Sunday, January 11, 2009

Motor Control Theory

I spoke yesterday at the NSCA Sport Specific Conference on Sprint Technique and its relevance to teamsports. One of the key topics for this which I bought up was motor control theory. It generated the most questions after the session and Dynamic Systems Theory was new to most.

If we step back and look at kinesiology education in the US, motor control is often just a side note or after thought. That which is covered is still generally based on the idea of a general motor program and schema theory. Every coach does need tolern this, but it is not up to date and does not answer many of the complexities we encounter dealing with team sports and human movement.

I was fortunate to have a biomechanics instructor in grad school who introduced me to the other theories. Then another stroke of luck was finding an old book when browsing through one of my favorite sections in the library. The Co-ordination and Regulation of Movements by N.A. Bernstein. This book opened my eyes. It lead me to a much larger view of motor control, and provided an answer tomany of the short comings in GMP theory that just didn't explain what I saw going on in sport training. Progress in Motor Control, Volume One: Bernstein's Traditions in Movement Studies
by Mark Latash from Penn State is another great one to bring it more up to date.

If you are involved in coaching speed and agility to athletes in any way, you need to have a personal understandingofmotor control theory. If you don't, how can you justify what you are doing? While will those drills matter and how will they transfer to performance?

I am going to go more into motor control in comingposts and it will be the topic of a ceu webinar in March. This article on SPORTSCI.ORG is a good starting point to get introduced in the mean time.