestrians, etc without thinking about it while you talk. If
> something goes amiss, that part of your brain sends a quick signal to
> other parts of the brain, including the motor cortex and you slam on
> the brakes.)
>
> 4. It is an invaluable tool to assess and evaluate your own or a
> trainee's movements.
> "I know when that happened! I felt something wasn't right; so that's
> what it looks like! Next time, if I move this here/do this then/etc,
> it should look and feel right."
>
> Very good point.
>
> "What if the forces of anarchy and chaos appeared while
> you weren't thinking?"
> - Inspector Raymond Fowler

Lee Michaels
September 24th 04, 03:20 AM
"Wayne S. Hill" slyly edited

> Lyle McDonald wrote:
>
> > I'm doing the
> > balance board stuff INSTEAD of on ice training.
> >
> > Lyle
>
> I don't think that's a good idea.
>
No, he should be doing the balance board exercises on ice as well.

Preferably while wearing rollerblades.

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 05:10 AM
In article >, nospam.net wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:31:38 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
> >In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > wrote:
>
> >> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
> >> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
> >>
> >> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> >> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> >> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> >> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> >> powers of understanding.
> >
> >I don't think it should be a regular practise. But I think for some people
> >it has application at some point of their training. It isn't something I
> >do much of, but if I was trying to change a motor pattern I might.
>
> Isnt' that what he is doing? Isn't that what I am doing? (at one point
> you recommended I squat blindfolded; a few weeks ago I think is when
> you posted that). Isn't that what you are doing?

In the case of breaking a poor motor pattern I think it has some
application. In the case of developing a completely new skill - not as
much.
>
> And what about new athletes or athletes learning a new skill?
>
> >> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
> >> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> >> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> >> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> >> with your eyes closed.
> >
> >See my previous post. Mirrors can be damaging, but my assertion is that
> >they are overused by adapted athletes.
>
> But that is NOT what you vehemently said, repeatedly in several posts.

As I said earlier, I do tend to overstate my case and simplify as well. I
thought the way I said it made that clear. This is not a scientific forum
so I really don't think I have to be precise.
>
> Mirrors can also be helpful.
>
> Again, you are projecting YOUR preferences (and innate learning
> styles) onto others. You should be careful about that.

Read my disclaimer...

:^)

But a good point and I wouldn't disagree I should be careful. Considering
who I was talking too I wasn't too worried about another viewpoint being
put forth.

>
> Any good coach knows that and practices using methods that best suit
> and benefit the individual trainee. Not just what works for
> himself/herself. Just as medicine should be individualized for each
> person, so should training and coaching.

Exactly true. And using a blindfold to enhance proprioceptive skills is a
useful method for a lot of individuals at certain times in their training.
Not using is a mirror is also good for many applications. Using a mirror
also has some very good applications - I agree my assertion to 'throw out
the mirrors' was shortsighted _if_ taken literally.

elzinator
September 24th 04, 05:13 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:12:00 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>"elzinator" > wrote in message
...
>> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:

>>>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
>>
>> Actually, Steve; you are spot on.
>
>Thank you. Just in case it wasn't clear, my smiley face after that
>sentence wasn't because I meant it as a joke; it was because I've posted
>so much video of myself on mfw.

Neither occurred to me. I took the comment literally. Excuse me for
such a slip.

>> Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids. In
>> some cases, they work even better than mirrors because they can
>
>I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
>believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program, period.

And I disagree with you both.
So there.

>Not everyone who trains goes by the name "athlete", however, so I'll
>broaden my bias here - I believe that, overall, mirrors do more harm
>than good.

And I disagree with you. Reasons already outlined.

>That's not to say they don't do some good some of the time,

Then make up your mind. Keith can't make up his mind either.

>but I believe they're best avoided by most people all of the time and
>the rest of the people most of the time. I certainly manage to get by
>without ever using a mirror.

Oh boy. Another one.
Does anyone here have the ability to think beyond themselves?
Critically analyze or think?

Whatthe****ever.

>This being mfw, can I change the subject almost completely? What about
>mirrors on the ceiling over one's bed?

Oh, I don't object to that. :)

> I remember we had one the night
>we got married because we stayed in a "honeymoon" suite - neither my
>wife nor I, who'd lived together for two years by the time we got
>married, thought it was anything fun, just distracting. I don't think
>we've ever stayed anywhere since that had one. At least _this_ is,
>IMHO, an OK use for a mirror if you're into that sort of thing.

You're just too inhibited. Admit it, it enriches your desire and
lovemaking.

>Steve "got married once, 20 years ago, and have stayed that was ever
>since" Freides

So, what does that have to do with the inability to enjoy the visual
impact of lovemaking with your wife that you profess to be so in love
with?

Embarrassed?

(so being Devil's Advocate.....)

Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 05:15 AM
In article >, "Steve Freides"
> wrote:

> "elzinator" > wrote in message
> ...
> > On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
> >>"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
> ...
> >>
> >>-snip-
> >>
> >>> During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
> >>> determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine
> >>> while
> >>> in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling
> >>> off
> >>> the
> >>> tape.
> >>>
> >>> There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in
> >>> athletic
> >>> events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!
> >>
> >>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
> >
> > Actually, Steve; you are spot on.
>
> Thank you. Just in case it wasn't clear, my smiley face after that
> sentence wasn't because I meant it as a joke; it was because I've posted
> so much video of myself on mfw.
>
> > Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids. In
> > some cases, they work even better than mirrors because they can
>
> I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
> believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program, period.
> Not everyone who trains goes by the name "athlete", however, so I'll
> broaden my bias here - I believe that, overall, mirrors do more harm
> than good. That's not to say they don't do some good some of the time,
> but I believe they're best avoided by most people all of the time and
> the rest of the people most of the time. I certainly manage to get by
> without ever using a mirror.

I do think they have some use, particularly in slow, absolute strength
movements. But they are way overused. And surrounding the olympic lifting
platforms with them is just plain dumb. Of our two platforms there is only
one side of one platform that doesn't have a mirror.

Doing the classical olympic lifts in front of a mirror is just silly.
There is no way you can visually address the movements for usefull
feedback in a mirror. They are too fast.

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 05:25 AM
In article >, nospam.net wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:12:00 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
> >"elzinator" > wrote in message
> ...
> >> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>
> >>>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
> >>
> >> Actually, Steve; you are spot on.
> >
> >Thank you. Just in case it wasn't clear, my smiley face after that
> >sentence wasn't because I meant it as a joke; it was because I've posted
> >so much video of myself on mfw.
>
> Neither occurred to me. I took the comment literally. Excuse me for
> such a slip.
>
> >> Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids. In
> >> some cases, they work even better than mirrors because they can
> >
> >I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
> >believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program, period.
>
> And I disagree with you both.
> So there.
>
> >Not everyone who trains goes by the name "athlete", however, so I'll
> >broaden my bias here - I believe that, overall, mirrors do more harm
> >than good.
>
> And I disagree with you. Reasons already outlined.
>
> >That's not to say they don't do some good some of the time,
>
> Then make up your mind. Keith can't make up his mind either.

Keith has made up his mind. They are way overused and for the most part
there are better ways of getting useful feedback on technique. They are
useless for any fast movement, which would mean for most real world
sporting movements they are useless. They have some use for slow, strength
movements. But even there I think there are better ways.

Which I've already commented on. You may not have noticed the suggestion
which you could apply for twisting in your squat.

The reasons why they are not good for fast movements I've already
outlined. The reason I don't like them as well as other aids for slow
strength movements is athletes don't use them in their athletic events -
just in the weight room. I think efficient training means developing
skills you can take to the playing field. Proprioception is such a skill.
Watching yourself in the mirror isn't.

As well I also outlined one of the problems - track athletes twisting
while watching themselves. But have you ever noticed that a movement that
looks good in the mirror can look really screwed on video?

I think using mirrors is a lot like using a blindfold. It has some
application, but shouldn't be used as a primary feedback for training.

elzinator
September 24th 04, 05:43 AM
On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:10:01 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
>In article >, nospam.net wrote:
>
>> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:31:38 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
>> >In article >, Lyle McDonald
>> > wrote:
>>
>> >> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
>> >> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>> >>
>> >> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
>> >> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
>> >> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
>> >> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
>> >> powers of understanding.
>> >
>> >I don't think it should be a regular practise. But I think for some people
>> >it has application at some point of their training. It isn't something I
>> >do much of, but if I was trying to change a motor pattern I might.
>>
>> Isnt' that what he is doing? Isn't that what I am doing? (at one point
>> you recommended I squat blindfolded; a few weeks ago I think is when
>> you posted that). Isn't that what you are doing?
>
>In the case of breaking a poor motor pattern I think it has some
>application. In the case of developing a completely new skill - not as
>much.
>>
>> And what about new athletes or athletes learning a new skill?
>>
>> >> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
>> >> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
>> >> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
>> >> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
>> >> with your eyes closed.
>> >
>> >See my previous post. Mirrors can be damaging, but my assertion is that
>> >they are overused by adapted athletes.
>>
>> But that is NOT what you vehemently said, repeatedly in several posts.
>
>As I said earlier, I do tend to overstate my case and simplify as well. I
>thought the way I said it made that clear. This is not a scientific forum
>so I really don't think I have to be precise.
>>
>> Mirrors can also be helpful.
>>
>> Again, you are projecting YOUR preferences (and innate learning
>> styles) onto others. You should be careful about that.
>
>Read my disclaimer...
>
>:^)
>
>But a good point and I wouldn't disagree I should be careful. Considering
>who I was talking too I wasn't too worried about another viewpoint being
>put forth.
>
>>
>> Any good coach knows that and practices using methods that best suit
>> and benefit the individual trainee. Not just what works for
>> himself/herself. Just as medicine should be individualized for each
>> person, so should training and coaching.
>
>Exactly true. And using a blindfold to enhance proprioceptive skills is a
>useful method for a lot of individuals at certain times in their training.
>Not using is a mirror is also good for many applications. Using a mirror
>also has some very good applications - I agree my assertion to 'throw out
>the mirrors' was shortsighted _if_ taken literally.

Please don't interpret this as a personal attack, Keith, but you are
trying to backpeddle and hold your shaky stature at the same time. It
won't work. In fact, it's pathetic. (especially your last statement)

Either agree or disagree, but take a stand and stop being wishy washy.
And say what you mean, instead of resorting to vague assumptions on
interpretation. You know better than that and I am very disappointed
in your ability to reason and critically think. I expected better of
you.

Mirrors have their place and usefulness, despite what you 'say' (or
'mean' to say) and 'blindfold' training may also have its usefulness,
but in very limited and specific instances. It won't work for all
athletes.

The most practical and fundamental is practice: repeat and repeat of
the specific movement pattern. And everything we do has visual input,
unless you are blind. Are you blind?

If mirrors can help people with phantom limbs, if using visual and
other sensory feedback can retrain and rehab people with severe brain
trauma and stroke, even people with crushed spines, don't you think
that such sensory feedback has a place with athletes? If it can help
an individual learn new skills and enhance their speed in progression?
Are you too fixated on your own preferences and newly discovered neuvo
techniques that you can't critically analyze the limitations and
integration of said techniques with other more tested techniques?
Instead turning your nose up at modalities that may help or enhance
trainees learning new skills or unlearning new ones that will be
overlaid with new techniques?

YOU aspire to be a good, perhaps great coach. It's up to you.
Just remember that people, including athletes, come in all shapes,
sizes, forms, and learning abilities.

That's my last comment on this matter.

Until December :)


Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

Steve Freides
September 24th 04, 05:35 PM
"elzinator" > wrote in message
...
> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:12:00 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>>"elzinator" > wrote in message
...
>>> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>
>>>>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
>>>
>>> Actually, Steve; you are spot on.
>>
>>Thank you. Just in case it wasn't clear, my smiley face after that
>>sentence wasn't because I meant it as a joke; it was because I've
>>posted
>>so much video of myself on mfw.
>
> Neither occurred to me. I took the comment literally. Excuse me for
> such a slip.
>
>>> Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids.
>>> In
>>> some cases, they work even better than mirrors because they can
>>
>>I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
>>believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program,
>>period.
>
> And I disagree with you both.
> So there.
>
>>Not everyone who trains goes by the name "athlete", however, so I'll
>>broaden my bias here - I believe that, overall, mirrors do more harm
>>than good.
>
> And I disagree with you. Reasons already outlined.
>
>>That's not to say they don't do some good some of the time,
>
> Then make up your mind. Keith can't make up his mind either.
>
>>but I believe they're best avoided by most people all of the time and
>>the rest of the people most of the time. I certainly manage to get by
>>without ever using a mirror.
>
> Oh boy. Another one.
> Does anyone here have the ability to think beyond themselves?
> Critically analyze or think?
>
> Whatthe****ever.
>
>>This being mfw, can I change the subject almost completely? What
>>about
>>mirrors on the ceiling over one's bed?
>
> Oh, I don't object to that. :)
>
>> I remember we had one the night
>>we got married because we stayed in a "honeymoon" suite - neither my
>>wife nor I, who'd lived together for two years by the time we got
>>married, thought it was anything fun, just distracting. I don't think
>>we've ever stayed anywhere since that had one. At least _this_ is,
>>IMHO, an OK use for a mirror if you're into that sort of thing.
>
> You're just too inhibited. Admit it, it enriches your desire and
> lovemaking.

I can't admit what's not true - neither of us liked it. And
"inhibited?" I can only laugh at that one - I can't expect you to
understand, never having met me, but no one who knows me would describe
me as inhibited in any way, including several in which I'd likely be
better off if I was a little more inhibited.

>>Steve "got married once, 20 years ago, and have stayed that was ever
>>since" Freides
>
> So, what does that have to do with the inability to enjoy the visual
> impact of lovemaking with your wife that you profess to be so in love
> with?

We like the daytime and/or the lights on, just not mirrors.

> Embarrassed?

No, should I be?

> (so being Devil's Advocate.....)

Yes, dear. I'll be away from this scintilating conversation for a
couple of days but look forward to continueing it, if that's your wish,
on my return.

-S-
http://www.kbnj.com

> Beelzibub
>
> "Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life.
> To do this,he is obligated
> to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the
> devil."
> - Carl Jung

elzinator
September 24th 04, 06:51 PM
On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 12:35:16 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>"elzinator" > wrote in message
...

>> (so being Devil's Advocate.....)
>
>Yes, dear. I'll be away from this scintilating conversation for a
>couple of days but look forward to continueing it, if that's your wish,
>on my return.

No need. I was just playing Devil's Advocate :)

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 09:31 PM
In article >, nospam.net wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 22:10:01 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
> >In article >, nospam.net wrote:
> >
> >> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:31:38 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
> >> >In article >, Lyle McDonald
> >> > wrote:
> >>
> >> >> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation
where
> >> >> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
> >> >>
> >> >> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> >> >> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> >> >> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> >> >> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> >> >> powers of understanding.
> >> >
> >> >I don't think it should be a regular practise. But I think for some people
> >> >it has application at some point of their training. It isn't something I
> >> >do much of, but if I was trying to change a motor pattern I might.
> >>
> >> Isnt' that what he is doing? Isn't that what I am doing? (at one point
> >> you recommended I squat blindfolded; a few weeks ago I think is when
> >> you posted that). Isn't that what you are doing?
> >
> >In the case of breaking a poor motor pattern I think it has some
> >application. In the case of developing a completely new skill - not as
> >much.
> >>
> >> And what about new athletes or athletes learning a new skill?
> >>
> >> >> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills
learned, you
> >> >> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> >> >> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> >> >> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> >> >> with your eyes closed.
> >> >
> >> >See my previous post. Mirrors can be damaging, but my assertion is that
> >> >they are overused by adapted athletes.
> >>
> >> But that is NOT what you vehemently said, repeatedly in several posts.
> >
> >As I said earlier, I do tend to overstate my case and simplify as well. I
> >thought the way I said it made that clear. This is not a scientific forum
> >so I really don't think I have to be precise.
> >>
> >> Mirrors can also be helpful.
> >>
> >> Again, you are projecting YOUR preferences (and innate learning
> >> styles) onto others. You should be careful about that.
> >
> >Read my disclaimer...
> >
> >:^)
> >
> >But a good point and I wouldn't disagree I should be careful. Considering
> >who I was talking too I wasn't too worried about another viewpoint being
> >put forth.
> >
> >>
> >> Any good coach knows that and practices using methods that best suit
> >> and benefit the individual trainee. Not just what works for
> >> himself/herself. Just as medicine should be individualized for each
> >> person, so should training and coaching.
> >
> >Exactly true. And using a blindfold to enhance proprioceptive skills is a
> >useful method for a lot of individuals at certain times in their training.
> >Not using is a mirror is also good for many applications. Using a mirror
> >also has some very good applications - I agree my assertion to 'throw out
> >the mirrors' was shortsighted _if_ taken literally.
>
> Please don't interpret this as a personal attack, Keith, but you are
> trying to backpeddle and hold your shaky stature at the same time. It
> won't work. In fact, it's pathetic. (especially your last statement)
>
> Either agree or disagree, but take a stand and stop being wishy washy.
> And say what you mean, instead of resorting to vague assumptions on
> interpretation. You know better than that and I am very disappointed
> in your ability to reason and critically think. I expected better of
> you.
>
> Mirrors have their place and usefulness, despite what you 'say' (or
> 'mean' to say) and 'blindfold' training may also have its usefulness,
> but in very limited and specific instances. It won't work for all
> athletes.
>
> The most practical and fundamental is practice: repeat and repeat of
> the specific movement pattern. And everything we do has visual input,
> unless you are blind. Are you blind?
>
> If mirrors can help people with phantom limbs, if using visual and
> other sensory feedback can retrain and rehab people with severe brain
> trauma and stroke, even people with crushed spines, don't you think
> that such sensory feedback has a place with athletes? If it can help
> an individual learn new skills and enhance their speed in progression?
> Are you too fixated on your own preferences and newly discovered neuvo
> techniques that you can't critically analyze the limitations and
> integration of said techniques with other more tested techniques?
> Instead turning your nose up at modalities that may help or enhance
> trainees learning new skills or unlearning new ones that will be
> overlaid with new techniques?
>
> YOU aspire to be a good, perhaps great coach. It's up to you.
> Just remember that people, including athletes, come in all shapes,
> sizes, forms, and learning abilities.
>
> That's my last comment on this matter.
>
> Until December :)

You are taking what was an off-the-cuff comment to Lyle way too seriously,
Elzi. I view MFW as an internet pub. The standard you are desiring for
preciseness is consistent with a scientific forum - not an internet pub.

I think waiting till December is a good idea. But please don't confuse my
disdain for a mirrored visual feedback for athletes as saying all visual
and sensory feedback is not good. Interesting you accuse me of poor
reasoning and critical abilities and then take my comment on one form of
visual feedback and apply it to everything - visual and sensory. What I am
suggesting is removing one form of feedback which is has very limited
application to athletes so they can focus on other sensory inputs -
without the distraction. Which includes visual feedback, just not the
reflection in the mirror.

But enough of this. I look forward to continued discussion after softening
you up with some cabernet sauvignon...

:^)

--
My advice and opinions reflect my personality and goals.
I have no desire to cover my ass and all the bases with
disclaimers about who this is good for and who it is not
good for. So take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Lyle McDonald
September 24th 04, 09:39 PM
Wayne S. Hill wrote:

> Lyle McDonald wrote:
>
>
>>I'm doing the
>>balance board stuff INSTEAD of on ice training.
>>
>>Lyle
>
>
> I don't think that's a good idea.

As Lee pointed out, if I can get the balance board to slide on the ice,
then I'll have something.

Actually, I had imagined a pair of training shoes with basically a built
in wobble board on the bottom, something approximating the width of a
skate blade. Could be used to do technical drills in a very skate like
unstable position.

I've actually dreamt up a couple of training devices that would be
wonderful, main one being a treadmill to let folks do turn drills
without needing a partner (did it once last week, huge pain in the ass).

