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What are we?

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Paul Arden
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Re: What are we?

#41

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:34 pm

Hi Vince,

I was thinking about something that was alluded to previously, which I occasionally like to do (and I have no idea what method of teaching is called, although I can probably think of a few names for it!!), is to intentionally throw a small spanner in the works. I do this partly out of exploring but also — and more importantly! — I believe it reinforces the prior learning process through rebuilding.

For example. Take the “stop harder” phrase, which I’m not overly keen on, but it’s a good example because it’s quite common. You pretty much know if it’s going to work or not, and if I think it’s not going to work sometimes I’ll use it (it’s an example). Most of the time under these circumstances the student hits a road bump. Maybe one foot comes off the pedal and his glasses fall off.

However the recovery from this can be very interesting to facilitate (preferably only lightly coached). Personally I’ve always felt that this helps to “mix the concrete” so to speak. It’s similar to something you mentioned earlier, where one might encourage the student to explore “faults” as part of his/her development. It’s just that we’ve put the road bump in place for them.

Best sparingly used of course. And it’s certainly not for all students either; there has to be a certain robustness before we start doing this.

Maybe it’s called being a barstool :D More recently I’ve been telling them before I do it and wheels still come off the bike. At least you don’t lose their confidence that way.

Cheers, Paul
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Re: What are we?

#42

Post by VGB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 10:38 am

Hi Paul
I was thinking about something that was alluded to previously, which I occasionally like to do (and I have no idea what method of teaching is called, although I can probably think of a few names for it!!), is to intentionally throw a small spanner in the works. I do this partly out of exploring but also — and more importantly! — I believe it reinforces the prior learning process through rebuilding.

For example. Take the “stop harder” phrase, which I’m not overly keen on, but it’s a good example because it’s quite common. You pretty much know if it’s going to work or not, and if I think it’s not going to work sometimes I’ll use it (it’s an example). Most of the time under these circumstances the student hits a road bump. Maybe one foot comes off the pedal and his glasses fall off.
It certainly fits with some pieces that I have read that talks about upsetting stable solutions, to encourage the student to seek alternative and more adaptable solutions. I'd been thinking along similar line but based on Bernstein locking/unlocking mechanism. Starting a student with a short length of line and wrist only casts from fully unlocked to locked, then increasing the length of line and trying the same exercise again, then bringing the shoulder and trying again. They would have to know what a good outcome looks like first. It's a bit different from building body movement from the feet up and I'm not sure how it will go or if anyone out there is using it, I haven't found a suitable crash test dummy yet.
Easiest way to teach it is to “bounce” the rod with a very short reversed power application. This is done without the line. That same action/feel is then applied during casting.
This puzzles me because the feel of casting with a line should be different to that of no line,due to the caster having to overcome the inertia of the line. I wonder if what is commonly labelled feel is just a label for the effects of proprioception that is not well understood by the instructor community? There's undoubtedly a lot of drills and processes that are well known and work but I don't think that there's a good understanding of why they work and that's where I see a use for the structures that the sports scientists have introduced.

One of the most pervasive models out there is called Perception Action coupling, whereby you perceive a change in your external environment, predominantly visual, and your body (internal environment) acts on that information. Consequently, the external environment changes, you can see the line has moved and you may feel that the reaction load from your rod has changed and your body acts again again in response to the changes in perception. This closed loop model relies on the our body acting as a self organising system, there's little direct cognitive intervention and that you have a very developed sense of self awareness, the limbs segments know where they are relative to each other and in space. This model provides an explanation of how we can react to the world faster than deliberate thought processes will allow.

The problem is that when you are set a new task such as fly casting, there is almost an infinite range of possible action solutions for our skills novice and either the caster or ourselves are breaking into the closed loop system that causes it to stutter and misfire. Our interventions should be geared towards reducing those possible solutions for the student and short cutting the learning process of trial and error. Some of the traditional drill do this very successfully for 8 out of 10 students but we need a better understanding to help the other 2. Unfortunately, some of the traditional methods mistake performance with learning, the student can cast but only with the instructors assistance, cannot adapt to changes in their environment and may not survive contact with real fishing situations. It's a bit like teaching a child to ride a bike on your driveway then taking off the stabilisers and sending them onto the main road on their own.

Regards

Vince
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Re: What are we?

#43

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Nov 25, 2021 1:51 pm

Hi Vince,

starting with the wrist would be interesting. I’ve never actually tried it that way. I always try to bring in the shoulder early on and minimise wrist because it seems to be difficult for people to learn. I certainly teach wrist-only for close targets, and utilise it for the sequence short to long carry exercise. It’s certainly easy to go from shoulder to wrist-only. But I’ll try teaching wrist first on my next beginner. I like the idea of that and it makes sense.

Incidentally I don’t bring weight shift into play until the caster is throwing 70+ plus. Really it’s not necessary until even beyond that and for me that’s intermediate teaching. I teach beginners to bend their knees for balance but shifting weight between feet comes much later for me.

What is “Bernstein locking/unlocking mechanism”?



Pull-back can be quite challenging to teach. The method I outlined above always seems to work. I actually don’t have many ways to teach it. The only other method I have is to cast with them, but that’s a last resort. If I try to describe it without the exercise it often fails. But the exercise almost always works and reasonably quickly.

