Don’t Over-think It

Keep it Simple, Stupid

I never did like hearing this from a mentor, but it is relevant when training for a specific sport. I was teaching my Sunset Circuit sports conditioning class at Snowcreek Resort in Mammoth Lakes when a member of the class asked about kinesiology and biomechanics. He wanted to know which scientific principle was at play during the inward rotation of his femur while using the inside edge of his ski to initiate a turn. Follow?

I stood there analyzing the movement he demonstrated, listening to words he’d picked up in a ski clinic from an extremely qualified and exceptional ski instructor, the phrase “don’t over think it” returned to mind. I remembered a session years ago, when a man I’d been training for months finally looked at me and said “what are my glutes? do you mean my ass?” in response to me continually telling him to “fire his glutes.”

It is possible to overload a client/trainee/student/athlete with a lot of scientific and unnecessary jargon when trying to teach a new movement. Those scientific, ‘biomechanical’ terms which are so effective and fascinating in an academic setting can actually take away from what we’re trying to accomplish – the learning and enjoyment of a student of any sport by teaching and demonstrating correct movement patterns.

So, next time you find yourself learning a new scientific language during a sport-specific lesson, do yourself and your well-meaning instructor a favor: tell them to stop over-thinking it and to simply instruct you how you should be moving your ass.

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