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 24th 04, 09:46 PM
elzinator wrote:

> On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
>
>>"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
...
>>
>>-snip-
>>
>>
>>>During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
>>>determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine
>>>while
>>>in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling off
>>>the
>>>tape.
>>>
>>>There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in
>>>athletic
>>>events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!
>>
>>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
>
>
> Actually, Steve; you are spot on.
>
> Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids.

Just to add another point of view, the chapter on motor learning/etc. in
the ISU Handbook of competitive Speed Skating points out that a video
camera can cause problems by giving TOO MUCH feedback.

Basically, the brain can only hold onto so much input, it's possible to
get too much. Why good coaches usually give the athlete one, maybe two
things to think about on technical drills. And why some technical
progresions build up from singular, block-parts of the drill.

Anyhow, they point out that a camera is a good tool but you ahve to be
careful only to examine parts of the movement to get feedback for the
next rep.

Now, ideally I'd have a coach giving me instant feedback during my
drills. Sit lower, push to the side, small snippets of information.
It's what I do when I train folks. That is not possible right now.

At some point, a decent video camera will be a purchase I'd like to make.

for now, without coaching and without a camera, the mirror it is.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 24th 04, 09:48 PM
Steve Freides wrote:


> I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
> believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program, period.

a. you don't know **** about **** so your opinion regarding mirrors is
worth zero.

b. I'll try to find out why the Utah Olympic oval, the official training
center for the US Olympic speed skating team has a big ****ing wall of
mirrors, right in front of the slideboards and where the athletes do
many technical/dryland drills (especially the developmental athletes).
I'll make sure and point out the Steve Friedes thinks that mirrors have
NO PLACE in the training of an athlete.

c. I'd also like to note that I've watched one of the developmental
groups doing dryland (I'm my own group of one right now) under the eye
of their coach. Frankly, most of them are using atrocious form. It
doesn't help that there is one coach for 12-15 individuals but I see all
kinds of bad things when I watch them. Now, you imght blame this on the
coach or on the coach/athlete ratio. B ut put them in front of the
mirror after explaining proper form and they can monitor themselves.

So I finish watching them.

Then I go in front of the ****ing mirror and do my drills perfectly with
instant feedback. Helping to ensure that I lay down a proper motor
engram based on both visual and kinesthetic feedback.

Once I'm confident that I have good form facing the mirror, I face away
from the mirror. But without using hte mirror, I'd have no idea if the
form I was using in the first place was correct. What you people can't
understand about this rather simple concept is truly beyond me.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 24th 04, 10:01 PM
Keith Hobman wrote:

> I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed you had
> gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your body is
> supposed to be doing.

As I found out during camp, what I thought I was doing and what I was
doing were not synonymous. I am trying to rebuild 10 years of rather
incorrect form. I need all the feedback that I can. As I stated
already, I don't have a coach and I don't have a video camera. That
leaves me with one form of feedback and that's the mirror.

>< So now I would suggest that you start doing some
> reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror EXCEPT using
> it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.

Which I explicitly stated that I was. New drills are always done in
front of hte mirror as it is my ONLY source of feedback. after I feel
confident with them facing the mirror, I will do the first rep/set in
the mirror to reacquaint myself with the form and then do the subsequent
reps/sets without the mirror.


> If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training) than you
> have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body position.

Packing up your life and moving to Utah to try to be a competitive speed
skater at 34 is a pathology, I assure you.


> 4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to add stress
> (very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps with a
> blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.

And this is where we disagree, as you ALWAYS have visual cues coming in.
i see little point in taking away those cues completely. Without the
mirror, I get plenty of kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback. Because my
head is looking straight ahead. I have to feel the propr knee angle,
feel my weight shift, etc, etc. I don't see that a blindfold will
enhance any of that.


> My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time.

Nice backpeddle, as Elzi already reamed you on.

Your quote, originally

"Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."

So make up your mind: "If you are an athlete stay away" or "...isn't
that mirrors are bad all the time."

My point is that they
> are over-used in gyms.

So like your bias against hypertrophy, you are just being reactive.
Since most people over-use them, you jump to the other extreme and say
they should NEVER be used.

It's like the people who figure that sice machines are overused, you
should always use free weights (the typical MFW party line). You, of
all people, I expect more from.

All of this stuff, mirrors, free weghts, approach to training
periodization, balance boards are simply tools, and a good coach picks
the RIGHT TOOL for the job, without letting his personal biases get in
the way. If a mirror is appropriate, use the mirror, don't worry about
what the other dip****s are doing. If unstable training is appropriate,
use that. If free weights are appropriate, use that, if machiens are
appropriate use that. If old skool linear periodization is appropriate
(i.e. beginners, endurance sports) , use that, if conjugate/more complex
methods are necessasry (elite athletes, power athletes), use that.

On top of that, the whole mirror thing sounds to me like the newest
incarnation of "Keith has a new toy that he's going to globally
prescribe." Elzi also comments on this but I'll only state that you
remind of the trainer back in Austin who had aparently gone to some type
of manual release workshop or certification, I watched him put every
client through 40 minutes of various rolling around on a foam pillow.

He was apparently unaware that such a technique is only a tool.

I got into this discussion after watching a track
> athlete squat. She would check her depth (they were told 90 degrees at the
> knees) in a mirror on her right. Everytime she checked it the bar traveled
> from the '3/9' position clockwise to about the '4/10' position. Which was
> why I went on the rant about mirrors.

well, it's moronic to tell someone to check depth by looking sideways in
a movement in that plane. Good ****ing way to get hurt because your
torso will twist with your head.

That says nothing about the mirror, it says that her coach was incompetent.

In that case, I'd put a bungy cord across the rack at proper depth and
tell her to squat to it. Or set the safety racks at just below proper
depth and have her use (gasp) visual cues in the mirror to figure out
her depth.

After several weeks of getting a 'feel' for where depth was (even with
visual cues), I'd have her do her first set facing the mirror and then
face away and try to feel proper depth.

Lyle

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 10:23 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> elzinator wrote:
>
> > On Thu, 23 Sep 2004 16:25:07 -0400, Steve Freides wrote:
> >
> >>"Keith Hobman" > wrote in message
> ...
> >>
> >>-snip-
> >>
> >>
> >>>During the deadlift you could do similar things. A simple method to
> >>>determine if your back is roundiing is to run tape down your spine
> >>>while
> >>>in a neutral position and then attempt to deadlift without pulling off
> >>>the
> >>>tape.
> >>>
> >>>There are lots of ways to get feedback without mirrors. And in
> >>>athletic
> >>>events YOU DON'T HAVE THE MIRRORS, SO YOU BETTER GET USED TO IT!!!
> >>
> >>This is why God gave us video cameras. ;)
> >
> >
> > Actually, Steve; you are spot on.
> >
> > Video cameras are one of the most beneficial visual teaching aids.
>
> Just to add another point of view, the chapter on motor learning/etc. in
> the ISU Handbook of competitive Speed Skating points out that a video
> camera can cause problems by giving TOO MUCH feedback.
>
> Basically, the brain can only hold onto so much input, it's possible to
> get too much. Why good coaches usually give the athlete one, maybe two
> things to think about on technical drills. And why some technical
> progresions build up from singular, block-parts of the drill.

I think that is the entire point of using a blindfold or darkroom to
retrain or reinforce a motor pattern. You are eliminating distractions.
Which is why you only use them in a small portion of training.

There are several reasons I dislike mirrors.

1. Focusing on a reflective, visual image is a distraction to other
important feedbacks (visual, other sensory and kinesthetic).

2. They are not there during athletic competition.

3. As the speed of the movement increases the usefullness of the visual
feedback decreases. Simply put - you can't make adjustments based on the
mirror when you are talking about fast movement.

But my biggest problem with them is the distraction. People focus on them
and they lose other feedback. Which is why I made the intitial comment to
Lyle - if he has basic body position down then get rid of the mirror.

But call me wishy-washy - I have no problem with the way Lyle is using
them to self coach. You focus on one thing at a time. I personally don't
start with a visual image, mainly because I am not a very visual person.
So my own focus is internal and where there is a visual component I
internalize it.

So for example, when I see myself performing a skill I rarely have an
external perspective - I have an internal perspective. i don't see myself
on the platform lifting the weight - I am on the platform and see the
audience and judges. I internalize the visual component.

So I would start with a body position and where I use visual feedback I
would look down at my torso or limbs. i would use internal visual feedback
and not externalize the source.

Lyle is doing the opposite, but really the same approach. He is starting
with body position, but from an external perspective.

Which makes me wonder.

Is the mirror/anti-mirror bias a matter of how you visualize?

When Lyle sits down and sees himself performing a skill (no!! Not that
skill, Lyle!!!) does he see it from an external perspective (ie. outside
the body looking at himself) or an internal perspective? Or more
pertinently - which is his preferred perspective?

I suspect Lyle prefers to externalize his visual images. I prefer to
internalize (inside looking out) and work very hard at mental skills which
include how I feel during performance of a skill.

If that is the case than the reason I don't like mirrors and Lyle does is
pretty obvious. The mirror matches Lyle's external visual perspective. And
the reason I don't like them is just as obvious - that is not how I see
myself. They are a distraction to me because my preferred visual
perspective is internalized.

Plus when I'm squatting in front of a mirror consider what I am looking at.

http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/khobman800/detail?.dir=ec02&.dnm=e3ba.jpg

Why would _anyone_ wanna look at that rep after rep?

I rest my case.

:^)

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 10:33 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Steve Freides wrote:
>
>
> > I will cut to the chase here - I'm with Keith on this one. I don't
> > believe a mirror has a place in any athlete's training program, period.
>
> a. you don't know **** about **** so your opinion regarding mirrors is
> worth zero.
>
> b. I'll try to find out why the Utah Olympic oval, the official training
> center for the US Olympic speed skating team has a big ****ing wall of
> mirrors, right in front of the slideboards and where the athletes do
> many technical/dryland drills (especially the developmental athletes).
> I'll make sure and point out the Steve Friedes thinks that mirrors have
> NO PLACE in the training of an athlete.
>
> c. I'd also like to note that I've watched one of the developmental
> groups doing dryland (I'm my own group of one right now) under the eye
> of their coach. Frankly, most of them are using atrocious form. It
> doesn't help that there is one coach for 12-15 individuals but I see all
> kinds of bad things when I watch them. Now, you imght blame this on the
> coach or on the coach/athlete ratio. B ut put them in front of the
> mirror after explaining proper form and they can monitor themselves.
>
> So I finish watching them.
>
> Then I go in front of the ****ing mirror and do my drills perfectly with
> instant feedback. Helping to ensure that I lay down a proper motor
> engram based on both visual and kinesthetic feedback.
>
> Once I'm confident that I have good form facing the mirror, I face away
> from the mirror. But without using hte mirror, I'd have no idea if the
> form I was using in the first place was correct. What you people can't
> understand about this rather simple concept is truly beyond me.

I don't think it is that easy Lyle. Why can't you tell without the mirror?

I don't need a mirror to tell me what my body is doing. I do need visual
feedback, but the entire anterior portion of my body is pretty much
visible and if I can see it I know what the posterior and lateral view is
going to look like.

So why do you need the mirror?

Don't get me wrong. If you see my other post I think the preference for a
mirror could be related to how you visualize yourself and there is nothing
wrong with using a mirror as you are using it.

But I think saying a person _needs_ a mirror to establish form is just
wrong. Saying you prefer a mirror to establish form would be correct, IMO.

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 10:50 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
> > I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed you had
> > gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your body is
> > supposed to be doing.
>
> As I found out during camp, what I thought I was doing and what I was
> doing were not synonymous. I am trying to rebuild 10 years of rather
> incorrect form. I need all the feedback that I can. As I stated
> already, I don't have a coach and I don't have a video camera. That
> leaves me with one form of feedback and that's the mirror.
>
> >< So now I would suggest that you start doing some
> > reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror EXCEPT using
> > it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.
>
> Which I explicitly stated that I was. New drills are always done in
> front of hte mirror as it is my ONLY source of feedback. after I feel
> confident with them facing the mirror, I will do the first rep/set in
> the mirror to reacquaint myself with the form and then do the subsequent
> reps/sets without the mirror.
>
>
> > If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training) than you
> > have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body position.
>
> Packing up your life and moving to Utah to try to be a competitive speed
> skater at 34 is a pathology, I assure you.
>
>
> > 4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to add stress
> > (very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps with a
> > blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.
>
> And this is where we disagree, as you ALWAYS have visual cues coming in.
> i see little point in taking away those cues completely. Without the
> mirror, I get plenty of kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback. Because my
> head is looking straight ahead. I have to feel the propr knee angle,
> feel my weight shift, etc, etc. I don't see that a blindfold will
> enhance any of that.
>
>
> > My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time.
>
> Nice backpeddle, as Elzi already reamed you on.
>
> Your quote, originally
>
> "Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
> away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
> mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."

Ummm...

'You' was personal. Not general. Get your ass away from the mirror.

The rest was an off-the-cuff comment like you would make in a pub. As in:

"Lyle. WTF. If you can do it perfectly with a mirror, but can't do it
without the mirror then GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THE MIRROR."

And yes, the last line "If you are an athlete..." was not an accurate
statement and reflected my personal preference.

So sue me.

And shove your "Keith's global prescription" stuff where the sun don't
shine. If I'm excited about a new idea I talk about it. Sheesh.

If I want micro-analysis of every statement I make and have to think of
every line I put on here I'll go to a scientific forum - which I do when I
post on Supertraining or places like that.

On MFW I've always felt I could throw ideas out and get feedback on them.
I've never felt I had to re-read each post three times to make sure it was
accurate. MFW is an internet pub to me and that is how I am going to treat
it. Which means I can make blanket condemnations and generalizations that
I wouldn't make on a paper.

So I think both yourself and Elzi need to lighten up a little.

Or not. After all, I'm getting feedback!

But I ain't going to get rigorous here. No way, no how. And I'm taking the
stoopid disclaimer off. This is MFW, not the Journal of Applied
Physiology. I can have a conversation here without having to think about
every word I say. And if that disappoints you - too bad.

Keith Hobman
September 24th 04, 11:00 PM
In article >,
(Keith Hobman) wrote:

> In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > wrote:
>
> > Keith Hobman wrote:
> >
> > > I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed you had
> > > gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your body is
> > > supposed to be doing.
> >
> > As I found out during camp, what I thought I was doing and what I was
> > doing were not synonymous. I am trying to rebuild 10 years of rather
> > incorrect form. I need all the feedback that I can. As I stated
> > already, I don't have a coach and I don't have a video camera. That
> > leaves me with one form of feedback and that's the mirror.
> >
> > >< So now I would suggest that you start doing some
> > > reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror EXCEPT using
> > > it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.
> >
> > Which I explicitly stated that I was. New drills are always done in
> > front of hte mirror as it is my ONLY source of feedback. after I feel
> > confident with them facing the mirror, I will do the first rep/set in
> > the mirror to reacquaint myself with the form and then do the subsequent
> > reps/sets without the mirror.
> >
> >
> > > If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training) than you
> > > have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body position.
> >
> > Packing up your life and moving to Utah to try to be a competitive speed
> > skater at 34 is a pathology, I assure you.
> >
> >
> > > 4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to add stress
> > > (very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps with a
> > > blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.
> >
> > And this is where we disagree, as you ALWAYS have visual cues coming in.
> > i see little point in taking away those cues completely. Without the
> > mirror, I get plenty of kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback. Because my
> > head is looking straight ahead. I have to feel the propr knee angle,
> > feel my weight shift, etc, etc. I don't see that a blindfold will
> > enhance any of that.
> >
> >
> > > My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time.
> >
> > Nice backpeddle, as Elzi already reamed you on.
> >
> > Your quote, originally
> >
> > "Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
> > away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
> > mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."
>
> Ummm...
>
> 'You' was personal. Not general. Get your ass away from the mirror.
>
> The rest was an off-the-cuff comment like you would make in a pub. As in:
>
> "Lyle. WTF. If you can do it perfectly with a mirror, but can't do it
> without the mirror then GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THE MIRROR."
>
> And yes, the last line "If you are an athlete..." was not an accurate
> statement and reflected my personal preference.
>
> So sue me.
>
> And shove your "Keith's global prescription" stuff where the sun don't
> shine. If I'm excited about a new idea I talk about it. Sheesh.
>
> If I want micro-analysis of every statement I make and have to think of
> every line I put on here I'll go to a scientific forum - which I do when I
> post on Supertraining or places like that.
>
> On MFW I've always felt I could throw ideas out and get feedback on them.
> I've never felt I had to re-read each post three times to make sure it was
> accurate. MFW is an internet pub to me and that is how I am going to treat
> it. Which means I can make blanket condemnations and generalizations that
> I wouldn't make on a paper.
>
> So I think both yourself and Elzi need to lighten up a little.
>
> Or not. After all, I'm getting feedback!
>
> But I ain't going to get rigorous here. No way, no how. And I'm taking the
> stoopid disclaimer off. This is MFW, not the Journal of Applied
> Physiology. I can have a conversation here without having to think about
> every word I say. And if that disappoints you - too bad.

Dayum. That sounds defensive even too me. I was grinning while I ranted!!!!

Communication on usenet is far from perfect. This would have worked better
across the table in a real pub where you'd have some visual cues. And you
wouldn't need a mirror!

:^)

Proton Soup
September 25th 04, 02:00 AM
On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 16:00:16 -0600, (Keith Hobman)
wrote:

>In article >,
>(Keith Hobman) wrote:
>
>> In article >, Lyle McDonald
>> > wrote:
>>
>> > Keith Hobman wrote:
>> >
>> > > I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed you had
>> > > gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your body is
>> > > supposed to be doing.
>> >
>> > As I found out during camp, what I thought I was doing and what I was
>> > doing were not synonymous. I am trying to rebuild 10 years of rather
>> > incorrect form. I need all the feedback that I can. As I stated
>> > already, I don't have a coach and I don't have a video camera. That
>> > leaves me with one form of feedback and that's the mirror.
>> >
>> > >< So now I would suggest that you start doing some
>> > > reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror EXCEPT using
>> > > it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.
>> >
>> > Which I explicitly stated that I was. New drills are always done in
>> > front of hte mirror as it is my ONLY source of feedback. after I feel
>> > confident with them facing the mirror, I will do the first rep/set in
>> > the mirror to reacquaint myself with the form and then do the subsequent
>> > reps/sets without the mirror.
>> >
>> >
>> > > If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training) than you
>> > > have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body position.
>> >
>> > Packing up your life and moving to Utah to try to be a competitive speed
>> > skater at 34 is a pathology, I assure you.
>> >
>> >
>> > > 4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to add stress
>> > > (very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps with a
>> > > blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.
>> >
>> > And this is where we disagree, as you ALWAYS have visual cues coming in.
>> > i see little point in taking away those cues completely. Without the
>> > mirror, I get plenty of kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback. Because my
>> > head is looking straight ahead. I have to feel the propr knee angle,
>> > feel my weight shift, etc, etc. I don't see that a blindfold will
>> > enhance any of that.
>> >
>> >
>> > > My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time.
>> >
>> > Nice backpeddle, as Elzi already reamed you on.
>> >
>> > Your quote, originally
>> >
>> > "Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
>> > away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
>> > mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."
>>
>> Ummm...
>>
>> 'You' was personal. Not general. Get your ass away from the mirror.
>>
>> The rest was an off-the-cuff comment like you would make in a pub. As in:
>>
>> "Lyle. WTF. If you can do it perfectly with a mirror, but can't do it
>> without the mirror then GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THE MIRROR."
>>
>> And yes, the last line "If you are an athlete..." was not an accurate
>> statement and reflected my personal preference.
>>
>> So sue me.
>>
>> And shove your "Keith's global prescription" stuff where the sun don't
>> shine. If I'm excited about a new idea I talk about it. Sheesh.
>>
>> If I want micro-analysis of every statement I make and have to think of
>> every line I put on here I'll go to a scientific forum - which I do when I
>> post on Supertraining or places like that.
>>
>> On MFW I've always felt I could throw ideas out and get feedback on them.
>> I've never felt I had to re-read each post three times to make sure it was
>> accurate. MFW is an internet pub to me and that is how I am going to treat
>> it. Which means I can make blanket condemnations and generalizations that
>> I wouldn't make on a paper.
>>
>> So I think both yourself and Elzi need to lighten up a little.
>>
>> Or not. After all, I'm getting feedback!
>>
>> But I ain't going to get rigorous here. No way, no how. And I'm taking the
>> stoopid disclaimer off. This is MFW, not the Journal of Applied
>> Physiology. I can have a conversation here without having to think about
>> every word I say. And if that disappoints you - too bad.
>
>Dayum. That sounds defensive even too me. I was grinning while I ranted!!!!
>
>Communication on usenet is far from perfect. This would have worked better
>across the table in a real pub where you'd have some visual cues. And you
>wouldn't need a mirror!
>
>:^)

So now you're just going to append disclaimers in followup posts?

