The first thing I am realizing about all Olympic weightlifting is that the most important thing is a seamless transfer of energy. I tend to think logically and scientifically about these processes, at the same time trying to hone in on my metacognition skills (see how I use teacher words). I’m trying to find patterns, similarities, and differences, I’m trying to evaluate which parts don’t make sense to me, I’m writing down a bunch of questions I have, and I’m trying to find ways to explain it to myself so that it makes more sense. Here is what I came up with:
All the readings I have gone through indicate that most important thing when lifting from the ground is keeping the item you are lifting (a barbell in this case) very close to body. Everything about the way you lift the barbell is for the purpose of keeping it close to the body, while avoiding injury of course. I understand that that concept must be true, but in order to understand it deeper I find myself asking why and how. Why is it that the movement requires the bar to stay close to the body? How did we come to determine that is the best way to lift? What is it about the movement that necessitates that?
My conclusion comes from what mediocre knowledge I have of physics, all the way back from the college years. When you move your body around, that requires energy. Our bodies are constantly in a hurry to produce more energy so that we can contract muscles and continue to move around. When our bodies move in a way that contradicts the forces of gravity, such as picking something off of the ground, it requires force in an opposite direction of the force of gravity. The force of gravity pulls us or an item straight down to the ground in a straight line. One way to oppose this force is to pull yourself or an item in a straight line away from the ground, as straight as possible to oppose that force. The problem is that human bodies don’t maintain a straight line position all the time. If we are doing these Olympic lifts, or any other kind of lift from the floor, in order for us to reach the object on the floor from a standing position, we have to bend over. Bending over requires the knees, butt, and shoulders to move out of alignment with the body. This can be done in many ways, some of which may cause us to be more prone to injury and others will be much safer ways of doing so. The good thing is that when we are bent down, it is not a resting position, we are like a coiled spring waiting to be released. When we are bent down, some of our muscles must contract and use energy to create this position. This causes the body to have energy stored in the muscles in the form of potential energy.
So there you are, bent down over an item to pick up with all this stored up potential energy. You can’t stay that way, so what do you do. Well, if the item is heavy, you have a natural instinct to move in a way that helps you transfer some of that stored energy into item in order to create movement. If it’s an inanimate object like a barbell, it doesn’t have its own energy to create motion like you do. So you have to transfer some of your energy to the object in order to make it move. You do this with forces.
The forces start in your feet, your heels to be more specific, as you begin to stand up. Your hamstrings fire, your glutes fire, the quads and calves fire, all to release that potential energy to kinetic energy. And that barbell is essentially strapped to you by your arms. The arms should be loose and not contracted, as at this point in the movement, they are not creating or transferring energy, they are the straps between your body and the object. As you start to stand more upright, the energy in your body is transferred from heels to knees to hips to shoulders, and finally you bend the arms and transfer the energy to the barbell. The arms need to be directly under the shoulders at this point in order for the transfer of energy to occur efficiently. If the arms are not vertically under the shoulders, when the energy reaches my shoulders, it has nowhere else to go. Unless my arms are directly under my shoulders, then I can shrug my shoulder upwards, which moves my arms upwards transferring that kinetic energy to the arms. At this point, the bending of the arms transfers that energy directly to the barbell moving the barbell upwards. Then you just have to finish the move by catching the weight of the barbell for whichever move you are doing.
The force is not rotational, it is not broad. It is a very narrow (no bigger than the frame of the base/feet) line of force, directly vertical, so the object needs to be within that vertical line (frame of the base) in order for the force to act upon it. The closer it is, the more efficient that movement is, and that’s just physics.
As I embark on completing my 20 % project to become a better CrossFit coach, I need to complete a pre-self-assessment of my coaching abilities. I will use 10 point scale where 1 means that I have little or no abilities in an given area, and 10 means I am as good I as possibly be in that area at this time. I will also include a pre-peer-assessment, which is basically the coaching direction that has come from the owners of the gym that I coach at. At the end of the project I will self-assess and I will include an assessment from the same owners at my gym.
This is a little background on how I came up with the points on the self assessment. Before I started coaching, the one of the head coaches, who is also one of the owners, at my gym spent time with me over a few days to explain the standards of coaching at the gym. At the gym, the focus is on providing a place where people enjoy coming to every day; doing CrossFit should be the best part of their day. Part of that is great coaching, and the other part of that is upholding the community aspect of the gym. As a coach, I need to be able to be great at protecting each athlete by ensuring they are moving properly and that they are avoiding any movement that may cause injury. This involves scaling workouts to fit each person’s physical needs so that they feel like they are getting a good workout without feeling like the workout was too hard to accomplish. Each athlete should feel like they are progressing and improving.
