The Non-Linearity of Progression and Learning
with Dr. Sophia Nimphius
In this video - an excerpt from the Need for Speed Course - Dr. Sophia Nimphius, with her great use of analogy, discusses training progressions.
A LINEAR SYSTEM
We have an inherent desire to progress exercises, drills, and tactical concepts on a linear scale; coaches talk about progressions, regressions, and lateralizations. It is generally how most of us organize our training.
Even in parallel periodization approaches, we tend to think in linear ways.
As such, it makes intuitive sense to want to progress an athlete through each of the domains discussed above in the order we have described them.
This is most likely due to the fact that on the surface, it would appear that task difficulty increases with each successive domain (see Figure A, below).
Through such a progression, it would seem reasonable to assume that as an athlete progresses through varying levels of task difficulty, they do so through stabilizing each successive task component. An athlete progressively improves their ability to manage an increasingly organized system, and then successively improves her ability to manage an increasingly complex system.
In fact, we described such a continuum during the last session.
While there is some truth to such a progression, this does not accurately portray the true nature of learning – which, as we described earlier – is messy. The assumption might be that learning is linear in nature, but we already know this to be false.