-----------
Proton Soup

"Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum."

Keith Hobman
September 25th 04, 06:47 AM
In article >, Proton Soup
> wrote:

> On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 16:00:16 -0600, (Keith Hobman)
> wrote:
>
> >In article >,
> >(Keith Hobman) wrote:
> >
> >> In article >, Lyle McDonald
> >> > wrote:
> >>
> >> > Keith Hobman wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed
you had
> >> > > gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your
body is
> >> > > supposed to be doing.
> >> >
> >> > As I found out during camp, what I thought I was doing and what I was
> >> > doing were not synonymous. I am trying to rebuild 10 years of rather
> >> > incorrect form. I need all the feedback that I can. As I stated
> >> > already, I don't have a coach and I don't have a video camera. That
> >> > leaves me with one form of feedback and that's the mirror.
> >> >
> >> > >< So now I would suggest that you start doing some
> >> > > reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror
EXCEPT using
> >> > > it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.
> >> >
> >> > Which I explicitly stated that I was. New drills are always done in
> >> > front of hte mirror as it is my ONLY source of feedback. after I feel
> >> > confident with them facing the mirror, I will do the first rep/set in
> >> > the mirror to reacquaint myself with the form and then do the subsequent
> >> > reps/sets without the mirror.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > > If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training)
than you
> >> > > have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body position.
> >> >
> >> > Packing up your life and moving to Utah to try to be a competitive speed
> >> > skater at 34 is a pathology, I assure you.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > > 4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to
add stress
> >> > > (very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps with a
> >> > > blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.
> >> >
> >> > And this is where we disagree, as you ALWAYS have visual cues coming in.
> >> > i see little point in taking away those cues completely. Without the
> >> > mirror, I get plenty of kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback. Because my
> >> > head is looking straight ahead. I have to feel the propr knee angle,
> >> > feel my weight shift, etc, etc. I don't see that a blindfold will
> >> > enhance any of that.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > > My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time.
> >> >
> >> > Nice backpeddle, as Elzi already reamed you on.
> >> >
> >> > Your quote, originally
> >> >
> >> > "Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
> >> > away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
> >> > mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."
> >>
> >> Ummm...
> >>
> >> 'You' was personal. Not general. Get your ass away from the mirror.
> >>
> >> The rest was an off-the-cuff comment like you would make in a pub. As in:
> >>
> >> "Lyle. WTF. If you can do it perfectly with a mirror, but can't do it
> >> without the mirror then GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THE MIRROR."
> >>
> >> And yes, the last line "If you are an athlete..." was not an accurate
> >> statement and reflected my personal preference.
> >>
> >> So sue me.
> >>
> >> And shove your "Keith's global prescription" stuff where the sun don't
> >> shine. If I'm excited about a new idea I talk about it. Sheesh.
> >>
> >> If I want micro-analysis of every statement I make and have to think of
> >> every line I put on here I'll go to a scientific forum - which I do when I
> >> post on Supertraining or places like that.
> >>
> >> On MFW I've always felt I could throw ideas out and get feedback on them.
> >> I've never felt I had to re-read each post three times to make sure it was
> >> accurate. MFW is an internet pub to me and that is how I am going to treat
> >> it. Which means I can make blanket condemnations and generalizations that
> >> I wouldn't make on a paper.
> >>
> >> So I think both yourself and Elzi need to lighten up a little.
> >>
> >> Or not. After all, I'm getting feedback!
> >>
> >> But I ain't going to get rigorous here. No way, no how. And I'm taking the
> >> stoopid disclaimer off. This is MFW, not the Journal of Applied
> >> Physiology. I can have a conversation here without having to think about
> >> every word I say. And if that disappoints you - too bad.
> >
> >Dayum. That sounds defensive even too me. I was grinning while I ranted!!!!
> >
> >Communication on usenet is far from perfect. This would have worked better
> >across the table in a real pub where you'd have some visual cues. And you
> >wouldn't need a mirror!
> >
> >:^)
>
> So now you're just going to append disclaimers in followup posts?

Yeah. Apparently.

Sucks, don't it? I think I need a life.

Hugh Beyer
September 25th 04, 03:26 PM
(Keith Hobman) wrote in
:

> In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > wrote:
>
>> Keith Hobman wrote:
>>
>> > I don't think mirrors are bad during initial training - I assumed you
>> > had gone beyond that so that you have a pretty good idea of what your
>> > body is supposed to be doing.
>>
>> As I found out during camp, what I thought I was doing and what I was
>> doing were not synonymous. I am trying to rebuild 10 years of rather
>> incorrect form. I need all the feedback that I can. As I stated
>> already, I don't have a coach and I don't have a video camera. That
>> leaves me with one form of feedback and that's the mirror.
>>
>> >< So now I would suggest that you start doing some
>> > reps without the mirror and eventually eliminate the mirror EXCEPT
>> > using it once in a while to confirm your body positioning.
>>
>> Which I explicitly stated that I was. New drills are always done in
>> front of hte mirror as it is my ONLY source of feedback. after I feel
>> confident with them facing the mirror, I will do the first rep/set in
>> the mirror to reacquaint myself with the form and then do the
>> subsequent reps/sets without the mirror.
>>
>>
>> > If you have a pathology (as Elzi noted she had in her training) than
>> > you have to use the mirror far more frequently to check body
>> > position.
>>
>> Packing up your life and moving to Utah to try to be a competitive
>> speed skater at 34 is a pathology, I assure you.
>>
>>
>> > 4. At some point if proprioception is an issue and you want to add
>> > stress (very advanced training stage) you may want to do some reps
>> > with a blindfold to enhance proprioceptive sense.
>>
>> And this is where we disagree, as you ALWAYS have visual cues coming
>> in. i see little point in taking away those cues completely. Without
>> the mirror, I get plenty of kinesthetic/proprioceptive feedback.
>> Because my head is looking straight ahead. I have to feel the propr
>> knee angle, feel my weight shift, etc, etc. I don't see that a
>> blindfold will enhance any of that.
>>
>>
>> > My point isn't that mirrors are bad all the time.
>>
>> Nice backpeddle, as Elzi already reamed you on.
>>
>> Your quote, originally
>>
>> "Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your
>> ass away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of
>> a mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."
>
> Ummm...
>
> 'You' was personal. Not general. Get your ass away from the mirror.
>
> The rest was an off-the-cuff comment like you would make in a pub. As
> in:
>
> "Lyle. WTF. If you can do it perfectly with a mirror, but can't do it
> without the mirror then GET YOUR ASS AWAY FROM THE MIRROR."
>
> And yes, the last line "If you are an athlete..." was not an accurate
> statement and reflected my personal preference.
>
> So sue me.
>
> And shove your "Keith's global prescription" stuff where the sun don't
> shine. If I'm excited about a new idea I talk about it. Sheesh.
>
> If I want micro-analysis of every statement I make and have to think of
> every line I put on here I'll go to a scientific forum - which I do when
> I post on Supertraining or places like that.
>
> On MFW I've always felt I could throw ideas out and get feedback on
> them. I've never felt I had to re-read each post three times to make
> sure it was accurate. MFW is an internet pub to me and that is how I am
> going to treat it. Which means I can make blanket condemnations and
> generalizations that I wouldn't make on a paper.
>
> So I think both yourself and Elzi need to lighten up a little.
>
> Or not. After all, I'm getting feedback!
>
> But I ain't going to get rigorous here. No way, no how. And I'm taking
> the stoopid disclaimer off. This is MFW, not the Journal of Applied
> Physiology. I can have a conversation here without having to think about
> every word I say. And if that disappoints you - too bad.

<Cheers from the peanut gallery>

Hugh


--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

Hugh Beyer
September 25th 04, 04:19 PM
(Keith Hobman) wrote in
:

> So for example, when I see myself performing a skill I rarely have an
> external perspective - I have an internal perspective. i don't see
> myself on the platform lifting the weight - I am on the platform and see
> the audience and judges. I internalize the visual component.
>
> ...Lyle is doing the opposite, but really the same approach. He is
> starting with body position, but from an external perspective.
>
> Which makes me wonder.
>
> Is the mirror/anti-mirror bias a matter of how you visualize?
>
> When Lyle sits down and sees himself performing a skill (no!! Not that
> skill, Lyle!!!) does he see it from an external perspective (ie. outside
> the body looking at himself) or an internal perspective? Or more
> pertinently - which is his preferred perspective?
>
> I suspect Lyle prefers to externalize his visual images. I prefer to
> internalize (inside looking out) and work very hard at mental skills
> which include how I feel during performance of a skill.
>
> If that is the case than the reason I don't like mirrors and Lyle does
> is pretty obvious. The mirror matches Lyle's external visual
> perspective. And the reason I don't like them is just as obvious - that
> is not how I see myself. They are a distraction to me because my
> preferred visual perspective is internalized.
>

If you want a second data point on this, your description of your
internalized image of yourself performing the skill matches my own
experience, and I have the same bias against mirrors that you do.

My experience isn't in weightlifting but in Aikido. There are often
mirrors in dojos and I think they are an almost complete bad idea. People
use them to watch their form, which means they are not paying attention to
the most important aspect of their form--their balance, their uke's
balance and how they are moving through the technique.

But I think my proprioreceptive sense is pretty good. Someone with a worse
sense might need to depend more on external feedback.

Hugh

--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

Lyle McDonald
September 25th 04, 07:23 PM
Keith Hobman wrote:

> In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > wrote:
>


>>Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
>>all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>>
>>Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
>>to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
>>processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
>>taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
>>powers of understanding.
>
>
> I don't think it should be a regular practise. But I think for some people
> it has application at some point of their training. It isn't something I
> do much of, but if I was trying to change a motor pattern I might.

I wouldn't, not to start.
In fact, I'd be that much more determined to give the individual
immediate feedback under these circumstances. Again, hands on is best,
visual would be second best. Because without that feedback, I susect
most will go back to old form patterns without even realizing it.

She may have mentioned this already but Elzi is running into this trying
to relearn her squatting form (moving from OL to power). I imagine you
are too. Because, the body, given its druthers will revert to the old
pattern. Without knowing that you're doing it (which requires instannt
feedback), you can't change the pattern.

To me, blindfolded is the exact opposite of what you need to do, at
least initially. At best, it's at the final stage of learning. I am
still unconvinced that it has great utility (with a few exceptions
already mentioned) since you're always relying on some visual and some
kinesthetic cues coming in at the same time.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 25th 04, 07:25 PM
Keith Hobman wrote:

> In article et>, "ester"
> > wrote:
>
>
>>Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
...
>>
>>>bc wrote:
>>>
>>><snip>
>>>
>>>>Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
>>
>>back when?
>>
>>>Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
>>>ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
>>>enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
>>>
>>>The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff wrote.
>>>
>>>Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
>>>conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
>>>came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
>>>asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
>>>closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
>>>know if that is the case.
>>>
>>>Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
>>>all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>>>
>>>Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
>>>to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
>>>processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
>>>taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
>>>powers of understanding.
>>>
>>>Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
>>>can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
>>>should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
>>>actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
>>>with your eyes closed.
>>>
>>>In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
>>>available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
>>>cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
>>>
>>
>>true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception
>
>
> Virtually any dynamic movement being an exception to having a mirror. For
> slow movements mirrors are okay at some points. But if you are trying to
> create speed watching yourself in the mirror is a killer. The visual sense
> is both too slow and the image in the mirror distracts from the cue you
> are trying to work on.
>
> So the reality is for most sports they are useless. Strength training for
> those sports (which in most cases is slow movement) being the exception.
>
> Which is why you never see mirrors in gymnastics rooms. And I would use
> that sport as an example of probably the most high degree of complex motor
> control exhibited - and developed completely without the use of mirrors.

Why do all ballet studios have walls of mirrors in them?

> Of course, you need a coach. Which was part of Lyle's point. The fact he
> is self-coaching himself is why he needs the mirror in his case. Which is
> less than optimal - he would be better off with a good coach.
>

While we're at it, I want 5 inches of height, about 30 lbs of lean body
mass in my legs and a time machien giving me 2 years more time to
develop technique.

And a pony.

Lyle

Keith Hobman
September 25th 04, 11:31 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
> > In article et>, "ester"
> > > wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
> ...
> >>
> >>>bc wrote:
> >>>
> >>><snip>
> >>>
> >>>>Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
> >>
> >>back when?
> >>
> >>>Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
> >>>ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
> >>>enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
> >>>
> >>>The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff wrote.
> >>>
> >>>Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
> >>>conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
> >>>came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
> >>>asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
> >>>closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
> >>>know if that is the case.
> >>>
> >>>Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation where
> >>>all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
> >>>
> >>>Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> >>>to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> >>>processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> >>>taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> >>>powers of understanding.
> >>>
> >>>Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned, you
> >>>can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> >>>should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> >>>actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> >>>with your eyes closed.
> >>>
> >>>In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
> >>>available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
> >>>cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
> >>>
> >>
> >>true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception
> >
> >
> > Virtually any dynamic movement being an exception to having a mirror. For
> > slow movements mirrors are okay at some points. But if you are trying to
> > create speed watching yourself in the mirror is a killer. The visual sense
> > is both too slow and the image in the mirror distracts from the cue you
> > are trying to work on.
> >
> > So the reality is for most sports they are useless. Strength training for
> > those sports (which in most cases is slow movement) being the exception.
> >
> > Which is why you never see mirrors in gymnastics rooms. And I would use
> > that sport as an example of probably the most high degree of complex motor
> > control exhibited - and developed completely without the use of mirrors.
>
> Why do all ballet studios have walls of mirrors in them?
>
> > Of course, you need a coach. Which was part of Lyle's point. The fact he
> > is self-coaching himself is why he needs the mirror in his case. Which is
> > less than optimal - he would be better off with a good coach.
> >
>
> While we're at it, I want 5 inches of height, about 30 lbs of lean body
> mass in my legs and a time machien giving me 2 years more time to
> develop technique.
>
> And a pony.

3o lbs in the legs? Woot!

Lyle McDonald
September 26th 04, 09:21 PM
Lyle McDonald wrote:
> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
>> In article et>,
>> "ester"
>> > wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
>>> ...
>>>
>>>> bc wrote:
>>>>
>>>> <snip>
>>>>
>>>>> Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
>>>
>>>
>>> back when?
>>>
>>>> Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
>>>> ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
>>>> enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
>>>>
>>>> The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff
>>>> wrote.
>>>>
>>>> Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
>>>> conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
>>>> came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
>>>> asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
>>>> closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
>>>> know if that is the case.
>>>>
>>>> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation
>>>> where
>>>> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
>>>>
>>>> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
>>>> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
>>>> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
>>>> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
>>>> powers of understanding.
>>>>
>>>> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned,
>>>> you
>>>> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
>>>> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
>>>> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
>>>> with your eyes closed.
>>>>
>>>> In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
>>>> available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
>>>> cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
>>>>
>>>
>>> true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception
>>
>>
>>
>> Virtually any dynamic movement being an exception to having a mirror. For
>> slow movements mirrors are okay at some points. But if you are trying to
>> create speed watching yourself in the mirror is a killer. The visual
>> sense
>> is both too slow and the image in the mirror distracts from the cue you
>> are trying to work on.
>>
>> So the reality is for most sports they are useless. Strength training for
>> those sports (which in most cases is slow movement) being the exception.
>>
>> Which is why you never see mirrors in gymnastics rooms. And I would use
>> that sport as an example of probably the most high degree of complex
>> motor
>> control exhibited - and developed completely without the use of mirrors.
>
>
> Why do all ballet studios have walls of mirrors in them?

As well, I seem to recall that the UCLA gymnastics room had a wall of
mirrors in front of the tumbling floor.

Now, admittedly, there are scant few drills that can be practiced in
gymnastics with a mirror in the first place. the speed is too high and
most are rotational (meaning no visual frame of reference but we already
adressed this). But some of the static moves and such can be.

Anyone who's watched someone do a 1/4 squat while swearing that they
'feel' like they are hitting parallel knows how inaccurate going by feel
can be. That's where feedback (including visual comes in).

Note that a great deal of the speed skating stroke is spent in a static
position (during the glide). Meaning that it's more than possible to
check things like body alignment, limb positions, leading the weight
shift with the hip instead of the torso and other parts of the movement
and get instant visual feedback.

so there.

Lyle

Keith Hobman
September 26th 04, 10:56 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Lyle McDonald wrote:
> > Keith Hobman wrote:
> >
> >> In article et>,
> >> "ester"
> >> > wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>> Lyle McDonald > wrote in message
> >>> ...
> >>>
> >>>> bc wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> <snip>
> >>>>
> >>>>> Did you, or any other competitors, ever do this on your in-line skates
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> back when?
> >>>
> >>>> Never heard of such, can't recall ever seeing it mentioned in any book
> >>>> ever. I haven't read tons of motor learning literature but I've read
> >>>> enough, and enough sources dealing with the teaching of new skills.
> >>>>
> >>>> The first time I recall even hearing of this was something Mel Siff
> >>>> wrote.
> >>>>
> >>>> Actually, I take that back, I remember having some off-handed
> >>>> conversation with a physical therapist years ago, I forget why it even
> >>>> came up (note: this may have been after Siff talked about it). She
> >>>> asserted that there was actually a physiological difference between
> >>>> closing your eyes and blindfolding (but keeping eyes open). I don't
> >>>> know if that is the case.
> >>>>
> >>>> Even so, I still don't see the point unless you are in a situation
> >>>> where
> >>>> all visual cues are removed (such as Wayne's spinning example).
> >>>>
> >>>> Even if Keith is correct about visual feedback being too slow (relative
> >>>> to proprioceptive), the fact is that the motor cortex is generally
> >>>> processing both visual AND kinesthetic feedback at the same time. How
> >>>> taking one of those away is somehow of benefit is beyond my meagre
> >>>> powers of understanding.
> >>>>
> >>>> Yeah, fine stop using the mirror once you have basic skills learned,
> >>>> you
> >>>> can face away from it (I still disagree 100% with him that the mirror
> >>>> should always be avoided or is useless or damaging, if taht's what he's
> >>>> actually asserting). This is a far cry from doing it blindfolded or
> >>>> with your eyes closed.
> >>>>
> >>>> In the first case, you're removing the mirror (that usually isn't
> >>>> available during competition), in the second you're removing all visual
> >>>> cues which has no real relevance to most sporting activities.
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> true. weightlifting (OLing) being an exception
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Virtually any dynamic movement being an exception to having a mirror. For
> >> slow movements mirrors are okay at some points. But if you are trying to
> >> create speed watching yourself in the mirror is a killer. The visual
> >> sense
> >> is both too slow and the image in the mirror distracts from the cue you
> >> are trying to work on.
> >>
> >> So the reality is for most sports they are useless. Strength training for
> >> those sports (which in most cases is slow movement) being the exception.
> >>
> >> Which is why you never see mirrors in gymnastics rooms. And I would use
> >> that sport as an example of probably the most high degree of complex
> >> motor
> >> control exhibited - and developed completely without the use of mirrors.
> >
> >
> > Why do all ballet studios have walls of mirrors in them?
>
> As well, I seem to recall that the UCLA gymnastics room had a wall of
> mirrors in front of the tumbling floor.
>
> Now, admittedly, there are scant few drills that can be practiced in
> gymnastics with a mirror in the first place. the speed is too high and
> most are rotational (meaning no visual frame of reference but we already
> adressed this). But some of the static moves and such can be.