I also need to be connecting with athletes on a personal level. Asking each athlete how they are and checking in with them is an important part of building that rapport that is needed to coach them and to help them feel like I have their best interest in mind during the workout. This will also help me feel like I am coaching friends rather than strangers, which will help me feel more at ease and confident.
The points that I created below to assess myself on are based on the things that I worked on with the head coach at my gym. These are points that are important to being a good coach.
1) Feeling comfortable running the warm up: 7
2) Feeling comfortable going over Olympic weight lifting progressions: 5
3) Feeling comfortable going over gymnastic and other progressions: 6
4) Feeling comfortable talking giving athletes feedback: 6
5) Feeling comfortable identifying movement problems: 5
6) Feeling comfortable giving correcting cues: 4
7) Checking in with all athletes before class starts: 3
8) Feeling adequate connections with athletes in class: 4
9) Feeling like I can “be myself” while coaching: 4
10) Overall coaching confidence: 4
Peer assessment: The awesome part about this coaching experience is getting good critiquing and feeling so supported at the same time. It makes working on weaknesses feel comfortable and helps me feel motivated to work on them. The feedback I have received from two of the owners/head coaches is that I need to be louder and that I need to have better overall confidence when directing a class. I should be definitive and decisive about what we are doing.
My hope is that through this 20 % project, I am improving my ability to explain and correct the more complex movements of CrossFit, the clean, jerk, and snatch, that I will feel more overall confidence that will translate into definitive and decisive speaking when I run a class. I also feel like I am being loud, but I think my opinion might change when I see a video of myself going over the progressions for the lifts. I am hoping that a video of myself will help me identify and understand more of what I can do to change and improve. I am confident that with practice and familiarity I will become a better CrossFit coach.
The connection between motivation and the way Wagner discusses the way students today, is that students today need a different kind of motivation than what they needed before. It seems as though adults now aren't realizing the effects that the internet and other advanced technologies are having on society as a whole. Raising a generation that has known nothing but the use of advanced technology has changed the way they read, talk, take in information, learn, and relax. The tactics that were used a few short years ago to motivate students and to get them jobs is not what is working for the latest up and coming generation.
I think that there is some truth to what Wagner suggests and points out, however, I don’t think that it’s as severe as he portrays it. I think that the needs of the upcoming generations are different and there will be shift in society because of the latest technological inventions. Teenage needs have always been unique and shifting with the tides of the latest trends. When I was a teenager, I begged for my own phone line and a tongue piercing. I would find a way to page my boyfriend so he could call me in the middle of the night to talk. I had a need to be connected with friends and validated through social actions. Are the teenage needs different, or are they manifested differently? I wonder though, if technology has caused a change on the up and coming generation, or if technology has had an influence on the adults of this time. It is the adults who are raising the kids that have a perceived bad work ethic, and it is the adults who are letting their children spend time playing video games. The kids are not who are making the choices, I think that should be some focus on the adults. A bad work ethic is a bad work ethic.
I have been to High Tech High and I have already started looking into working there. I love that they provide autonomy to teachers to teach how they want and that they have a priority on project based learning. I have had the chance to attend a class at High Tech High and interview the teacher about their lesson design and what a “normal day” is like. It seems like a great place and as far as the options out there, it is on the edge of innovation.
I have wondered recently why students spend so much time in class. One of the big eye opening changes for me what I went to college was how much spare time I had. It made me realize how outrageous it was that I spent so much time at school. It was an amazing feeling to make my own schedule each semester, and that I could make it work around a job and what worked best for me. If I wanted early morning classes I could take all early morning and be done by 10 am every day. If I needed afternoon classes I could have afternoon classes and sleep in. I had so much power over my schedule and I was mad that I wasted so much of my adolescence in high school. I was self motivated, self directed and responsible and I wish I would have had more autonomy as a teenager with parental supervision before getting to college. I see that in many students that were in my clinical practice. Why can’t a high school function a little more like college, and let students pick what classes they want to take and don’t make them take 8 hours of it every day. I believe that the more control they have of their life, the more engaged they will be. And I also believe that parents should rightfully be very involved with a student’s decision making and schedule making. If I were to make a school, or make a change to schools, that would be my first act.
