Listening and observing can be passive activities—in one ear and out the other, as our mums used to say. Or they can be active, focused experiences that lead to serious learning.
The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion.
You know what I'm talking about don't you?
The workout brief.
We pride ourselves on giving your more than just a workout. We teach you the how and perhaps more importantly, the why.
It's incredible how often we hear from visiting CrossFitters, or from our own members who visit other affiliates, that giving an explanation of the workout, what it will target, how it will feel, strategies on how to tackle it, and technique/skill work to prepare you for it, is actually quite unusual. My theory is that many coaches are either not educated enough to do this, or, worse, not committed enough to continually reinforce the basics, especially when faced with the odd disinterested or grumbly client.
That's right, we notice you at the back of the group, chatting away like a school kid. If you're not too noisy, we'll probably leave you to it (because you're NOT a school kid, you make your own choices). Just be sure the person you're chatting to, isn't quietly wishing you'd shut the eff up, so that they can actually do some learning.......
Apparently, the way we learn a second language shows that effective listening involves more than simply hearing the words. Rather, it’s an active process of interpreting information and making meaning. Studies of skilled language learners have identified specific listening strategies that lead to better comprehension.
Skilled learners go into a listening session with a sense of what they want to get out of it. They set a goal for their listening, and they even generate predictions about what the speaker will say. Before the talking begins, they mentally review what they already know about the subject, and form an intention to “listen out for” what’s important or relevant.
Once they begin listening, these learners maintain their focus; if their attention wanders, they bring it back to the words being spoken. They don’t allow themselves to be thrown off by confusing or unfamiliar details. Instead, they take note of what they don’t understand and make inferences about what those things might mean, based on other clues available to them: their previous knowledge of the subject, the context of the talk, etc.
All the while, skilled learners are evaluating what they’re hearing and their own understanding of it. They’re checking against their own knowledge to see if they’re correct, and coming up with questions, so they can check the answers later.
How about the movement demos? Are you sick of seeing the break down of a pushpress for the hundredth time??
Well it's obvious that we learn by doing. But we also learn by watching. Observation accelerates the learning process because our brains are able to map others’ actions onto our own mental representations, making them more detailed and more accurate.
In a 2009 study, researchers asked participants to rehearse a dance sequence set to a music video.
For five days they practiced the routine; on each day they also watched a different dance sequence without trying it out for themselves. The subjects’ brains were scanned using fMRI before and after the five-day period.
The second round of scans revealed that the dancers’ action observation networks showed similar patterns of activation as they watched both videos—the one with a dance sequence they had practiced, and the one with a dance sequence they had simply watched. That's right they got better just by watching the movements, rather than practicing them!
Skills no longer just mean handstand pushups and triple unders, listening and watching count too.
DB Split Squat
3 x 8 e/leg
10 Medball Situps
10 Plate G2OH
10 OH Rev. Lunge
AMRAP in 7mins
Back Squat 20
10 DB Snatch 20/12.5kg
AMRAP in 7mins