I've seen several national centres here in Canada and no mirrors.
>
> Anyone who's watched someone do a 1/4 squat while swearing that they
> 'feel' like they are hitting parallel knows how inaccurate going by feel
> can be. That's where feedback (including visual comes in).

I've also seen people doing 1/4 squats in front of mirrors claiming they
were hitting parallel. People are good at fooling themselves - which has
_nothing_ to do with proprioception.
>
> Note that a great deal of the speed skating stroke is spent in a static
> position (during the glide). Meaning that it's more than possible to
> check things like body alignment, limb positions, leading the weight
> shift with the hip instead of the torso and other parts of the movement
> and get instant visual feedback.
>
> so there.

But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.

I tried squatting today in front of a mirror. It sucked. My form has been
coming along well, so I don't know if I had a bad day or what, but the
mirror didn't help.

Hugh Beyer
September 27th 04, 01:37 AM
I know I should keep my big fat mouth shut, but since this thread seems to
be not quite dead yet...

I saw Keith make two comments in the post that started all this:

> Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
> away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
> mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.

Followed three paragraphs later in the same post by:

> ... I'd really suggest
> you quit using the mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once
> and a while to check form is fine) and progress from there.

Seems to me Keith has been saying the same thing from the beginning. So
what's all this about "backpedalling" and saying he claimed that mirrors are
NEVER useful?

Do we not read the full post we're flaming these days?

Hugh


--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

elzinator
September 27th 04, 01:57 AM
On Fri, 24 Sep 2004 14:31:34 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:

>You are taking what was an off-the-cuff comment to Lyle way too seriously,
>Elzi. I view MFW as an internet pub. The standard you are desiring for
>preciseness is consistent with a scientific forum - not an internet pub.

Not really, Keith. Your comments were not obviously implied as "off
the cuff". Especially considering your history of myopic tendencies
about training methods. But that's neither here nor there and only a
menial point of the central debate.

>I think waiting till December is a good idea. But please don't confuse my
>disdain for a mirrored visual feedback for athletes as saying all visual
>and sensory feedback is not good.

I beg to differ, that is what you implied, in that thread and in
others.

> Interesting you accuse me of poor
>reasoning and critical abilities and then take my comment on one form of
>visual feedback and apply it to everything - visual and sensory. What I am
>suggesting is removing one form of feedback which is has very limited
>application to athletes so they can focus on other sensory inputs -
>without the distraction. Which includes visual feedback, just not the
>reflection in the mirror.

I still debate your assertion that mirrors are of limited value. Also,
although you may find them a 'distraction', I don't. Nor do others
that I have discussed this issue with (n=5). You should remember that
visual and other sensory input help lay the foundations upon which to
build and progress.

For example, allow me demonstrate what occurred this weekend: archery
training. No mirrors outside, but I was accorded the use of a
different form of feedback which helped me immensely.

See http://www.moleculegirl.com/archery_training.htm

I have not shot a bow in many years. And as I discovered, what my Dad
taught me a long time ago when I was a teenager may have worked then,
but it certainly does not work now. So I had to alter my form. (see
web page for explanation).

Jan took pictures of me as I shot several flights. Now I will mention
here that my raised elbow is both 'natural' to me, but wrong in many
ways. It is an ongoing battle both here and in lifting weights.
Pulling back with my elbow nearly in line with my shoulder
significantly changed the entire dynamics. I could feel the
difference, but it wasn't until I looked at the images that I realized
'WHY' it felt better. BINGO. This reinforced my proprioception in the
movement of my elbow, my back and shoulders, my torso, etc.

I do the same when I use the mirror doing squats, to a lesser degree
because I don't have the entire image of my body relative to the
weights and bar. So this is taking me a bit longer. I don't find the
mirror a distraction. Nor does it interfere with speed or maximum
weight. Those components are introduced only after the new form is
mastered and mirrors are unnecessary.

So you see, we use these visual aids as tools to set and reinforce the
foundation of skill and technique, and then progressively introduce
other components, with or without the mirror, with or without the
camera/video. The visual aids supplement the internal perception. They
help imprint the knowledge of the temporal and spatial movements and
body image.

Again, I still stand by my comment that you are projecting your own
learning styles upon judgement in training other athletes.

>But enough of this. I look forward to continued discussion after softening
>you up with some cabernet sauvignon...

If its anything like last Friday night, it will take a bit more than
'some'...... :)

These discussions are learning techniques, not personal attacks. Try
talking cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology with three
AI programmers (especially one who excels in playing Devil's
Advocate). By 1 am, my head was spinning.


Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

elzinator
September 27th 04, 02:14 AM
On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:37:50 -0500, Hugh Beyer wrote:
>I know I should keep my big fat mouth shut, but since this thread seems to
>be not quite dead yet...
>
>I saw Keith make two comments in the post that started all this:
>
>> Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
>> away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
>> mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.
>
>Followed three paragraphs later in the same post by:
>
>> ... I'd really suggest
>> you quit using the mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once
>> and a while to check form is fine) and progress from there.
>
>Seems to me Keith has been saying the same thing from the beginning. So
>what's all this about "backpedalling" and saying he claimed that mirrors are
>NEVER useful?

He's urged against using mirrors and instead using blindfolding other
times in other threads, once was to me, another time to a frank
beginner, and elsewhere. I commented on it then, as well. If you don't
have any other life, you are free to google them at your leisure, but
I do have another life so I won't.

His history of carelessly recommending lifters, regardless of athletic
competency or special issues, perform movements blindfolded and
refrain from using mirrors, is the basis of my critique. And his
rather myopic prejudice against such visual aids.

And I think Keith can defend himself in this discussion quite
competently.

>Do we not read the full post we're flaming these days?

Who's 'flaming'?

Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

elzinator
September 27th 04, 02:36 AM
On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 15:56:01 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
>In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

>> Anyone who's watched someone do a 1/4 squat while swearing that they
>> 'feel' like they are hitting parallel knows how inaccurate going by feel
>> can be. That's where feedback (including visual comes in).
>
>I've also seen people doing 1/4 squats in front of mirrors claiming they
>were hitting parallel. People are good at fooling themselves - which has
>_nothing_ to do with proprioception.

That is an entirely different issue, Keith and you know that.

In fact, we discussed this very issue this weekend. People are very
adept at self-deception and self-delusion. In the case of weight
training, that encompasses with or without mirrors.

In fact, your insistent opposition to the use of mirrors is a form of
self-delusionment. Because when you use them, you feel 'distracted'
(your exact comments, I believe) and, let me guess, you get confused
signals. Therefore, you are convinced that they are 'wrong.' And thus
wrong for most training purposes and training. This is a
'self-delusion'. (versus 'self-deception' where you are basically
lying to yourself to convince yourself of the opposite of 'reality')

Humans are good at self-deception and self-delusions because it has a
evolutionary purpose. Regardless, it can also be a hinderance.

>> Note that a great deal of the speed skating stroke is spent in a static
>> position (during the glide). Meaning that it's more than possible to
>> check things like body alignment, limb positions, leading the weight
>> shift with the hip instead of the torso and other parts of the movement
>> and get instant visual feedback.
>>
>> so there.
>
>But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
>necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
>of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
>doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.

Bull****. If I glanced down while I am squatting, I'd lose the ****ing
bar and kill myself. If I glanced down while I am deadlifting, I'd
round my back and put myself in surgery. Gads almightly, Keith!!!!

>I tried squatting today in front of a mirror. It sucked. My form has been
>coming along well, so I don't know if I had a bad day or what, but the
>mirror didn't help.

Fine. But consider this. You are adamantly opposed to the use of
mirrors. It's very evident. I think even those that also don't use
mirrors will grudgingly admit that you are rather obsessively opposed
in this matter.

Consider that your vehement opposition, and your BELIEF in your
opposition is self-fulfilling. You are not going to have any benefit
from mirrors because you firmly believe that you will not. It's a
self-fulfilling prophecy and an up-hill battle. Perhaps it is more
self-deception than self-delusion. Whatever.

I used mirrors when I changed my deadlift form from a pseudo-close
stance to a sumo stance. When I felt I was ready, I weaned myself off
the mirrors for deadlifting. I can deadlift with my eyes closed, and
in my sleep. I can sit here typing and 'feel' and visualize in my
head, myself deadlifting. And in good form. I don't need mirrors to
deadlift, but I did at one time. And I need them to give me valuable
feedback when I squat. It's one tool amongst many in my box of goodies
that I use to improve.


Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

Keith Hobman
September 27th 04, 05:11 AM
In article >, nospam.net wrote:

> On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 15:56:01 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
> >In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > wrote:
>
> >> Anyone who's watched someone do a 1/4 squat while swearing that they
> >> 'feel' like they are hitting parallel knows how inaccurate going by feel
> >> can be. That's where feedback (including visual comes in).
> >
> >I've also seen people doing 1/4 squats in front of mirrors claiming they
> >were hitting parallel. People are good at fooling themselves - which has
> >_nothing_ to do with proprioception.
>
> That is an entirely different issue, Keith and you know that.
>
> In fact, we discussed this very issue this weekend. People are very
> adept at self-deception and self-delusion. In the case of weight
> training, that encompasses with or without mirrors.
>
> In fact, your insistent opposition to the use of mirrors is a form of
> self-delusionment. Because when you use them, you feel 'distracted'
> (your exact comments, I believe) and, let me guess, you get confused
> signals. Therefore, you are convinced that they are 'wrong.' And thus
> wrong for most training purposes and training. This is a
> 'self-delusion'. (versus 'self-deception' where you are basically
> lying to yourself to convince yourself of the opposite of 'reality')
>
> Humans are good at self-deception and self-delusions because it has a
> evolutionary purpose. Regardless, it can also be a hinderance.
>
> >> Note that a great deal of the speed skating stroke is spent in a static
> >> position (during the glide). Meaning that it's more than possible to
> >> check things like body alignment, limb positions, leading the weight
> >> shift with the hip instead of the torso and other parts of the movement
> >> and get instant visual feedback.
> >>
> >> so there.
> >
> >But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
> >necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
> >of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
> >doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.
>
> Bull****. If I glanced down while I am squatting, I'd lose the ****ing
> bar and kill myself. If I glanced down while I am deadlifting, I'd
> round my back and put myself in surgery. Gads almightly, Keith!!!!

Elzi - Lyle was talking about a balance board, not a friggin' deadlift.

And I can tell you one thing - I know when my back is rounded without
looking down in both those lifts and I don't need a mirror, for cryin' out
loud.
>
> >I tried squatting today in front of a mirror. It sucked. My form has been
> >coming along well, so I don't know if I had a bad day or what, but the
> >mirror didn't help.
>
> Fine. But consider this. You are adamantly opposed to the use of
> mirrors. It's very evident. I think even those that also don't use
> mirrors will grudgingly admit that you are rather obsessively opposed
> in this matter.
>
> Consider that your vehement opposition, and your BELIEF in your
> opposition is self-fulfilling. You are not going to have any benefit
> from mirrors because you firmly believe that you will not. It's a
> self-fulfilling prophecy and an up-hill battle. Perhaps it is more
> self-deception than self-delusion. Whatever.
>
> I used mirrors when I changed my deadlift form from a pseudo-close
> stance to a sumo stance. When I felt I was ready, I weaned myself off
> the mirrors for deadlifting. I can deadlift with my eyes closed, and
> in my sleep. I can sit here typing and 'feel' and visualize in my
> head, myself deadlifting. And in good form. I don't need mirrors to
> deadlift, but I did at one time. And I need them to give me valuable
> feedback when I squat. It's one tool amongst many in my box of goodies
> that I use to improve.

Fine. Instead of attacking my replies to Lyle (and taking things out of
context like turning a balance board exercise into a squat or deadlift)
why don't you address my idea of internal versus external visualization or
something pertinent to the discussion. I'm not going to reply to anymore
'vehement', 'obsessive' or 'BELIEF' strawman arguments. Address the issue
of proprioception and mirrors as a distraction from important visual cues.

I've already stated time and time again that there is a place for mirrors
for some people at some times and my statements were worded far too
strongly. For that I get accused of backpeddling, which is fine. I
switched from a close stance to a sumo without using mirrors and back
again - again without mirrors. You used mirrors. So what? Are you
maintaining they are essential to good form?

I can tell when I'm twisting or roundinf without using mirrors using
visual feedback and proprioception and without looking down. How do you
explain that?

Elzinator
September 27th 04, 03:40 PM
(Keith Hobman) wrote in message >...
> In article >, nospam.net wrote:
>
> > On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 15:56:01 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
> > >In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > > wrote:
>

> > >> Note that a great deal of the speed skating stroke is spent in a static
> > >> position (during the glide). Meaning that it's more than possible to
> > >> check things like body alignment, limb positions, leading the weight
> > >> shift with the hip instead of the torso and other parts of the movement
> > >> and get instant visual feedback.
> > >>
> > >> so there.
> > >
> > >But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
> > >necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
> > >of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
> > >doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.
> >
> > Bull****. If I glanced down while I am squatting, I'd lose the ****ing
> > bar and kill myself. If I glanced down while I am deadlifting, I'd
> > round my back and put myself in surgery. Gads almightly, Keith!!!!
>
> Elzi - Lyle was talking about a balance board, not a friggin' deadlift.

My comments were used as examples. Still, looking down can alter
posture and form, whereas a mirror entails looking directly ahead.


> And I can tell you one thing - I know when my back is rounded without
> looking down in both those lifts and I don't need a mirror, for cryin' out
> loud.

You misunderstand. Rounding the back is a result of looking down.

> > >I tried squatting today in front of a mirror. It sucked. My form has been
> > >coming along well, so I don't know if I had a bad day or what, but the
> > >mirror didn't help.
> >
> > Fine. But consider this. You are adamantly opposed to the use of
> > mirrors. It's very evident. I think even those that also don't use
> > mirrors will grudgingly admit that you are rather obsessively opposed
> > in this matter.
> >
> > Consider that your vehement opposition, and your BELIEF in your
> > opposition is self-fulfilling. You are not going to have any benefit
> > from mirrors because you firmly believe that you will not. It's a
> > self-fulfilling prophecy and an up-hill battle. Perhaps it is more
> > self-deception than self-delusion. Whatever.
> >
> > I used mirrors when I changed my deadlift form from a pseudo-close
> > stance to a sumo stance. When I felt I was ready, I weaned myself off
> > the mirrors for deadlifting. I can deadlift with my eyes closed, and
> > in my sleep. I can sit here typing and 'feel' and visualize in my
> > head, myself deadlifting. And in good form. I don't need mirrors to
> > deadlift, but I did at one time. And I need them to give me valuable
> > feedback when I squat. It's one tool amongst many in my box of goodies
> > that I use to improve.
>
> Fine. Instead of attacking my replies to Lyle (and taking things out of
> context like turning a balance board exercise into a squat or deadlift)
> why don't you address my idea of internal versus external visualization or
> something pertinent to the discussion. I'm not going to reply to anymore
> 'vehement', 'obsessive' or 'BELIEF' strawman arguments. Address the issue
> of proprioception and mirrors as a distraction from important visual cues.

I was gone for several days; I may have missed some of the prior
posts, so I was generalizing. Regardless, I responded to a comment
that you made about your 'unsuccessful' attempt to use the mirror as a
feedback aid. I don't consider that a 'strawman' argument. The comment
is peripheral and integral to the central debate.

I already explained elsewhere that most humans use both external and
internal visualization, albeit in different proportions. Some may
require a greater contribution of one than the other. And that itself
may change over the course of learning and mastering a skill. Those
are two separate but overlapping components. I offered an example in
my own case (deadlift form versus squat form changes).

And, again, although you may find mirrors a distraction, not every
trainee does. I concede and agree that some trainees develop a
reliance on mirrors or other forms of visual (or other)
feedback/input. That's highly individual.

However, as I mentioned elsewhere, visual feedback is one block of the
entire system of proprioception. Experiments in cognitive neuroscience
support this and it is fairly basic, Keith. Of course, just like a
rehabilitating stroke patient relearning to walk, ahtletes must
eventually wean themselves off reliance of mirrors and other external
feedback. However, it is one piece of the foundation upon which
proprioception is built. The external and internal complement each
other.

> I've already stated time and time again that there is a place for mirrors
> for some people at some times and my statements were worded far too
> strongly. For that I get accused of backpeddling, which is fine. I
> switched from a close stance to a sumo without using mirrors and back
> again - again without mirrors. You used mirrors. So what? Are you
> maintaining they are essential to good form?
>
> I can tell when I'm twisting or roundinf without using mirrors using
> visual feedback and proprioception and without looking down. How do you
> explain that?

Let me respond by asking another question: What 'tools' did you use
when you first learned weight lifting skills and techniques?

How did you confirm or validate the form you used which you believed
(via proprioception) was correct?

Okay, that was two questions.

Keith Hobman
September 27th 04, 08:24 PM
In article >,
(Elzinator) wrote:

> (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
>...
> > In article >, nospam.net wrote:
> >
> > > On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 15:56:01 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
> > > >In article >, Lyle McDonald
> > > > wrote:
> >
>
> > > >> Note that a great deal of the speed skating stroke is spent in a
static
> > > >> position (during the glide). Meaning that it's more than possible to
> > > >> check things like body alignment, limb positions, leading the weight
> > > >> shift with the hip instead of the torso and other parts of the
movement
> > > >> and get instant visual feedback.
> > > >>
> > > >> so there.
> > > >
> > > >But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
> > > >necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
> > > >of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
> > > >doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.
> > >
> > > Bull****. If I glanced down while I am squatting, I'd lose the ****ing
> > > bar and kill myself. If I glanced down while I am deadlifting, I'd
> > > round my back and put myself in surgery. Gads almightly, Keith!!!!
> >
> > Elzi - Lyle was talking about a balance board, not a friggin' deadlift.
>
> My comments were used as examples. Still, looking down can alter
> posture and form, whereas a mirror entails looking directly ahead.
>
>
> > And I can tell you one thing - I know when my back is rounded without
> > looking down in both those lifts and I don't need a mirror, for cryin' out
> > loud.
>
> You misunderstand. Rounding the back is a result of looking down.
>
> > > >I tried squatting today in front of a mirror. It sucked. My form has been
> > > >coming along well, so I don't know if I had a bad day or what, but the
> > > >mirror didn't help.
> > >
> > > Fine. But consider this. You are adamantly opposed to the use of
> > > mirrors. It's very evident. I think even those that also don't use
> > > mirrors will grudgingly admit that you are rather obsessively opposed
> > > in this matter.
> > >
> > > Consider that your vehement opposition, and your BELIEF in your
> > > opposition is self-fulfilling. You are not going to have any benefit
> > > from mirrors because you firmly believe that you will not. It's a
> > > self-fulfilling prophecy and an up-hill battle. Perhaps it is more
> > > self-deception than self-delusion. Whatever.
> > >
> > > I used mirrors when I changed my deadlift form from a pseudo-close
> > > stance to a sumo stance. When I felt I was ready, I weaned myself off
> > > the mirrors for deadlifting. I can deadlift with my eyes closed, and
> > > in my sleep. I can sit here typing and 'feel' and visualize in my
> > > head, myself deadlifting. And in good form. I don't need mirrors to
> > > deadlift, but I did at one time. And I need them to give me valuable
> > > feedback when I squat. It's one tool amongst many in my box of goodies
> > > that I use to improve.
> >
> > Fine. Instead of attacking my replies to Lyle (and taking things out of
> > context like turning a balance board exercise into a squat or deadlift)
> > why don't you address my idea of internal versus external visualization or
> > something pertinent to the discussion. I'm not going to reply to anymore
> > 'vehement', 'obsessive' or 'BELIEF' strawman arguments. Address the issue
> > of proprioception and mirrors as a distraction from important visual cues.
>
> I was gone for several days; I may have missed some of the prior
> posts, so I was generalizing. Regardless, I responded to a comment
> that you made about your 'unsuccessful' attempt to use the mirror as a
> feedback aid. I don't consider that a 'strawman' argument. The comment
> is peripheral and integral to the central debate.
>
> I already explained elsewhere that most humans use both external and
> internal visualization, albeit in different proportions. Some may
> require a greater contribution of one than the other. And that itself
> may change over the course of learning and mastering a skill. Those
> are two separate but overlapping components. I offered an example in
> my own case (deadlift form versus squat form changes).
>
> And, again, although you may find mirrors a distraction, not every
> trainee does. I concede and agree that some trainees develop a
> reliance on mirrors or other forms of visual (or other)
> feedback/input. That's highly individual.
>
> However, as I mentioned elsewhere, visual feedback is one block of the
> entire system of proprioception. Experiments in cognitive neuroscience
> support this and it is fairly basic, Keith. Of course, just like a
> rehabilitating stroke patient relearning to walk, ahtletes must
> eventually wean themselves off reliance of mirrors and other external
> feedback. However, it is one piece of the foundation upon which
> proprioception is built. The external and internal complement each
> other.
>
> > I've already stated time and time again that there is a place for mirrors
> > for some people at some times and my statements were worded far too
> > strongly. For that I get accused of backpeddling, which is fine. I
> > switched from a close stance to a sumo without using mirrors and back
> > again - again without mirrors. You used mirrors. So what? Are you
> > maintaining they are essential to good form?
> >
> > I can tell when I'm twisting or roundinf without using mirrors using
> > visual feedback and proprioception and without looking down. How do you
> > explain that?
>
> Let me respond by asking another question: What 'tools' did you use
> when you first learned weight lifting skills and techniques?