How to get a Job at Google.
100% I agree. And no, I don’t think that what I did in clinical practice would help my students get a job at Google.
I love at the end when he says that just because you have a degree doesn’t mean anything, but what does mean something is that what you can do with the knowledge you have. Google seems to have some great ways to assess these abilities about people. What I see happening at the public school level, is that these abilities are not being assessed therefore the abilities are not being taught. And it seems that there is a lot of confusion about how to assess these abilities at the public school level. If there are tried and true measures to assess people on their abilities to lead, relinquish lead, learn on the fly, step in and problem solve, etc then why are the not being used in schools?
On the flip side, I know that not everyone wants to work at Google. So if Google is looking for certain attributes in people, can the claim be made that all employers are looking for similar attributes in employees? As a science minded person, I would say that there needs to be more research in order to say that if students are prepared to interview and be hired at Google, that they are prepared to be hired anywhere, or even further that they will be successful in any job. I don’t think that after reading this article that this is necessarily the case.
Overall, my gut agrees 100% with this claim, but the logical thinker in my says more information is still before I would use this info to change anything.
Read the article here.
I often wish the same thing that this coach does, to shadow my students to get an idea of what their day is like. I also reflect often on my time as a student and what my struggles were and how they affected my attitude about school. Currently, I have no school assignment, but my most recent experience with San Marcos High School was eye opening. I got a chance to assist in classrooms with students who were in my Co-Teaching classrooms. Some of my EL students were in an ELD English class that I was also in. Their attitudes and behaviors were vastly different than when in my general ed science class. In the EL environment in the first period of the day, they practically jumped out of their chairs to volunteer to read out loud or offer their thoughts and opinions. They joked with each other and would carry on about things that mattered to them like dating, jobs, and sports. In science they acted bored, tired, and disinterested. They shied away from speaking out loud or even asking questions when they needed to. It was difficult for me to determine whether the difference in behaviors was due to instructional strategies, environment, language barriers, time of day, or lack of interest in the topics. My co-teacher insisted it was a language barrier that caused a discomfort in her larger class, mostly situational and nothing to do with instructional strategies. I’m still not totally sure.
I think its hard to capture what your students are really like by only seeing them for one hour, for one subject. However, I was enlightened by the key take aways of this article. I was surprised that the students hardly spoke in any of their classes and that was considered typical. This article aligns with my beliefs that students need to be in charge of their learning. Students are used to dialing in school. And as torturous as it is, they are used to sitting, listening, and doing as their told in order to avoid notice or reprimand. I believe students should be actively engaged in their learning and they should be making choices about what and how they learn. Through a co-teaching day, I often find myself thinking thoughts like “Well who can blame them for talking…being on their phone…falling asleep…not completing the assignment…” I feel bad for students often and I have hard time reprimanding them for the things that I completely understand. So far, I have not seen anyone present a better way to do it. And although I think the suggestions in this article are spot on, I still have yet to see what it looks like to bundle them all together and create an awesome classroom environment. I have my doubts that it is possible in the current climate of education.
After reviewing my 20% project, I would like to refine the process a little more. My ultimate goal and purpose is to become a better CrossFit coach. The reason I want to do this is because I love CrossFit and I especially love Olympic Lifting. Its something that you are never done learning about or refining. The reason I keep going back to the gym is to get better and improve. After doing my own workouts for a while, the next step for me to become better at CrossFit is to understand the other side of the CrossFit experience-the coaching and programming. The hours I spend at the gym are the best hours of my day. When I walk into my box, I feel accepted, welcomed, celebrated, supported…I could go on but I think you get it. I could hang out in the gym all day talking about lifting and CrossFit, so I eventually decided I wanted to coach so that I could expand my understanding and take the next step into committing to CrossFit. Now that I have done officially what I needed to do to become a coach, that is taking the CrossFit Level 1 course, I want to become better. I want to move from being the noob assistant coach to being a valuable asset to the box that allows other people to enjoy their time in there as much as I do. I eat, sleep, breath CrossFit all day, every day and I want to contribute to the awesome community that I love so much.