I lifted in my basement without any mirrors initially. I'm pretty much
completely self-taught. So during the actual lifts there were visual aids
- horizon, bar relative to supports of the squat rack, etc. As well as
proprioceptive skills already developed from various sports. I relied on
feedback from various training partners after the execution of technique.

When I started going to a gym I started to face the mirrors. However,
after about two months of training Mike Armstrong, a Canadian powerlifter,
came to workout with me. He advised me to quick using the mirrors.

He saw no point in adding feedback and then weaning yourself off it. If
you are familiar with various learning theories (I'm sure you are) you'll
know there are several schools of thought. Mike was of the school which
breaks down the movement (simplifies structures) and then adds
complexities as basic skills are developed. Which means you don't add
mirrors. In the case of powerlifting it mean you focus on pause squats
with the back tightly arched, using light weights. You focused on your
body position. BTW - you can glance down without moving your head. I agree
if you articulate the head the body tends to follow. And your vision is
restricted looking down.
>
> How did you confirm or validate the form you used which you believed
> (via proprioception) was correct?

Every time I was around a decent lifter I had them critique my form. I
also initially had a dialogue going with Fred Hatfield (Dr. Squat) and
sent him some pics. I still do this to some degree, as Will can attest.
When I was lifting with Jason Burnell and him I asked for feedback on form
and discussed critical issues.
>
> Okay, that was two questions.

Two good questions.

There are a couple of classic learning theories which are pertinent to
this discussion as well as the matter of internal versus external
visualization.

There are a lot of sources of feedback beside the mirror. I wonder how
many people actually look straight ahead in the mirror and how many look
down somewhat. I think most people examine their hips and torso when they
look in the mirror while squatting. They look down somewhat, in my
experience. Since we have mirrors all over the place in the University gym
they also often look to the side.

People love to look at themselves and IMO, the mirrored image creates a
visual distraction because it is so overwhelming. So you actually lose
proprioceptive skills and, as you say, have to 'wean' yourself from the
mirror.

In Lyle's case, assuming his preference is external visualization, I don't
think he has much choice given his circumstances. But I still don't think
it is ideal. Viola perfers external visualization and I used a digital
video camera as well as my own feedback. I think this, for most people, is
preferable. (And the pony as well, of course.)

I still think the idea you _need_ a mirror to learn a movement is
incorrect. You get visual cues without a mirror. You get proprioceptive
feedback. You can use exercises which give you immediate feedback (ie.
front squat to learn to stop hips from shooting). All of which assumes you
know what you are doing, of course. But the mirror is no magic panacea
(sp?) for those ignorant people. How many people do you see watching
themselves intently in the mirror while using the crappiest of form?

To me, the mirrors are basically there for the bodybuilders. If I was a
bodybuilder I could see using them. But as the complexity of the movement
increases and especially as the speed of the movement increases the
utility of the mirror decreases. Which is why for olympic lifters they
offer nothing. By the time you've got the feedback you've already
executed.

Hugh Beyer
September 28th 04, 01:30 AM
elzinator > wrote in
:

> On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 19:37:50 -0500, Hugh Beyer wrote:
>>I know I should keep my big fat mouth shut, but since this thread seems
>>to be not quite dead yet...
>>
>>I saw Keith make two comments in the post that started all this:
>>
>>> Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your
>>> ass away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front
>>> of a mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.
>>
>>Followed three paragraphs later in the same post by:
>>
>>> ... I'd really suggest
>>> you quit using the mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once
>>> and a while to check form is fine) and progress from there.
>>
>>Seems to me Keith has been saying the same thing from the beginning. So
>>what's all this about "backpedalling" and saying he claimed that mirrors
>>are NEVER useful?
>
> He's urged against using mirrors and instead using blindfolding other
> times in other threads, once was to me, another time to a frank
> beginner, and elsewhere. I commented on it then, as well. If you don't
> have any other life, you are free to google them at your leisure, but
> I do have another life so I won't.
>
> His history of carelessly recommending lifters, regardless of athletic
> competency or special issues, perform movements blindfolded and
> refrain from using mirrors, is the basis of my critique. And his
> rather myopic prejudice against such visual aids.
>
> And I think Keith can defend himself in this discussion quite
> competently.

Point taken, and I'll shut up now. I just thought his original statement
was more nuanced than you or Lyle were allowing for. Since I do have a
life, I'll take your word on the history here. :0

>
>>Do we not read the full post we're flaming these days?
>
> Who's 'flaming'?

Oh. Right. My mistake. What was I thinking?

Hugh


--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

elzinator
September 28th 04, 04:30 AM
On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 22:11:11 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:

>Fine. Instead of attacking my replies to Lyle (and taking things out of
>context like turning a balance board exercise into a squat or deadlift)
>why don't you address my idea of internal versus external visualization or
>something pertinent to the discussion. I'm not going to reply to anymore
>'vehement', 'obsessive' or 'BELIEF' strawman arguments. Address the issue
>of proprioception and mirrors as a distraction from important visual cues.

Now that I have some food in the apt again and I have eaten dinner, I
can sit down and respond to your earlier 'challenge' of today. This
may be a bit long, so pour yourself a glass of wine.

This is part of my investigation for my 'thought experiment'.

The classic stages of learning skills (from here on to include
technique as well) are, as I'm sure you are familiar with (based on
Fitts and Posner*):

1. Cognitive (focusing on the nature of the task),
2. Associative (gradual decrease in errors and development of internal
reference of correctness, including proprioception)
3. Autonomous (becomes an automatic process)

To quote Gentile**,
"The first stage involves explicit processes in which the learner
matches the body's morphology or form to the environment's regulatory
conditions, and learns to manipulate parameters that scale the
movement to different task demands. Later, during stages in which
learning is less conscious, the learner improves in intrinsic
processes like regulating intersegmental or motion-dependent forces."

These stages exist in athletes as well, whether learning a new skill
or unlearning and relearning. The latter is problematic for various
reasons, as you and I know well .

These stages can be further subdivided because there are various
processes that can be successful or unsuccessful, based on the quality
of the processes. As well, some authors feel that the 'depth' of
processing that a practice requires during the movement is the basis
for success, whereas some contend that other qualities are more
important, such as 'transfer appropriateness.' My assertion is that
both are important, to varying degrees depending on the learning style
of the trainee, the stage of learning (referring to stages 1-3 above),
and the newness of the skill (new skill versus unlearn/relearn versus
transition training).

Regardless, they both entail to some degree interaction with the
environment, feedback and practice. Intrinsic to both is developing
and 'imprinting' an internal reference of correctness. This applies to
learning a new skill, correcting learned errors (unlearning and
relearning) and transition training (modifying a skill to transfer
horizontally to new rules, equipment, etc).

All the same, there are various ways to achieve success in these
stages, especially the first stage: cognition. Recall this stage
involves interacting with the environment, detecting and correcting
errors, and developing an internal reference of correctness. And one
of the most tried and true tools is feedback.

The system used must compare feedback produced by a current movement
against the perceptual trace ('perceptual trace' is the initiated
internal feedback, which is layed down in the nervous system, and
memory: CNS, muscle, joint, etc. the more accurate the movement, the
more useful the perceptual trace).

The system should detect errors (or differences between the actual and
expected outcome) and correct the movement. Schmidt's 'schema theory'
of motor learning expands upon this by arguing that people learn
general motor programs rather than specific movements. THey do this by
"exploring programming rules and learning the ways in which certain
classes of movement are related."

In fact, Schmidt's definition of motor learning is thus:***
"Motor learning is a set of internal processes associated with
practice or experience leading to relatively permanent changes in the
capability for responding." Basically, exploring the programming rules
(some of these rules are hard-wired into the brain/CNS. Ramachandran's
writings have been very helpful in understanding that aspect),
learning how certain classes of movements are related, and how to
produce different movements within a class by varying the parameters
that determine the way movements are constructed.

Now back to feedback, which is the core of the ongoing debate here (I
believe). There is extrinsic (external) feedback and intrinsic
(internal) feedback.

The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content: knowledge
of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then there is
feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all be combined
in any number of ways.

Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these additive
and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately motor behavior
(or output).

During the cognitive stage, the skill required is modeled based on
feedback. Experience is stored internally in the three main sensory
systems: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. You can ask yourself "What
do I see, hear and feel inside when I am about to perform this
physical skill? What do I do then?" Basically, these are the aspects
of internal strategy: the key representations associated with the
skill and the order in which things happen.

As practice continues, the mental modeling notices finer and finer
distinctions of the movements and we form an internal modeling of the
skill we are working on. The mental processes must be connected with
the physical aspects of the skill and they then work together. This
eventually becomes autonomous installation.

Now lets talk more specifically about feedback:

Feedback given influences the athlete's immediate learning of a skill
and his/her ongoing development. As mentioned, that can be knowledge
of results KR, (information regarding outcome) and knowledge of
process and performance KP, (information regarding technique). There
is some research that shows that KR may cause too much reliance upon
external feedback which may hinder the ability to assess and correct
performance independently. On the other hand, some research shows that
when KP was presented it interfered with retention of the learned
skill.

Regardless, the research indicates that there is vast individual
difference effects for feedback. Part of that depends on self-efficacy
("the level of self-confidence or the strength of an athlete's belief
that he or she can successfully perform a specific activity given a
particular environment"), the stage of the learning (e.g. a frank
beginner versus an athlete that knows the basic skills but is focused
on improving performance), level of expertise, personality, learned
errors, and learning style.

Let us progress to this important latter topic. There are multiple
ways to process information and there is no one preferable way. Reread
that sentence.

There are four general modes of input for information processing:
1. vision,
2. auditory
3. kinesthesis
4. thinking.

Although most athletes and trainees use all or most of these modes,
one of them is typically used more than the others. That means there
are four types of learners, depending upon which mode they utilize the
most. Now, realize that the propensity for one over another can be
dependent upon hard-wiring in the brain. A perfect example is gender
differences, but age is also a factor.

1. Visual Learners: many authors suggest that visual perception is the
most important source of information when learning and performing
sports skills. Seeing another player or lifter execute or demonstrate
a movement, noting visual cues that reinforce key concepts of skill
performance, visual reference points, etc. Visual aids can be
beneficial supplements to training. Mirrors are but one tool.

2. Auditory learners: focuses on sounds and rhythms to learn movement
patterns along with verbal instruction and description.

3. Kinesthetic Learners: they learn by doing, they need to know what
the movement feels like. The correct feeling becomes the frame of
reference with which to compare all subsequent movements. You and Gary
are two examples that I know of off-hand. Gary was the most intuitive
learner/trainee I ever worked with (and without a big ego). It was
wonderful working with him.

4. The Thinker: yeah, the 'movement scientist'. Lyle, I and my former
client Rob are examples of this type. We use information that we
analyze for understanding movement concepts, principles, those
programming rules that I spoke of earlier, skills, and strategies. We
ask lots of question and many times find creative ways to solve
movement problems. I bug the hell out of my rehab specialists asking
questions and applying them to movements/exercises. (Dr. Lee told me
if it wasn't for me, he'd be bored in what he does).

A good coach uses a discovery style that instructs athletes through
movement sequences and patterns. Often times I would ask Rob for his
own narrative feedback on how a set went:" What did that feel like?
Something went 'wrong' on the last rep. Can you tell me what it was?
and why?" And we would analyze it (being a administrative programmer,
he had a propensity to analyze everything we did in our sessions).

I do this because this is how *I* internalize my movements. However, I
base this upon a foundation of and supplement visual, kinesthetic and,
less so, auditory input. It's an overlapping and constantly dynamic
system, that changes as I progress between the stages of learning and
mastering a skill.

I suspect that visualization for you is a 'distraction' because of
'confusing cues': processing more than one or two signals at a time,
and your propensity for a different learning style. That's another
topic that we can discuss later if you wish.

And now I will apply this all to overcoming habit patterns: my
Gedankenexperiment.

That's another post; but not tonight.

The impetus behind this post was an exercise for you (Keith and anyone
else who read this) to think about how you learn, and also how others
learn. The most important take-home message here is that not everyone
learns the same. Not everyone is a visual learner, thinker, or
kinesthetic learner. Not everyone needs to, nor should, learn a skill
blindfolded. It may help, and it may imprint bad pattern errors.

My harsh criticism with you, Keith, was not personal. I was harsh with
you because you aspire to be a scientist AND a good coach. One most
important attribute of both of these is to have and maintain an open
mind. You have a tendency to be a bit myopic or quick to jump on
bandwagons. Or make judgmental assertions without proper disclaimers
:P

Sleepy time. Buona notte.


* Fitts, P and Posner, M. 1967. Learning and skilled performance in
human performance.

** Gentile, A. 2000. Skill acquisition: Action, movement, and
neuromotor processes. In: Carr, J and Shepher, R. Movement science:
Foundations for physical therapy in rehabilitation. (2nd ed.)

*** Schmidt, RA. 1991. Motor learningn principles for physical
therapy. In: Foundation for Physical Therapy. Contemporary Management
of Motor Control Problems: Proceedings of the II-STEP Conference,
Alexandria, VA: Foundation for Physical Therapy. [Note: Schmidt has
also written an excellent textbook on motor learning and human
performance, much of it pertaining to sports.]

"A foolish consistancy is the hobgoblin of little minds."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anna Martelli Ravenscroft
September 28th 04, 01:06 PM
elzinator wrote:

An excellent post.

> The impetus behind this post was an exercise for you (Keith and anyone
> else who read this) to think about how you learn, and also how others
> learn. The most important take-home message here is that not everyone
> learns the same. Not everyone is a visual learner, thinker, or
> kinesthetic learner. Not everyone needs to, nor should, learn a skill
> blindfolded. It may help, and it may imprint bad pattern errors.
>

One additional point on being a good trainer/coach/instructor is that,
because all these learning styles exist, it's important to consider how
to address all of them in your training style. In Training circles, how
to address different learning styles is discussed ad nauseum...

A good lesson will often contain methods addressing each style -
particularly because, while one style will often predominate, all of us
do use visual, auditory, kinesthetic and thinking processes in our
learning to varying degrees. So consciously addressing all these styles,
while keeping in mind the particular preferences of individual students,
increases our ability to teach effectively.

Anna

Lee Michaels
September 28th 04, 01:12 PM
"Anna Martelli Ravenscroft" > wrote

> elzinator wrote:
>
> An excellent post.
>
> > The impetus behind this post was an exercise for you (Keith and anyone
> > else who read this) to think about how you learn, and also how others
> > learn. The most important take-home message here is that not everyone
> > learns the same. Not everyone is a visual learner, thinker, or
> > kinesthetic learner. Not everyone needs to, nor should, learn a skill
> > blindfolded. It may help, and it may imprint bad pattern errors.
> >
>
> One additional point on being a good trainer/coach/instructor is that,
> because all these learning styles exist, it's important to consider how
> to address all of them in your training style. In Training circles, how
> to address different learning styles is discussed ad nauseum...
>
> A good lesson will often contain methods addressing each style -
> particularly because, while one style will often predominate, all of us
> do use visual, auditory, kinesthetic and thinking processes in our
> learning to varying degrees. So consciously addressing all these styles,
> while keeping in mind the particular preferences of individual students,
> increases our ability to teach effectively.
>
I hope I am not muddyiing the water here or wandering off topic.

But how do any of these characteristics break down via gender? Or men (or
wimmiz) more prone to perceive info through one modality or another?

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 03:15 PM
In article >, nospam.net wrote:

> On Sun, 26 Sep 2004 22:11:11 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
>
> >Fine. Instead of attacking my replies to Lyle (and taking things out of
> >context like turning a balance board exercise into a squat or deadlift)
> >why don't you address my idea of internal versus external visualization or
> >something pertinent to the discussion. I'm not going to reply to anymore
> >'vehement', 'obsessive' or 'BELIEF' strawman arguments. Address the issue
> >of proprioception and mirrors as a distraction from important visual cues.
>
> Now that I have some food in the apt again and I have eaten dinner, I
> can sit down and respond to your earlier 'challenge' of today. This
> may be a bit long, so pour yourself a glass of wine.
>
> This is part of my investigation for my 'thought experiment'.
>
> The classic stages of learning skills (from here on to include
> technique as well) are, as I'm sure you are familiar with (based on
> Fitts and Posner*):
>
> 1. Cognitive (focusing on the nature of the task),
> 2. Associative (gradual decrease in errors and development of internal
> reference of correctness, including proprioception)
> 3. Autonomous (becomes an automatic process)
>
> To quote Gentile**,
> "The first stage involves explicit processes in which the learner
> matches the body's morphology or form to the environment's regulatory
> conditions, and learns to manipulate parameters that scale the
> movement to different task demands. Later, during stages in which
> learning is less conscious, the learner improves in intrinsic
> processes like regulating intersegmental or motion-dependent forces."
>
> These stages exist in athletes as well, whether learning a new skill
> or unlearning and relearning. The latter is problematic for various
> reasons, as you and I know well .
>
> These stages can be further subdivided because there are various
> processes that can be successful or unsuccessful, based on the quality
> of the processes. As well, some authors feel that the 'depth' of
> processing that a practice requires during the movement is the basis
> for success, whereas some contend that other qualities are more
> important, such as 'transfer appropriateness.' My assertion is that
> both are important, to varying degrees depending on the learning style
> of the trainee, the stage of learning (referring to stages 1-3 above),
> and the newness of the skill (new skill versus unlearn/relearn versus
> transition training).
>
> Regardless, they both entail to some degree interaction with the
> environment, feedback and practice. Intrinsic to both is developing
> and 'imprinting' an internal reference of correctness. This applies to
> learning a new skill, correcting learned errors (unlearning and
> relearning) and transition training (modifying a skill to transfer
> horizontally to new rules, equipment, etc).
>
> All the same, there are various ways to achieve success in these
> stages, especially the first stage: cognition. Recall this stage
> involves interacting with the environment, detecting and correcting
> errors, and developing an internal reference of correctness. And one
> of the most tried and true tools is feedback.
>
> The system used must compare feedback produced by a current movement
> against the perceptual trace ('perceptual trace' is the initiated
> internal feedback, which is layed down in the nervous system, and
> memory: CNS, muscle, joint, etc. the more accurate the movement, the
> more useful the perceptual trace).
>
> The system should detect errors (or differences between the actual and
> expected outcome) and correct the movement. Schmidt's 'schema theory'
> of motor learning expands upon this by arguing that people learn
> general motor programs rather than specific movements. THey do this by
> "exploring programming rules and learning the ways in which certain
> classes of movement are related."
>
> In fact, Schmidt's definition of motor learning is thus:***
> "Motor learning is a set of internal processes associated with
> practice or experience leading to relatively permanent changes in the
> capability for responding." Basically, exploring the programming rules
> (some of these rules are hard-wired into the brain/CNS. Ramachandran's
> writings have been very helpful in understanding that aspect),
> learning how certain classes of movements are related, and how to
> produce different movements within a class by varying the parameters
> that determine the way movements are constructed.
>
> Now back to feedback, which is the core of the ongoing debate here (I
> believe). There is extrinsic (external) feedback and intrinsic
> (internal) feedback.
>
> The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
> auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content: knowledge
> of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then there is
> feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all be combined
> in any number of ways.
>
> Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
> mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these additive
> and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately motor behavior
> (or output).
>
> During the cognitive stage, the skill required is modeled based on
> feedback. Experience is stored internally in the three main sensory
> systems: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. You can ask yourself "What
> do I see, hear and feel inside when I am about to perform this
> physical skill? What do I do then?" Basically, these are the aspects
> of internal strategy: the key representations associated with the
> skill and the order in which things happen.
>
> As practice continues, the mental modeling notices finer and finer
> distinctions of the movements and we form an internal modeling of the
> skill we are working on. The mental processes must be connected with
> the physical aspects of the skill and they then work together. This
> eventually becomes autonomous installation.
>
> Now lets talk more specifically about feedback:
>
> Feedback given influences the athlete's immediate learning of a skill
> and his/her ongoing development. As mentioned, that can be knowledge
> of results KR, (information regarding outcome) and knowledge of
> process and performance KP, (information regarding technique). There
> is some research that shows that KR may cause too much reliance upon
> external feedback which may hinder the ability to assess and correct
> performance independently. On the other hand, some research shows that
> when KP was presented it interfered with retention of the learned
> skill.
>
> Regardless, the research indicates that there is vast individual
> difference effects for feedback. Part of that depends on self-efficacy
> ("the level of self-confidence or the strength of an athlete's belief
> that he or she can successfully perform a specific activity given a
> particular environment"), the stage of the learning (e.g. a frank
> beginner versus an athlete that knows the basic skills but is focused
> on improving performance), level of expertise, personality, learned
> errors, and learning style.
>
> Let us progress to this important latter topic. There are multiple
> ways to process information and there is no one preferable way. Reread
> that sentence.
>
> There are four general modes of input for information processing:
> 1. vision,
> 2. auditory
> 3. kinesthesis
> 4. thinking.
>
> Although most athletes and trainees use all or most of these modes,
> one of them is typically used more than the others. That means there
> are four types of learners, depending upon which mode they utilize the
> most. Now, realize that the propensity for one over another can be
> dependent upon hard-wiring in the brain. A perfect example is gender
> differences, but age is also a factor.
>
> 1. Visual Learners: many authors suggest that visual perception is the
> most important source of information when learning and performing
> sports skills. Seeing another player or lifter execute or demonstrate
> a movement, noting visual cues that reinforce key concepts of skill
> performance, visual reference points, etc. Visual aids can be
> beneficial supplements to training. Mirrors are but one tool.
>
> 2. Auditory learners: focuses on sounds and rhythms to learn movement
> patterns along with verbal instruction and description.
>
> 3. Kinesthetic Learners: they learn by doing, they need to know what
> the movement feels like. The correct feeling becomes the frame of
> reference with which to compare all subsequent movements. You and Gary
> are two examples that I know of off-hand. Gary was the most intuitive
> learner/trainee I ever worked with (and without a big ego). It was
> wonderful working with him.
>
> 4. The Thinker: yeah, the 'movement scientist'. Lyle, I and my former
> client Rob are examples of this type. We use information that we
> analyze for understanding movement concepts, principles, those
> programming rules that I spoke of earlier, skills, and strategies. We
> ask lots of question and many times find creative ways to solve
> movement problems. I bug the hell out of my rehab specialists asking
> questions and applying them to movements/exercises. (Dr. Lee told me
> if it wasn't for me, he'd be bored in what he does).
>
> A good coach uses a discovery style that instructs athletes through
> movement sequences and patterns. Often times I would ask Rob for his
> own narrative feedback on how a set went:" What did that feel like?
> Something went 'wrong' on the last rep. Can you tell me what it was?
> and why?" And we would analyze it (being a administrative programmer,
> he had a propensity to analyze everything we did in our sessions).
>
> I do this because this is how *I* internalize my movements. However, I
> base this upon a foundation of and supplement visual, kinesthetic and,
> less so, auditory input. It's an overlapping and constantly dynamic
> system, that changes as I progress between the stages of learning and
> mastering a skill.
>
> I suspect that visualization for you is a 'distraction' because of
> 'confusing cues': processing more than one or two signals at a time,
> and your propensity for a different learning style. That's another
> topic that we can discuss later if you wish.
>
> And now I will apply this all to overcoming habit patterns: my
> Gedankenexperiment.
>
> That's another post; but not tonight.
>
> The impetus behind this post was an exercise for you (Keith and anyone
> else who read this) to think about how you learn, and also how others
> learn. The most important take-home message here is that not everyone
> learns the same. Not everyone is a visual learner, thinker, or
> kinesthetic learner. Not everyone needs to, nor should, learn a skill
> blindfolded. It may help, and it may imprint bad pattern errors.
>
> My harsh criticism with you, Keith, was not personal. I was harsh with
> you because you aspire to be a scientist AND a good coach. One most
> important attribute of both of these is to have and maintain an open
> mind. You have a tendency to be a bit myopic or quick to jump on
> bandwagons. Or make judgmental assertions without proper disclaimers
> :P
>
> Sleepy time. Buona notte.

Great post, Elzi. Note that what I do in the internet pub of MFW does not
define me as either a aspiring scientist or coach. What I like about this
form is that I can be quick and judgemental. I take exception to the jump
on bandwagons as well. For the last 5 years my training logs have been
very consistent. But I can see how when I quickly point someone to
Thibaudeau, Simmons or Sheiko it could seem that way.

There is an excellent model of sports learning based on Fitts and
Gentile's work by two U of S researchers, McClements and Sanderson "What
an athlete learns..." which I think I'm going to have to scan and send to
Lyle and yourself. They fell that the template of the movement (developed
with the various feedback you have noted) is what is learnt. So to them
the various feedback are directed a developing the kinethesis of the
movement.

What you did with Rob is similar to what I did with Viola. "What are you
trying to do? and "How did it feel?" were very common questions.

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 03:33 PM
In article <[email protected]_s54>, "Lee Michaels"
> wrote:

> "Anna Martelli Ravenscroft" > wrote
>
> > elzinator wrote:
> >
> > An excellent post.
> >
> > > The impetus behind this post was an exercise for you (Keith and anyone
> > > else who read this) to think about how you learn, and also how others
> > > learn. The most important take-home message here is that not everyone
> > > learns the same. Not everyone is a visual learner, thinker, or
> > > kinesthetic learner. Not everyone needs to, nor should, learn a skill
> > > blindfolded. It may help, and it may imprint bad pattern errors.
> > >
> >
> > One additional point on being a good trainer/coach/instructor is that,
> > because all these learning styles exist, it's important to consider how
> > to address all of them in your training style. In Training circles, how
> > to address different learning styles is discussed ad nauseum...
> >
> > A good lesson will often contain methods addressing each style -
> > particularly because, while one style will often predominate, all of us
> > do use visual, auditory, kinesthetic and thinking processes in our
> > learning to varying degrees. So consciously addressing all these styles,
> > while keeping in mind the particular preferences of individual students,
> > increases our ability to teach effectively.
> >
> I hope I am not muddyiing the water here or wandering off topic.
>
> But how do any of these characteristics break down via gender? Or men (or
> wimmiz) more prone to perceive info through one modality or another?

I think Anna's point is that everyone uses all these modalities, but the
balance is different.

Hugh Beyer
September 28th 04, 06:19 PM
elzinator > wrote in
:

<snip>

> Now back to feedback, which is the core of the ongoing debate here (I
> believe). There is extrinsic (external) feedback and intrinsic
> (internal) feedback.
>
> The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
> auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content: knowledge
> of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then there is
> feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all be combined
> in any number of ways.
>
> Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
> mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these additive
> and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately motor behavior
> (or output).

Do you mean "precludes"? This would imply you can have external or
internal but not both.

<snip>
>
> Let us progress to this important latter topic. There are multiple
> ways to process information and there is no one preferable way. Reread
> that sentence.
>
> There are four general modes of input for information processing:
> 1. vision,
> 2. auditory
> 3. kinesthesis
> 4. thinking.

But, of course, all these interact; and visual learning encompasses far
more than just looking at mirrors.

I just went through this in the last year and a half with the PL moves. I
have a strong kinesthetic sense (I think), but it wouldn't have done me
any good without visual and thinking modes.

My approach was to view every mpeg I could find of people doing the three
PL moves, and read every description of them I could find. The reading
boiled down to a few key points that I was ready to deal with at the time,
e.g. for the squat: keep an arch in the back, look up, shins vertical,
butt back, wide stance, knees track over the feet, go deep. I cycled a lot
between the text and the mpegs (thinking and visual), looking to see if I
could identify the features the descriptions talked about.

When I finally got my squat rack set up I started squatting, slowly,
pausing at the bottom, feeling for the right body position. I could
usually track about three of those key points at a time, but the goal for
me is always to move from "the movement is right because the parts are
right" to "the parts are right because the movement is right".

Then when I thought I had the movement about right I started videotaping
(visual again). Mostly the videotape confirmed what I thought I was doing
but sometimes not--e.g. on the DL I found that what I thought was a strong
arch wasn't at all. That tuned my proprioceptive sense, so that after a
few iterations with the videotape my back is now pretty much where I think
it is. And I still look at every mpeg I can as a cross-check.

Now I think Keith's point (and if it's not, my point) is that if you put a
mirror in front of me, I'm not going to work as hard to develop that
internal sense of where my body is. I'll depend more on visual feedback,
and if you take it away, I'll be more lost. I think your argument would be
that it doesn't much matter, because by then I will have built in the
movement pattern.

But is that as good? What's the danger if your kinesthetic sense lags
behind? Will it lag behind, since you've done a bunch of good reps in
front of the mirror? I think that kinesthetic sense is an important part
of what makes an athlete. Should it be trained directly?

I'd also like to see you address learning dynamic movements, another point
Keith brought up. When I tried to learn the clean and snatch (gave it up
for now, working on base strength) there was so much to think about I
can't imagine trying to track the movement in a mirror. I did do a lot of
videotaping, and found it critical for knowing what my body was doing. Do
you agree with him that for these types of movements mirrors are useless,
or at least less useful?

Hugh



--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

Keith Hobman
September 28th 04, 06:54 PM
In article >, Hugh Beyer
> wrote:

> elzinator > wrote in
> :
>
> <snip>
>
> > Now back to feedback, which is the core of the ongoing debate here (I
> > believe). There is extrinsic (external) feedback and intrinsic
> > (internal) feedback.
> >
> > The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
> > auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content: knowledge
> > of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then there is
> > feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all be combined
> > in any number of ways.
> >
> > Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
> > mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these additive
> > and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately motor behavior
> > (or output).
>
> Do you mean "precludes"? This would imply you can have external or
> internal but not both.
>
> <snip>
> >
> > Let us progress to this important latter topic. There are multiple
> > ways to process information and there is no one preferable way. Reread
> > that sentence.
> >
> > There are four general modes of input for information processing:
> > 1. vision,
> > 2. auditory
> > 3. kinesthesis
> > 4. thinking.
>
> But, of course, all these interact; and visual learning encompasses far
> more than just looking at mirrors.
>
> I just went through this in the last year and a half with the PL moves. I
> have a strong kinesthetic sense (I think), but it wouldn't have done me
> any good without visual and thinking modes.
>
> My approach was to view every mpeg I could find of people doing the three
> PL moves, and read every description of them I could find. The reading
> boiled down to a few key points that I was ready to deal with at the time,
> e.g. for the squat: keep an arch in the back, look up, shins vertical,
> butt back, wide stance, knees track over the feet, go deep. I cycled a lot
> between the text and the mpegs (thinking and visual), looking to see if I
> could identify the features the descriptions talked about.
>
> When I finally got my squat rack set up I started squatting, slowly,
> pausing at the bottom, feeling for the right body position. I could
> usually track about three of those key points at a time, but the goal for
> me is always to move from "the movement is right because the parts are
> right" to "the parts are right because the movement is right".

THis is essentially the third type of 'classic' learning theory. Elzi
mentioned the other two - the Fitts model and Gentile two-stage model.
Basically it means adding in degrees of complexity as learning progresses.
Using a mirror could be viewed as either adding in a unnecessary degree of
complexity (since the external visual feedback is not available during the
sporting movement) or simplifying the correct performance by offering
immediate external feedback. Depends on your perspective.
>
> Then when I thought I had the movement about right I started videotaping
> (visual again). Mostly the videotape confirmed what I thought I was doing
> but sometimes not--e.g. on the DL I found that what I thought was a strong
> arch wasn't at all. That tuned my proprioceptive sense, so that after a
> few iterations with the videotape my back is now pretty much where I think
> it is. And I still look at every mpeg I can as a cross-check.
>
> Now I think Keith's point (and if it's not, my point) is that if you put a
> mirror in front of me, I'm not going to work as hard to develop that
> internal sense of where my body is. I'll depend more on visual feedback,
> and if you take it away, I'll be more lost. I think your argument would be
> that it doesn't much matter, because by then I will have built in the
> movement pattern.
>
> But is that as good? What's the danger if your kinesthetic sense lags
> behind? Will it lag behind, since you've done a bunch of good reps in
> front of the mirror? I think that kinesthetic sense is an important part
> of what makes an athlete. Should it be trained directly?

Exactly. Why not train it? The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag. (In
al fairness Elzi has pathologies which both make it difficulty for her to
perform the movement correctly and exacebate errors of technique to such a
degree you may have to use external feedback). Instead of addressing that
they compensate for lagging skills with a mirror. Lyle summarily dismissed
blindfolded training because visual skills are available during real
performance. And yet he would argue for isolating a lagging muscle in
order to bring it up to snuff. You have a lagging skill, but he won't
isolate it?

Like using isolation movements I don't think it is something you do very
often in athletic training. But it is usefull for dealing with learning a
movement, changing a movement pattern or developing proprioceptive skills.
>
> I'd also like to see you address learning dynamic movements, another point
> Keith brought up. When I tried to learn the clean and snatch (gave it up
> for now, working on base strength) there was so much to think about I
> can't imagine trying to track the movement in a mirror. I did do a lot of
> videotaping, and found it critical for knowing what my body was doing. Do
> you agree with him that for these types of movements mirrors are useless,
> or at least less useful?

I found even my cheap video camera on my computer was pretty much useless
- the movement happens too quickly for it. All you see are blurs of
movement. I have to get something that takes more frames per second.

Elzinator
September 29th 04, 12:00 AM
(Keith Hobman) wrote in message >...
> In article >, Hugh Beyer
> > wrote:
>
> > elzinator > wrote in
> > :
> > > The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
> > > auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content: knowledge
> > > of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then there is
> > > feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all be combined
> > > in any number of ways.
> > >
> > > Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
> > > mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these additive
> > > and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately motor behavior
> > > (or output).
> >
> > Do you mean "precludes"? This would imply you can have external or
> > internal but not both.

There is overlap, but to a greater extent extrinsic feedback does
preclude intrinsic feedback. Note that some degree of intrinsic
feedback is hard-wired: our brains have specific imprinted movements
that are executed autonomously, and the kinisthetic physiology (the
various nocieptive, mechano, joint, muscle, etc receptors) respond
immediately to various stimuli. Hence, the two can not be distinctly
separated. However, the extrinsic, supplemented by the pre-existing
and immediate-reponsive intrinsic factors build an increasing
foundation in intrinsic feedback, where the extrinsic contribution
eventually decreases.

> > > Let us progress to this important latter topic. There are multiple
> > > ways to process information and there is no one preferable way. Reread
> > > that sentence.
> > >
> > > There are four general modes of input for information processing:
> > > 1. vision,
> > > 2. auditory
> > > 3. kinesthesis
> > > 4. thinking.
> >
> > But, of course, all these interact; and visual learning encompasses far
> > more than just looking at mirrors.

I had hoped that was implicit in my post. If not, then I may not have
emphasized it enough.

> > I just went through this in the last year and a half with the PL moves. I
> > have a strong kinesthetic sense (I think), but it wouldn't have done me
> > any good without visual and thinking modes.
> >
> > My approach was to view every mpeg I could find of people doing the three
> > PL moves, and read every description of them I could find. The reading
> > boiled down to a few key points that I was ready to deal with at the time,
> > e.g. for the squat: keep an arch in the back, look up, shins vertical,
> > butt back, wide stance, knees track over the feet, go deep. I cycled a lot
> > between the text and the mpegs (thinking and visual), looking to see if I
> > could identify the features the descriptions talked about.
> >
> > When I finally got my squat rack set up I started squatting, slowly,
> > pausing at the bottom, feeling for the right body position. I could
> > usually track about three of those key points at a time, but the goal for
> > me is always to move from "the movement is right because the parts are
> > right" to "the parts are right because the movement is right".

Right. What you just explained was building a foundation by various
modes, one possibly more helpful than others, with the usefullness of
each mode and feeback changing as you progressed. This was another
point which I intended to make clear in my original post.

> THis is essentially the third type of 'classic' learning theory. Elzi
> mentioned the other two - the Fitts model and Gentile two-stage model.
> Basically it means adding in degrees of complexity as learning progresses.
> Using a mirror could be viewed as either adding in a unnecessary degree of
> complexity (since the external visual feedback is not available during the
> sporting movement) or simplifying the correct performance by offering
> immediate external feedback. Depends on your perspective.
> >
> > Then when I thought I had the movement about right I started videotaping
> > (visual again). Mostly the videotape confirmed what I thought I was doing
> > but sometimes not--e.g. on the DL I found that what I thought was a strong
> > arch wasn't at all. That tuned my proprioceptive sense, so that after a
> > few iterations with the videotape my back is now pretty much where I think
> > it is. And I still look at every mpeg I can as a cross-check.
> >
> > Now I think Keith's point (and if it's not, my point) is that if you put a
> > mirror in front of me, I'm not going to work as hard to develop that
> > internal sense of where my body is. I'll depend more on visual feedback,
> > and if you take it away, I'll be more lost. I think your argument would be
> > that it doesn't much matter, because by then I will have built in the
> > movement pattern.
> >
> > But is that as good? What's the danger if your kinesthetic sense lags
> > behind? Will it lag behind, since you've done a bunch of good reps in
> > front of the mirror? I think that kinesthetic sense is an important part
> > of what makes an athlete. Should it be trained directly?

Yes and no. Not everyone uses the mirrors the same way, nor to the
same degree. Nor does using mirrors negate the kinesthetic sense.
However, that is also highly individual. Personally, I don't have that
issue. In fact, I don't directly look at the mirror during all my
squat reps or throughout the entire movement (ROM). I use it as a
'check and balance', for lack of a better term.

For example, when I first changed squat form, I had two mirrors: one
in front and one to my right. Often, I would descend slowly on the
first 2-3 reps, watch my center of gravity (I tend to shift to the
left for various reasons I won't delve into here), check my knees
(also drift to the center), etc. At the bottom, I would pause, turn my
head to the right far enough to check my alignment without twisting my
torso. Then, finish the movement without looking at the mirrors. I
used the mirrors to check correctness of the movement pattern and my
form. When I felt that the entire movement was correct, I would finish
the workout without the aid of visual feedback (via mirrors), relying
more on intrinsic feedback. I coupled the various modes together.

> Exactly. Why not train it?

Visual feedback is one mode of training it. That does not mean that
visual feedback must forever be a part of that training.