So now that the passion and the reasons are out of the way, how am I going to become a better coach? I am going to write three blog posts about each of the 3 main Olympic lifts-snatch, clean, and jerk. As a coach these are the most technical movements that are the most difficult to coach. For each blog post I will create a video of myself demoing and explaining the progression of each movement. In my blog post I will delineate the movements and create a method for explaining. Each will include a step by step sequence of how to successfully complete each lift. Each post will include an analogous way to explain the movements, such as “imagine you are on a trampoline the bar is stationary. Imagine that you are trying to push your legs down on the trampoline as far as you can while hanging onto the bar.” Before and after each blog I will rate myself with how comfortable I feel with explaining each lift. A “failure” would be if my score after completing this project is the same as the score before. I will use 10 point scale where 1 is not at all comfortable explaining the lifts verbally in coaching session, 10 being I am the best I am ever going to be at explaining the lifts verbally.
Summary of requirements:
1. Before I start, rate my ability to explain each of the three lifts.
2. Write three blogs posts for each of the Olympic lifts-snatch, clean, and jerk, that includes the following:
a. Technique Video
b. Step by step sequence of how to complete each movement beginning to end
c. Movement Analogy
3. After the blogs are completed, rate my ability to explain each of the three lifts.
It will require creativity for me to create the blog posts, create videos, and come up with creative analogies to help explain the movements. The way I will prepare to complete each blog is by reading material, watching videos that others have made, and seeking help from other coaches in my box. Here are the questions I would like to learn about:
1. In a snatch, how do you avoid the barbell hitting your hips?
2. Is there a way to avoid the barbell hitting your collar bones in a clean?
3. How do you determine the proper feet placement for a jerk landing?
4. For the set up of a snatch, should your shoulders be in front of, above, or behind the barbell?
5. What is a good way to explain (maybe with an analogy) how to lift the barbell off the group for both the clean and snatch?
6. I s there an appropriate weight/reps ratio to use for workouts?
7. How do you know how much detail to go into when explaining the movements to a class that varies in different athletic abilities?
8. How can I edit a video on my Lonovo computer? I know that a Mac has imovie but does Windows have an equivalent?
9. How is the set up for a clean and snatch different than the set up for the dead lift?
10. How does the re-dip of the knees on the second pull of the clean important for the movement of the bar?
Martin suggested that I use this technique to help me with my 20% project. However, as I researched this project I realized that I wish I had known this technique in college, it would have made some classes much easier. And then I realized the best study tools I used in college involved using similar strategies to remember and retain information. I would get together with other classmates and we would talk about class content. I felt most prepared for a test after I felt like I could clearly articulate a topic to a classmate. Being able to tell someone else in words about a topic, for me either verbally or written down, helps me learn more about that topic. I feel more familiar with it than if I had just thought about it conceptually. This is not only a technique that I can use for myself and my own learning but also in my classroom as a teacher. I could incorporate activities that involve students teaching other students about the content in order to help students understand it better. Creating something like an infograph would also be a way for students to verbalize and organize information in a such a way that will help them remember it better. Thanks Martin!
As I was researching about coaching for my 20 % project, I watched this video that reminded me a lot about the principles of teaching. This video is what convinced me to do my 20% project on coaching because enhancing my coaching skills will enhance my teaching skills as well. The points about meetings your students or clients where they are at. To do this you have to first do an assessment of their knowledge. Then you have to break down the information for students in bite sized pieces. Everything that makes a good coach will transition to making a good teacher.
For my 20% project I want to learn how to become a better CrossFit coach. I took my level 1 cert in November year and I have slowly been trying to make the transition from noob coach to actually professionally paid coach, and it hasn't gone over so well. What I want to spend more time on is creating my own way of understanding and verbalizing information specifically about Olympic weight lifting. I need to wrap my brain around it better, and come up with some acronyms or main points that are original to use when I coach. I need to find some way to launch my mediocre-average coaching skills to being a great coaching skills. I think that overcoming the road block lies in creating my own understanding in some way, and then receiving validation for it, and then verbalizing it someway that I feel comfortable.
I spent about a half an hour writing an entire post about this video and it didn't save or post all the content I wrote. Then I tried update it and it wouldn't save any of the changes I made. So now I had to delete it and start over. So this is all I'm putting up. And in this moment I would just like to vent and say that weebly has been incredibly frustrating platform to work with. Horrible in fact, I would never recommend it to anyone. Ever. I will just say that I agree with Michael Wesch, and I liked his idea to gauge student engagement by looking at the type of questions they ask. And in this moment I would just like to vent and say that weebly has been incredibly frustrating platform to work with. Horrible in fact, I would never recommend it to anyone. Ever. I will just say that I agree with Michael Wesch, and I liked his idea to gauge student engagement by looking at the type of questions they ask.