>The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
> movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
> without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag. (In
> al fairness Elzi has pathologies which both make it difficulty for her to
> perform the movement correctly and exacebate errors of technique to such a
> degree you may have to use external feedback).

both Lyle and I are trying to change existing imprinted learned
habits. Lyle's is more tranlational training (altering skills used in
in-line skating to ice speed skating), whereas I am changing form and
dealing with musculoskeletal issues at the same time. This is much
different than learning a basic skill. You know well (I think) how
much more difficult it is to CHANGE autonomous movement patterns:
unlearn and relearn. In fact, many coaches have had poor success with
this in elite athletes, and instead use a new approach called "Old Way
New Way". (I can discuss that later) Considering, your judgement is
ill considered.

I remember going through this same issue with Gary where he had
similar problems. I used my own intuitive version of OWNW without
realizing what I had done. It was successful to a degree, but required
more time than we had before his first meet (4 months) where he
reverted to his 'old' form in the last deadlift rep: when the weight
got heavy (50 lb more than his PB). And this is where the test of
success is (transfer and/or over-riding old habits): when the
challenge (weight or force/power production) arises. He was smart
enough to realize it during his pull and stopped, avoiding possible
injury. Now, 2+ years later and more practice, he's overridden his old
form completely.

So you see, the issue is not just proprioceptive skills, but more
complex issues.

>Instead of addressing that they compensate for lagging skills with a
mirror.

No, that's not what we/I do. We use the mirror as a tool to alter our
proprioception that is associated with learned habits that must be
changed.

> > I'd also like to see you address learning dynamic movements, another point
> > Keith brought up. When I tried to learn the clean and snatch (gave it up
> > for now, working on base strength) there was so much to think about I
> > can't imagine trying to track the movement in a mirror. I did do a lot of
> > videotaping, and found it critical for knowing what my body was doing. Do
> > you agree with him that for these types of movements mirrors are useless,
> > or at least less useful?

In this instance, where the speed of the movement is too fast, mirrors
are near useless. They may be of limited use during the learning the
basic blocks of the movement i.e. the parts of the overall dynamic
movement broken down into blocks of one or a few movements that are
then learned before coupling the blocks. I can make a case for
coupling the blocks together into one or two dynamic movement(s)
before the blocks are autonomous, depending on the ease and speed of
learning a block, and depending on the individual.

Both Lyle and Pat had me introduce the subsequent movement block
before I had mastered the preceeding block. I suspect this was a good
coaching decision. However, I had to spend alot of time on the high
pull because I was such a deadlift head (in other words, I tended to
use powerlifting deadlift form during the pull: that was autonomous).
However, when they introduced the clean, it all came together
smoothly. Still, I will often do a few high pulls before I do a full
clean. Now I immediately, almost without thought, do a front squat
after I clean. It's autonomous.

Regardless, the individual's propensities should dictate the use of
feedback; type, when and how.

Elzinator
September 29th 04, 12:11 AM
"Lee Michaels" > wrote in message news:<[email protected]_s54>...
> "Anna Martelli Ravenscroft" > wrote

> > One additional point on being a good trainer/coach/instructor is that,
> > because all these learning styles exist, it's important to consider how
> > to address all of them in your training style. In Training circles, how
> > to address different learning styles is discussed ad nauseum...
> >
> > A good lesson will often contain methods addressing each style -
> > particularly because, while one style will often predominate, all of us
> > do use visual, auditory, kinesthetic and thinking processes in our
> > learning to varying degrees. So consciously addressing all these styles,
> > while keeping in mind the particular preferences of individual students,
> > increases our ability to teach effectively.
> >
> I hope I am not muddyiing the water here or wandering off topic.
>
> But how do any of these characteristics break down via gender? Or men (or
> wimmiz) more prone to perceive info through one modality or another?

That's a very good question and I did see this mentioned a few times
in some of the literature. While motivation is the ultimate
determinant in any athlete, women typically have certain personality
traits that make them more coachable than men, IF they have equal
motivation.

Women tend to be more 'Thinkers' and Kinesthetic, whereas men are
typically more visual and auditorial. Some of that may be inherent
gender cognitive tendencies and processing differences in the brain.
Men tend to be more visual overall, women better at multitasking. This
echoes comments and observations make by several coaches I've talked
to (several PL and OL and one who coaches martial arts and several
sports; the latter told me he finds women more 'coachable' than men,
but they can be just as 'stubborn').

Elzinator
September 29th 04, 12:47 AM
(Keith Hobman) wrote in message >...
> In article >, nospam.net wrote:
> Great post, Elzi. Note that what I do in the internet pub of MFW does not
> define me as either a aspiring scientist or coach.

Well, then I guess I should just call you a 'moron'? ;)

>What I like about this form is that I can be quick and judgemental.

Yeah, I used to be, too; alot. Until I saw myself in someone else and
didn't like what I saw.


I take exception to the jump
> on bandwagons as well. For the last 5 years my training logs have been
> very consistent. But I can see how when I quickly point someone to
> Thibaudeau, Simmons or Sheiko it could seem that way.
>
> There is an excellent model of sports learning based on Fitts and
> Gentile's work by two U of S researchers, McClements and Sanderson "What
> an athlete learns..." which I think I'm going to have to scan and send to
> Lyle and yourself. They fell that the template of the movement (developed
> with the various feedback you have noted) is what is learnt. So to them
> the various feedback are directed a developing the kinethesis of the
> movement.

Yes, I am interested in reading it. And your last sentence is
basically what I have been trying to emphasize all along.

If you can find it (most likely at a campus library; used copies are
expensive and it's out of print), look for:
Handbook of Perception and Human Performance: Sensory Processes and
Perception, Cognitive Processes and Performance (Two Volume Set), by
KR Boff, L Kaufman and JP Thomas, eds.

It's rather dated (1986), but, man, does it kick ass....

> What you did with Rob is similar to what I did with Viola. "What are you
> trying to do? and "How did it feel?" were very common questions.

Then there's the rare "What the **** was that??"

Sure. such questions aid self-discovery. Which some trainees can
benefit from, some don't. That is why I like and benefit from training
with Lyle; we both share common learning, training and coaching
modalities and we use each other for sounding boards and critical
feedback. A mutual friend in Oregon is like that, too. That he's a
physicist is a plus. "Explain the biomechanics of how this
works/doesn't work, but leave out the damned numbers."

Keith Hobman
September 29th 04, 01:01 AM
In article >,
(Elzinator) wrote:

> (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
>...
> > In article >, nospam.net wrote:
> > Great post, Elzi. Note that what I do in the internet pub of MFW does not
> > define me as either a aspiring scientist or coach.
>
> Well, then I guess I should just call you a 'moron'? ;)
>
> >What I like about this form is that I can be quick and judgemental.
>
> Yeah, I used to be, too; alot. Until I saw myself in someone else and
> didn't like what I saw.
>
>
> I take exception to the jump
> > on bandwagons as well. For the last 5 years my training logs have been
> > very consistent. But I can see how when I quickly point someone to
> > Thibaudeau, Simmons or Sheiko it could seem that way.
> >
> > There is an excellent model of sports learning based on Fitts and
> > Gentile's work by two U of S researchers, McClements and Sanderson "What
> > an athlete learns..." which I think I'm going to have to scan and send to
> > Lyle and yourself. They fell that the template of the movement (developed
> > with the various feedback you have noted) is what is learnt. So to them
> > the various feedback are directed a developing the kinethesis of the
> > movement.
>
> Yes, I am interested in reading it. And your last sentence is
> basically what I have been trying to emphasize all along.
>
> If you can find it (most likely at a campus library; used copies are
> expensive and it's out of print), look for:
> Handbook of Perception and Human Performance: Sensory Processes and
> Perception, Cognitive Processes and Performance (Two Volume Set), by
> KR Boff, L Kaufman and JP Thomas, eds.
>
> It's rather dated (1986), but, man, does it kick ass....
>
> > What you did with Rob is similar to what I did with Viola. "What are you
> > trying to do? and "How did it feel?" were very common questions.
>
> Then there's the rare "What the **** was that??"

Not _that_ rare, although my choice of expletives is slightly different.

Which Viola enjoyed. She liked that tough environment, as long as the
respect was there.
>
> Sure. such questions aid self-discovery. Which some trainees can
> benefit from, some don't. That is why I like and benefit from training
> with Lyle; we both share common learning, training and coaching
> modalities and we use each other for sounding boards and critical
> feedback. A mutual friend in Oregon is like that, too. That he's a
> physicist is a plus. "Explain the biomechanics of how this
> works/doesn't work, but leave out the damned numbers."

Yeah, it is good meeting someone who thinks like you.

Ooops. Dayum - am I the one you saw yourself in?

:^(

In retrospect - I'm going to make a snap judgement on who it is (which
I'll keep to myself) and say, "I think not."

elzinator
September 29th 04, 03:47 AM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 18:01:59 -0600, Keith Hobman wrote:
>In article >,
(Elzinator) wrote:

>> > What you did with Rob is similar to what I did with Viola. "What are you
>> > trying to do? and "How did it feel?" were very common questions.
>>
>> Then there's the rare "What the **** was that??"
>
>Not _that_ rare, although my choice of expletives is slightly different.
>
>Which Viola enjoyed. She liked that tough environment, as long as the
>respect was there.

It has been in all my clients. If it deteriorated (and in one case it
did), I was honest. I dropped one client because of that. I lost
respect for her and found her 'uncoachable.' I told her we were both
wasting our time.

>> Sure. such questions aid self-discovery. Which some trainees can
>> benefit from, some don't. That is why I like and benefit from training
>> with Lyle; we both share common learning, training and coaching
>> modalities and we use each other for sounding boards and critical
>> feedback. A mutual friend in Oregon is like that, too. That he's a
>> physicist is a plus. "Explain the biomechanics of how this
>> works/doesn't work, but leave out the damned numbers."
>
>Yeah, it is good meeting someone who thinks like you.

Yeah, all I need now is a male clone of myself ;)

>Ooops. Dayum - am I the one you saw yourself in?

No.


Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 05:44 AM
Keith Hobman wrote:


> Exactly. Why not train it? The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
> movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
> without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag.

No, Keith, this comment indicates that you are a close minded old fool
who got called on an off the cuff remark (that was wrong) and who
refuses to back down. So instead of admitting that you are flat out
wrong about the use of the mirror, you're going to question my ability
to learn things.

I have reasonably good proprioceptive skills, as a matter of fact and
pick stuff up reasonably quickly.

However, this is predicated on my actually knowing what the movement is
supposed to look and/or feel like.

So I ask you a last time: If someone doesn't even KNOW what the ****ing
movement is in the first place, how do you ****ing propose that they
learn it? Add to that a previous motor engram that is marginally
incorrect (my inline pattern lacked the weight shift that is absolutely
critical to the ice and I'm having to retrain myself).

How, Keith?

If I had no feedback and did the moronic **** that you seem to be
suggesting (trying to learn it without feedback), how would I EVER know
what was right and what wasn't? How can I ****ing train by feel if I
have no clue what the movement is supposed to feel like in the first place.

The answer to anyone with an IQ higher than his shoe size would be: I
can't. I don't have a coach, I don't have a video camera. I do have a
mirror.

So I get in front of the mirror INITIALLY (I've pointed this out several
times) to learn what the movement looks and feels like (as, to repeat
myself again, it's not as if having visual feedback eliminates
kinesthetic feedback). Progressively I do more drills without the
mirror. Or I do the first set of the drill in the mirror and then try
it without.

This has nothing ot do with my proprioceptive capacity, it has to do with:
a. my trying to learn a movement that is biomechanically foreign
b. trying to fix an old movement pattern that, in hindsight, was incorrect
c. needing immediate visual feedback to do so.

So get your head out of your ****ing ass, Keith, you're simply wrong on
this one.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 05:46 AM
Hugh Beyer wrote:


> Now I think Keith's point (and if it's not, my point) is that if you put a
> mirror in front of me, I'm not going to work as hard to develop that
> internal sense of where my body is. I'll depend more on visual feedback,
> and if you take it away, I'll be more lost. I think your argument would be
> that it doesn't much matter, because by then I will have built in the
> movement pattern.

When I did my PL meet, I had been squatting in front of a mirror for
years. Building that motor engram.

When I switched to working facing away from the mirror, I had zero problems.

The engram was built despite having used visual feedback (gasp, Keith
will have another apoplectic fit) for years.

> I'd also like to see you address learning dynamic movements, another point
> Keith brought up. When I tried to learn the clean and snatch (gave it up
> for now, working on base strength) there was so much to think about I
> can't imagine trying to track the movement in a mirror.

I never had a problem doing them/learning them in front of the mirror
and using visual cues during such.

Lyle

John Hanson
September 29th 04, 05:49 AM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:54:18 -0600, (Keith Hobman)
wrote in misc.fitness.weights:


>
>Exactly. Why not train it? The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
>movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
>without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag. (In
>al fairness Elzi has pathologies which both make it difficulty for her to
>perform the movement correctly and exacebate errors of technique to such a
>degree you may have to use external feedback). Instead of addressing that
>they compensate for lagging skills with a mirror. Lyle summarily dismissed
>blindfolded training because visual skills are available during real
>performance. And yet he would argue for isolating a lagging muscle in
>order to bring it up to snuff. You have a lagging skill, but he won't
>isolate it?
>
I haven't seen myself squat in a mirror in 22 years. Only goes to
show how important training partners are.

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 05:49 AM
Keith Hobman wrote:


> There is an excellent model of sports learning based on Fitts and
> Gentile's work by two U of S researchers, McClements and Sanderson "What
> an athlete learns..." which I think I'm going to have to scan and send to
> Lyle and yourself. They fell that the template of the movement (developed
> with the various feedback you have noted) is what is learnt. So to them
> the various feedback are directed a developing the kinethesis of the
> movement.
>

Keith,

I'm really trying to be polite here (ok, not so much the last post) but
you're ****ing me off.

Because, frankly, you don't know **** about **** right now.

You're a first or second semester kinesiology student who has learned a
few nifty biological/physiological facts. You have a lot of practical
experience but, on the academic side, well...

I've read plenty of stuff on motor learning and different approaches to
it. Your mistake is in thinking there is a singular way of doing it,
and since I called you on your bull**** off the cuff remark, you're
getting defensive (again) and digging yourself in deeper.

So keep your paper.

I've taught msyelf everything from back squats to front squats to the
Olympic movements (maybe we can compare form in Laughlin) using hte
mirror and never had a problem moving away from it AFTER I had developed
a good motor engram. I am doing the same with my ice skating. So
you're theorizing and opinions are all completely worthless to me.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 05:52 AM
Anna Martelli Ravenscroft wrote:

> elzinator wrote:
>
> An excellent post.
>
>> The impetus behind this post was an exercise for you (Keith and anyone
>> else who read this) to think about how you learn, and also how others
>> learn. The most important take-home message here is that not everyone
>> learns the same. Not everyone is a visual learner, thinker, or
>> kinesthetic learner. Not everyone needs to, nor should, learn a skill
>> blindfolded. It may help, and it may imprint bad pattern errors.
>
>
> One additional point on being a good trainer/coach/instructor is that,
> because all these learning styles exist, it's important to consider how
> to address all of them in your training style. In Training circles, how
> to address different learning styles is discussed ad nauseum...

And, I suspect, is similar to debates abut whether to learn movements in
a whole-part-whole approach or top down or bottom up or any of hte other
myriad ways of learning a movement.

And, of course, there's no best way, it's as much about the specific
movement as the individual and how they best learn.

So before every ice workout, I go through a series of technical drills
that break the skating stroke down into small bits and pieces, gradually
taking on more and more of the movement. The idea being to program the
individual parts of the movement and ultimately synergize it into the
whole movement.

Tha's not the only way to do it, mind you. The ISU Handbook of
Competitive SpeedSkating suggests just starting with the basic skating
stroke and gradually sitting deeper and deeper until you are doing full
speed skating.

Might work for a total newbie, I have a bunch of old bad habits to break
and relearn from my years inlining and I think breaking it down more
is more beneficial.

Lyle

>
>

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 05:55 AM
Keith Hobman wrote:


> To me, the mirrors are basically there for the bodybuilders. If I was a
> bodybuilder I could see using them.

Translation: Keith is being over-reactive. Again.

Since a group he seems to dislike (see: Keith's bias against 'excessive'
hypertrophy) overuses them, he doesn't think you should use them at all.

Get your head out of your ass, Keith.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 05:57 AM
Hugh Beyer wrote:

> I know I should keep my big fat mouth shut, but since this thread seems to
> be not quite dead yet...
>
> I saw Keith make two comments in the post that started all this:
>
>
>>Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
>>away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
>>mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.
>
>
> Followed three paragraphs later in the same post by:
>
>
>>... I'd really suggest
>>you quit using the mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once
>>and a while to check form is fine) and progress from there.
>
>
> Seems to me Keith has been saying the same thing from the beginning. So
> what's all this about "backpedalling" and saying he claimed that mirrors are
> NEVER useful?

What does this statement imply to you
"If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 06:03 AM
Keith Hobman wrote:


> But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
> necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
> of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
> doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.

Glancing down doesn't nearly give me the information I need about my
body position.

I need to check the orientation of my upper body and support knee
relative to the toe (there should be alignment from nose to knee to
toe), that my hip is outside of the leg, the position of my shoulders
(horizontal), the position of my hips (level), the position of my trail
leg (which should be under the body, not angled in or out, with the knee
bent to 90 degrees), that my shoulders are rounded and a whole host of
other ****.

I can't even check all of that facing forwards in the mirror, sometimes
I have to be sideways and look sideways, mainly to check for proper
tucking of my butt and that my suppor leg is at a 90-100 degree angle
(like squatting, you feel like you're that deep when you're nowhwere close).

So, Keith, considering ALL that I have going on (and that's just during
a singular part of the skating stroke) do you think I can LEARN that
movement properly without immediate visual feedback?

Here, I'll answer: No, Lyle, you can't. Since you don't have access to
a coach who's not a retard, it's clear that you need some form of
instant feedback to lay down a proper motor engram. The best choice, in
your specific situation, would seem to be the mirror and I was wrong in
making the absolutist, extremist 'off the cuff' response I initially made.

Lyle

Lyle McDonald
September 29th 04, 06:04 AM
Keith Hobman wrote:


> But I ain't going to get rigorous here. No way, no how. And I'm taking the
> stoopid disclaimer off. This is MFW, not the Journal of Applied
> Physiology. I can have a conversation here without having to think about
> every word I say. And if that disappoints you - too bad.

Words mean things Keith, specific things.
Maybe you should learn to use them correctly.

Lyle

Hugh Beyer
September 29th 04, 12:06 PM
Lyle McDonald > wrote in
:

> Hugh Beyer wrote:
>
>> I know I should keep my big fat mouth shut, but since this thread seems
>> to be not quite dead yet...
>>
>> I saw Keith make two comments in the post that started all this:
>>
>>
>>>Bottom line - if you want to develop proprioceptive skills get your ass
>>>away from the mirror. Why are you doing a balance drill in front of a
>>>mirror? If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors.
>>
>>
>> Followed three paragraphs later in the same post by:
>>
>>
>>>... I'd really suggest
>>>you quit using the mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once
>>>and a while to check form is fine) and progress from there.
>>
>>
>> Seems to me Keith has been saying the same thing from the beginning. So
>> what's all this about "backpedalling" and saying he claimed that
>> mirrors are NEVER useful?
>
> What does this statement imply to you
> "If you are an athlete stay away from the damn mirrors."

In isolation, or immediately preceded by "if you want to develop
proprioceptive skills" and followed later by "I'd really suggest you quit
using the mirror for the majority of workouts (using it once and a while to
check form is fine)"? Cuz the answers are different.