I really like that this theory brings up the fact that the concept of visitor of the internet vs. resident is not just old vs. young, but its more of a individual motivation to be a part of the online community. The person who visits the internet has a goal and purpose for being there, and then they log off and they are done with the internet. The resident is someone who has a part of their identity that stays online even when they log off. They get online and they stay there. The more often they log on, the more relevant their identity online is. If they don't log on and update that online identity, the less it may be a reflection of themselves. They are visible online. Its not just how you use it but how you view it and it's purposes. The visitor doesn't see the internet as a place to "hang out". They perceive their privacy as important and aren't interested in engaging or flaunting with "strangers". Residents see the people they know online as an extension of the relationships they already know. It's not just online presence but the continuum is about how your view the use of the internet and your motivation to use it.
I think that I am somewhere in the middle of this spectrum between being a visitor and resident, maybe I'm on the high middle tier. I think that the creation of this website has helped me become more of a resident. I have really enjoyed creating my website and having it out there on the web. I actually want to know how to make myself more visible for the purpose of connecting with people who have the same interests and passions that I do. I also maintain a few social media sites as a way to stay connected with friends and to engage in relationships with companies and people that I value in my life. I don't like spending a lot of time online, although I spend more time on there more than I want. I prefer to get online, do my thing, and then disconnect. I see the virtual extension of myself and my life online as just that, a virtual extension. It is "real" to me, but I do see that if I loose it, I am still me. You hear sometimes about people getting upset about what people say or do on Facebook and they claim in exasperated tones that "Facebook isn't real life". Well, I tend to differ. Social media and internet presence is real life because it is a close to real time representation of other people interacting. However, my virtual presence is not a definition of who I am. I see it being the other way around, and in that sense I feel in control because I define my virtual presence. I feel that that perspective allows me to feel comfortable and motivated to put myself out there in the interwebs while still maintaining my privacy and identity.
This titled sounds familiar. Oh, its because I bought a book with the same title. I wanted to watch this video because I hoped that it would compliment the reading in the book that we are using this semester. Hopefully it will help me connect with the reading when that time comes.
Douglas Thomas starts out by pointing out that we learn naturally in life, all the time. Except in the classroom. Why does that intuitive ability stop in the classroom? Well, he goes on to give various points that he considers to be "A New Culture of Learning" in the classroom. The main idea that brings together all the necessary parts of learning like creativity and overcoming roadblocks is to play. He says that "play is an emergence property of to application of rules to imagination."
Seriously, who is this kid? He is amazing at public speaking and has some amazing insights. I'm very shocked and impressed that he is so confident and well spoken at such a young age. I'm curious how he came to be invited to do a tedtalk; what caused him to be having this conversation? He seems to have a great perspective on his age and current position in life. I suppose this is what makes the message he delivers so impactful.
I recently gave a student survey to 9th graders and I asked the question "What short or long term goals do you have?" I commented to my co-teacher about how many students answered this questions with being "pro" at some hobby they currently have. For example, pro-skater, videogame maker, pro-surfer, pro-basketball player, pro-musician, etc. This caused me some reflection about what I wanted to be at that age, and what I want to be now. What caused there to be a discrepancy? What would I be "pro" at now? Am I really happy and healthy? Why or why not?
"Once you're motivated to learn something, you can get a lot done in short amount of time...and on your own."
I love this idea of hackschooling and the idea that "hacking" is can have a positive connotation. I think the concept of hackschooling is not new, but the way that they are using it is new. I'm the youngest of 4 siblings, so I feel like the way I have learned about life has been through hacking ideas from older siblings. I watched them all go through different phases in life in very different ways. I was able to learn what worked, what didn't, what my parents wanted, how to avoid punishments, how to be successful, etc. I learned by lifehacking. I learned what I wanted to learn about when the opportunities arose. It was intuitive and natural. I think a lot of people learn from life this way, but not in school.
With so much information on the internet, and so many people on there Earth, I can see that there is a need for something like hackschooling. Its unfortunate that school doesn't utilize this more, but I'm really glad that someone like Logan could shed some light on hackschooling and how influential it can be. The 8 TLC are so important for all humans, not just children or students. There should be more of these types of opportunities at younger ages. And we should be influencing our children to be happy when they grow up. When I look back at my journey from childhood to adulthood, had someone encouraged me to incorporate the 8 TLC, my choices would have been very different, and I think I would be much happier with my career decisions.