Hugh


--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

Hugh Beyer
September 29th 04, 12:22 PM
(Elzinator) wrote in
om:

> (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
> >...
>> In article >, Hugh
>> Beyer > wrote:
>>
>> > elzinator > wrote in
>> > :
>> > > The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
>> > > auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content:
>> > > knowledge of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then
>> > > there is feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all
>> > > be combined in any number of ways.
>> > >
>> > > Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
>> > > mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these
>> > > additive and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately
>> > > motor behavior (or output).
>> >
>> > Do you mean "precludes"? This would imply you can have external or
>> > internal but not both.
>
> There is overlap, but to a greater extent extrinsic feedback does
> preclude intrinsic feedback. Note that some degree of intrinsic
> feedback is hard-wired: our brains have specific imprinted movements
> that are executed autonomously, and the kinisthetic physiology (the
> various nocieptive, mechano, joint, muscle, etc receptors) respond
> immediately to various stimuli. Hence, the two can not be distinctly
> separated. However, the extrinsic, supplemented by the pre-existing
> and immediate-reponsive intrinsic factors build an increasing
> foundation in intrinsic feedback, where the extrinsic contribution
> eventually decreases.

OK. In layman's language, I think you're saying you can't pay attention to
two things at a time, so if you're paying attention to how you look you
can't pay close attention to how you feel. But as you learn the movement
you can pay less attention to how you look (even if the mirror's still
there) and more to how it feels.

So what you're talking about is a trade-off--I think you clearly need some
sort of visual feedback to learn a movement properly, but videotape gives
it to you after the fact while mirrors give it to you immediately.
Videotape allows you to separate the two modes of learning (which would
otherwise interfere), but you can't make in-the-moment corrections.
Mirrors help you get the parts in the right place in the moment (if the
movement is slow enough) but interfere with proprioceptive feedback (at
least at the beginning). Doing some reps with the mirror and some without
would be another way of allowing for both types of feedback even without
videotape.

>
>> > > Let us progress to this important latter topic. There are multiple
>> > > ways to process information and there is no one preferable way.
>> > > Reread that sentence.
>> > >
>> > > There are four general modes of input for information processing:
>> > > 1. vision,
>> > > 2. auditory
>> > > 3. kinesthesis
>> > > 4. thinking.
>> >
>> > But, of course, all these interact; and visual learning encompasses
>> > far more than just looking at mirrors.
>
> I had hoped that was implicit in my post. If not, then I may not have
> emphasized it enough.

Yep, just clarifying.

<snip>
> I remember going through this same issue with Gary where he had
> similar problems. I used my own intuitive version of OWNW without
> realizing what I had done. It was successful to a degree, but required
> more time than we had before his first meet (4 months) where he
> reverted to his 'old' form in the last deadlift rep: when the weight
> got heavy (50 lb more than his PB). And this is where the test of
> success is (transfer and/or over-riding old habits): when the
> challenge (weight or force/power production) arises. He was smart
> enough to realize it during his pull and stopped, avoiding possible
> injury. Now, 2+ years later and more practice, he's overridden his old
> form completely.

I'd love to hear more about OWNW. I'm struggling with this in my Aikido
practice (new style, new emphasis) and I'm looking for strategies.

Hugh


--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

Keith Hobman
September 29th 04, 07:55 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
>
> > Exactly. Why not train it? The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
> > movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
> > without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag.
>
> No, Keith, this comment indicates that you are a close minded old fool
> who got called on an off the cuff remark (that was wrong) and who
> refuses to back down. So instead of admitting that you are flat out
> wrong about the use of the mirror, you're going to question my ability
> to learn things.
>
> I have reasonably good proprioceptive skills, as a matter of fact and
> pick stuff up reasonably quickly.
>
> However, this is predicated on my actually knowing what the movement is
> supposed to look and/or feel like.
>
> So I ask you a last time: If someone doesn't even KNOW what the ****ing
> movement is in the first place, how do you ****ing propose that they
> learn it? Add to that a previous motor engram that is marginally
> incorrect (my inline pattern lacked the weight shift that is absolutely
> critical to the ice and I'm having to retrain myself).

If they don't know what the movement is in the first place they can't
learn it, can they?
>
> How, Keith?
>
> If I had no feedback and did the moronic **** that you seem to be
> suggesting (trying to learn it without feedback), how would I EVER know
> what was right and what wasn't? How can I ****ing train by feel if I
> have no clue what the movement is supposed to feel like in the first place.

YOU HAVE FEEDBACK WITHOUT A MIRROR!!!

This shows you to be a close-minded middel aged fool. You have visual
feedback, you have proprioceptive feedback, you have KR especially with
certain progressive learning exercises. You don't need a friggin' mirror
for feedback.
>
> The answer to anyone with an IQ higher than his shoe size would be: I
> can't. I don't have a coach, I don't have a video camera. I do have a
> mirror.
>
> So I get in front of the mirror INITIALLY (I've pointed this out several
> times) to learn what the movement looks and feels like (as, to repeat
> myself again, it's not as if having visual feedback eliminates
> kinesthetic feedback). Progressively I do more drills without the
> mirror. Or I do the first set of the drill in the mirror and then try
> it without.
>
> This has nothing ot do with my proprioceptive capacity, it has to do with:
> a. my trying to learn a movement that is biomechanically foreign
> b. trying to fix an old movement pattern that, in hindsight, was incorrect
> c. needing immediate visual feedback to do so.
>
> So get your head out of your ****ing ass, Keith, you're simply wrong on
> this one.

Nope. It is perfectly possible to learn a movement without a mirror. You
are very myopic about this.

Keith Hobman
September 29th 04, 07:56 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
>
> > There is an excellent model of sports learning based on Fitts and
> > Gentile's work by two U of S researchers, McClements and Sanderson "What
> > an athlete learns..." which I think I'm going to have to scan and send to
> > Lyle and yourself. They fell that the template of the movement (developed
> > with the various feedback you have noted) is what is learnt. So to them
> > the various feedback are directed a developing the kinethesis of the
> > movement.
> >
>
> Keith,
>
> I'm really trying to be polite here (ok, not so much the last post) but
> you're ****ing me off.
>
> Because, frankly, you don't know **** about **** right now.
>
> You're a first or second semester kinesiology student who has learned a
> few nifty biological/physiological facts. You have a lot of practical
> experience but, on the academic side, well...
>
> I've read plenty of stuff on motor learning and different approaches to
> it. Your mistake is in thinking there is a singular way of doing it,
> and since I called you on your bull**** off the cuff remark, you're
> getting defensive (again) and digging yourself in deeper.
>
> So keep your paper.
>
> I've taught msyelf everything from back squats to front squats to the
> Olympic movements (maybe we can compare form in Laughlin) using hte
> mirror and never had a problem moving away from it AFTER I had developed
> a good motor engram. I am doing the same with my ice skating. So
> you're theorizing and opinions are all completely worthless to me.

Fine.

Don't bother responding.

Elzinator
September 29th 04, 07:57 PM
Hugh Beyer > wrote in message >...
> (Elzinator) wrote in
> om:
>
> > (Keith Hobman) wrote in message
> > >...
> >> In article >, Hugh
> >> Beyer > wrote:
> >>
> >> > elzinator > wrote in
> >> > :
> >> > > The former includes feedback mode, which can be verbal, visual,
> >> > > auditory, tactile, etc. It also includes feedback content:
> >> > > knowledge of results and knowledge of performance or process. Then
> >> > > there is feedback schedule: the timing of feedback. These can all
> >> > > be combined in any number of ways.
> >> > >
> >> > > Nonetheless, this class of feedback precludes internal feedback:
> >> > > mental visualization and tactile sensation. Ultimately, these
> >> > > additive and synergistically form proprioception, and ultimately
> >> > > motor behavior (or output).
> >> >
> >> > Do you mean "precludes"? This would imply you can have external or
> >> > internal but not both.
> >
> > There is overlap, but to a greater extent extrinsic feedback does
> > preclude intrinsic feedback. Note that some degree of intrinsic
> > feedback is hard-wired: our brains have specific imprinted movements
> > that are executed autonomously, and the kinisthetic physiology (the
> > various nocieptive, mechano, joint, muscle, etc receptors) respond
> > immediately to various stimuli. Hence, the two can not be distinctly
> > separated. However, the extrinsic, supplemented by the pre-existing
> > and immediate-reponsive intrinsic factors build an increasing
> > foundation in intrinsic feedback, where the extrinsic contribution
> > eventually decreases.
>
> OK. In layman's language, I think you're saying you can't pay attention to
> two things at a time, so if you're paying attention to how you look you
> can't pay close attention to how you feel.

That's not what I am saying at all.

>But as you learn the movement
> you can pay less attention to how you look (even if the mirror's still
> there) and more to how it feels.

Reread my posts on this (and the other associated) thread. That may be
Keith's problem (called 'cue confusion'), but not everyone has that
propensity.

> So what you're talking about is a trade-off--I think you clearly need some
> sort of visual feedback to learn a movement properly, but videotape gives
> it to you after the fact while mirrors give it to you immediately.
> Videotape allows you to separate the two modes of learning (which would
> otherwise interfere), but you can't make in-the-moment corrections.
> Mirrors help you get the parts in the right place in the moment (if the
> movement is slow enough) but interfere with proprioceptive feedback (at
> least at the beginning).

You got it right until the last part of your last sentence. Mirrors do
not necessarily interfere with proprioceptive feedback. They can
reinforce it. However, some individuals may not be able to process
both types of feedback simultaneously. Regardless, their issue with
cue confusion does not mean that all athletes or trainees have the
same issue.

>Doing some reps with the mirror and some without
> would be another way of allowing for both types of feedback even without
> videotape.

That's what I recounted from my own experience.

> > I remember going through this same issue with Gary where he had
> > similar problems. I used my own intuitive version of OWNW without
> > realizing what I had done. It was successful to a degree, but required
> > more time than we had before his first meet (4 months) where he
> > reverted to his 'old' form in the last deadlift rep: when the weight
> > got heavy (50 lb more than his PB). And this is where the test of
> > success is (transfer and/or over-riding old habits): when the
> > challenge (weight or force/power production) arises. He was smart
> > enough to realize it during his pull and stopped, avoiding possible
> > injury. Now, 2+ years later and more practice, he's overridden his old
> > form completely.
>
> I'd love to hear more about OWNW. I'm struggling with this in my Aikido
> practice (new style, new emphasis) and I'm looking for strategies.

I had an interesting discussion during lunch with a woman who has
several 'belts' in the martial arts and teaches. She is currently
training for her credential in weapons. She informed me that mirrors
are commonly used in martial arts, but are not the sole source of
feedback. As both Lyle and I posted, the mirrors are one of many forms
of feedback that are used to determine and reinforce the 'reference of
correctness' which helps lay down the internal proprioception.

To my surprise, she also mentioned that mirrors are used in dressage
training, both the horse and the rider (she is also an accomplished
dressage rider). This was news to me. She gave several examples of how
mirror/visual feedback is used to train the rider and the horse in
dressage, where a few centimeters of altered body position can change
both the rider's cueing and the horse's response.

Keith Hobman
September 29th 04, 07:59 PM
In article >, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

> Keith Hobman wrote:
>
>
> > But that still begs the question - why do you need the mirror to get the
> > necessary feedback (including visual). Can't you tell from a combination
> > of vision cues without a mirror and proprioception what your body is
> > doing. Glancing down is no more disruptive than looking in a mirror.
>
> Glancing down doesn't nearly give me the information I need about my
> body position.
>
> I need to check the orientation of my upper body and support knee
> relative to the toe (there should be alignment from nose to knee to
> toe), that my hip is outside of the leg, the position of my shoulders
> (horizontal), the position of my hips (level), the position of my trail
> leg (which should be under the body, not angled in or out, with the knee
> bent to 90 degrees), that my shoulders are rounded and a whole host of
> other ****.
>
> I can't even check all of that facing forwards in the mirror, sometimes
> I have to be sideways and look sideways, mainly to check for proper
> tucking of my butt and that my suppor leg is at a 90-100 degree angle
> (like squatting, you feel like you're that deep when you're nowhwere close).
>
> So, Keith, considering ALL that I have going on (and that's just during
> a singular part of the skating stroke) do you think I can LEARN that
> movement properly without immediate visual feedback?
>
> Here, I'll answer: No, Lyle, you can't. Since you don't have access to
> a coach who's not a retard, it's clear that you need some form of
> instant feedback to lay down a proper motor engram. The best choice, in
> your specific situation, would seem to be the mirror and I was wrong in
> making the absolutist, extremist 'off the cuff' response I initially made.

No, Lyle you can't. I think using a mirror is warranted in your situation.
But you can learn movement without a mirror. People do it all the time.
Visual feedback is not limited to a mirror.

Lee Michaels
September 29th 04, 08:05 PM
"Elzinator" > wrote
>
> To my surprise, she also mentioned that mirrors are used in dressage
> training, both the horse and the rider (she is also an accomplished
> dressage rider). This was news to me. She gave several examples of how
> mirror/visual feedback is used to train the rider and the horse in
> dressage, where a few centimeters of altered body position can change
> both the rider's cueing and the horse's response.

I know this for a fact as several horses have told me about it. :-)

David Cohen
September 29th 04, 08:26 PM
"Lee Michaels" > wrote
> "Elzinator" > wrote
>> To my surprise, she also mentioned that mirrors are used in dressage
>> training, both the horse and the rider (she is also an accomplished
>> dressage rider). This was news to me. She gave several examples of how
>> mirror/visual feedback is used to train the rider and the horse in
>> dressage, where a few centimeters of altered body position can change
>> both the rider's cueing and the horse's response.
>
> I know this for a fact as several horses have told me about it. :-)

Don't try to fool us! We know damn well that you are familiar only with the
non-verbal end of several horses!!

David

David
September 29th 04, 08:34 PM
"David Cohen" > wrote in message
hlink.net...
>
> "Lee Michaels" > wrote
> > "Elzinator" > wrote
> >> To my surprise, she also mentioned that mirrors are used in dressage
> >> training, both the horse and the rider (she is also an accomplished
> >> dressage rider). This was news to me. She gave several examples of how
> >> mirror/visual feedback is used to train the rider and the horse in
> >> dressage, where a few centimeters of altered body position can change
> >> both the rider's cueing and the horse's response.
> >
> > I know this for a fact as several horses have told me about it. :-)
>
> Don't try to fool us! We know damn well that you are familiar only with
the
> non-verbal end of several horses!!
>
> David
>
I don't give a ****

Lee Michaels
September 29th 04, 08:35 PM
"David Cohen" > wrote >
> "Lee Michaels" > wrote
> > "Elzinator" > wrote
> >> To my surprise, she also mentioned that mirrors are used in dressage
> >> training, both the horse and the rider (she is also an accomplished
> >> dressage rider). This was news to me. She gave several examples of how
> >> mirror/visual feedback is used to train the rider and the horse in
> >> dressage, where a few centimeters of altered body position can change
> >> both the rider's cueing and the horse's response.
> >
> > I know this for a fact as several horses have told me about it. :-)
>
> Don't try to fool us! We know damn well that you are familiar only with
the
> non-verbal end of several horses!!
>
Well, I am happy to see that you are over your niceness streak.

We were becoming concerned about you.

Kimberperv.

elzinator
September 29th 04, 11:55 PM
On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 23:49:01 -0500, John Hanson wrote:
>On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:54:18 -0600, (Keith Hobman)
>wrote in misc.fitness.weights:
>
>
>>
>>Exactly. Why not train it? The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
>>movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
>>without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag. (In
>>al fairness Elzi has pathologies which both make it difficulty for her to
>>perform the movement correctly and exacebate errors of technique to such a
>>degree you may have to use external feedback). Instead of addressing that
>>they compensate for lagging skills with a mirror. Lyle summarily dismissed
>>blindfolded training because visual skills are available during real
>>performance. And yet he would argue for isolating a lagging muscle in
>>order to bring it up to snuff. You have a lagging skill, but he won't
>>isolate it?
>>
>I haven't seen myself squat in a mirror in 22 years. Only goes to
>show how important training partners are.

That's very true. I would prefer a knowledgable coach or training
partner to help give verbal feedback. Both the visual and auditory
together are highly beneficial for me.

But finding someone around here that is knowledgable, especially in
biomechanics, is non-existant.


Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

elzinator
September 29th 04, 11:59 PM
On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 06:22:44 -0500, Hugh Beyer wrote:

>I'd love to hear more about OWNW. I'm struggling with this in my Aikido
>practice (new style, new emphasis) and I'm looking for strategies.

give me some time. I'm still distilling the logistics.

BTW, if you are interested, I could consult with Lisa regarding your
issues in Aikido. She has trained in several styles of MA and has
very keen proprioception. The fact that she is highly intuitive and a
scientist probably enhances her ability to cross styles.

Let me know.


Beelzibub

"Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this,he is obligated
to struggle with evil, to confront his own shadow, to integrate the devil."
- Carl Jung

Hugh Beyer
September 30th 04, 12:51 AM
elzinator > wrote in
:

> On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 06:22:44 -0500, Hugh Beyer wrote:
>
>>I'd love to hear more about OWNW. I'm struggling with this in my Aikido
>>practice (new style, new emphasis) and I'm looking for strategies.
>
> give me some time. I'm still distilling the logistics.
>
> BTW, if you are interested, I could consult with Lisa regarding your
> issues in Aikido. She has trained in several styles of MA and has
> very keen proprioception. The fact that she is highly intuitive and a
> scientist probably enhances her ability to cross styles.
>
> Let me know.

Thanks for the offer but I don't know how much it's possible to communicate
these things by typing... I started in a Tomiki school, which is a
relatively hard style and values power; my current school focuses much more
on developing power through the body-body connection (even if that's
mediated by a single wrist contact, or even just relative momentum). I know
how to generate power directly and I know how to relax and let the movement
happen--it's this place in between that's got me flummoxed. I can do it
sometimes, but as soon as things get faster or more difficult I clamp down,
get stiff, and the technique goes out the window. I need some way to get
those old reactions out of the way so they don't sandbag me as soon as I get
stressed.

Hugh


--
One puppy had its dewclaws removed in the creation of this post, but for
reasons of hygene and it really doesn't hurt them at all.

Lee Michaels
September 30th 04, 02:51 PM
"John Hanson" > wrote
>
> Having said what I said earlier, I taught myself to squat using a
> mirror while squatting in the power cage at school. I tried to copy
> the "form" of Mike Bridges (from pictures I'd seen of him in Musclular
> Development (back when it was a Hoffman magazine)). That may be why I
> look so far up now. Back then, I would have my head up but look into
> the mirror to watch my form out of the bottom of my eyes. Now I just
> look up.

So THAT is what you are doing.

We just thought you were praying to the squat gods.

John Hanson
September 30th 04, 02:54 PM
On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 17:55:06 -0500, elzinator
> wrote in misc.fitness.weights:

>On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 23:49:01 -0500, John Hanson wrote:
>>On Tue, 28 Sep 2004 11:54:18 -0600, (Keith Hobman)
>>wrote in misc.fitness.weights:
>>
>>
>>>
>>>Exactly. Why not train it? The fact that Lyle has difficulty doing the
>>>movement correctly without the mirror and Elzi cannot squat correctly
>>>without a mirror would indicate to me their proprioceptive skills lag. (In
>>>al fairness Elzi has pathologies which both make it difficulty for her to
>>>perform the movement correctly and exacebate errors of technique to such a
>>>degree you may have to use external feedback). Instead of addressing that
>>>they compensate for lagging skills with a mirror. Lyle summarily dismissed
>>>blindfolded training because visual skills are available during real
>>>performance. And yet he would argue for isolating a lagging muscle in
>>>order to bring it up to snuff. You have a lagging skill, but he won't
>>>isolate it?
>>>
>>I haven't seen myself squat in a mirror in 22 years. Only goes to
>>show how important training partners are.
>
>That's very true. I would prefer a knowledgable coach or training
>partner to help give verbal feedback. Both the visual and auditory
>together are highly beneficial for me.
>
>But finding someone around here that is knowledgable, especially in
>biomechanics, is non-existant.
>
>
Having said what I said earlier, I taught myself to squat using a
mirror while squatting in the power cage at school. I tried to copy
the "form" of Mike Bridges (from pictures I'd seen of him in Musclular
Development (back when it was a Hoffman magazine)). That may be why I
look so far up now. Back then, I would have my head up but look into
the mirror to watch my form out of the bottom of my eyes. Now I just
look up.