I think the feel is actually quite similar. I think we feel the rod unloading and we are emphasising this. Technically I think we are, in part at least, forcing the rod to unload. It was an example I gave because I really think that learning pull-back is deeply tied to feel. I can’t tell from the loop if someone is using pullback. It’s tighter yes, but it can be tight anyway. I have to study the hand.
This closed loop model relies on the our body acting as a self organising system, there's little direct cognitive intervention and that you have a very developed sense of self awareness…
Now who has gone all Zen? :cool:
This model provides an explanation of how we can react to the world faster than deliberate thought processes will allow.
And herein lies the problem with the student thinking about pull-back. When the caster tries to think about pull-back there is a delay between the two movements, when in fact the reverse movement should actually be part of the stroke. That’s why I think we need the shatterproof ruler exercise; there is no time to think!

I totally agree with your last paragraph. That’s why we ideally should have long term students. It’s totally different teaching someone for a one-off lesson, particularly when helping prepare him or her to get started fly fishing (a huge amount to cover and it’s not all casting either!), or pass an exam even, than to really take a fly caster forward over a number of lessons. Over a series of lessons we have the opportunity to keep changing the variables. In any lesson we can only really teach a small amount anyway, move them student up the ladder one or two steps and set drills that reinforce the steps and possibly allow the student to move up further afterwards. But if we have 10 lessons or more, we can build a staircase!

I have a student tomorrow on lesson 19. It’s been thoroughly interesting and very rewarding. Many things we have gone around on the 3rd pass now and each pass he gets stronger. If only all of our students were this committed!

Cheers, Paul
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Re: What are we?

#44

Post by VGB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:08 pm

Hi Paul

The wrist only exercise is me thinking about the student finding out what outcome the extremes of the movement bring and hopefully they will remember the cause and effect. I posted the first part of a 3 part podcast on Bernstein in the Instructor Platform thread, the 3rd part does get heavy though.

Bernstein was one of the pathfinders for unpicking movement skills and his work paved the way for many of principles. Either the first or 2nd podcast details about the degrees of freedom problem that he observed and his papers postulated that as "humans learn a movement, we first reduce our Degrees of Freedom (DOFs) by stiffening the musculature in order to have tight control, then gradually "loosen up" and explore the available DOFs as the task becomes more comfortable, and from there find an optimal solution." These findings have been repeated in various trials and experiments by other researchers. This is a pretty readable article on the topic:

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 01295/full
Incidentally I don’t bring weight shift into play until the caster is throwing 70+ plus.
That's odd because you were against the triangle method because of the changes in the stroke. Unpicking a students cast later down the road seems a much harder task than laying the groundwork for growth from the beginning.
Now who has gone all Zen?
There's a lot of neuroscience and biological stuff about muscle cells and the neurological system that I have read but frankly don't understand to a depth that I can explain it. Instead of copying and pasting from a paper and pretending I knew what I was talking about, I decided to bundle it in a box and write magic on the outside. It seems to work for most casting instruction :yeahhh: Face to face, I would have thrown a ball or something for you to catch and ask how your hand arrived in the right place if your eyes were tracking the ball. I think that putting the internal and external environments in a box and calling it an ecological approach is what the scientists do for shorthand explanations.

I'm with you on the project students, I really enjoy that stuff.

Regards

Vince
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Re: What are we?

#45

Post by VGB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:25 pm

Maybe an easier read than the link on freezing that I posted :

http://psychology.iresearchnet.com/spor ... -freezing/
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Re: What are we?

#46

Post by VGB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:09 pm

Or I could have waited a week for someone to write stuff down :pirate:

https://www.flyfishersinternational.org ... jXYQ%3d%3d
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Re: What are we?

#47

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Nov 25, 2021 4:41 pm

Thanks I’ll read up tomorrow. Just heading to bed now, Vince, so just time for a quick reply.

Working backwards, I agree with you that we often don’t need to know ho how it works in order to teach it. For example you can teach someone to drive without understanding how a combustion engine works, or for that matter how the brain processes information. In our particular case of flycasting (physics, not teaching), there is some resistance to understanding because as our understanding evolves we often discover what we thought we knew was actually wrong, but people still manage to cast and have been doing so for a very long time. Knowledge is always layered and if you go deep enough you can always find a point where no one understands what’s going on! Fortunately in order to teach someone to wriggle a rod and form loops we don’t need to have a degree in neuroscience.

Personally if “magic” works then I’ll use it too! And who’s to say it’s not :D

I’ve always been quite empirical in my approach. Try first, understand later. That’s how the 170 evolved. And probably everything else.


Weight shift is simply not required for short casts and it can be annoying as hell when someone rocks the boat when fishing flat calms. In fishing terms I rarely use it. Comp casting all the time for distance of course. I think there is a lot to be learned from it, in particular I think the cast should start from the ground up, but weight shift for me is borderline comp casting and a well set loop with a respectable haul will throw 90-100’ without shifting the body weight.

I would like everything else to be under control first.

Will read up tomorrow!

Cheers, Paul
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Re: What are we?

#48

Post by VGB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 5:37 pm

I guess the weight thing is a matter of definition, I don’t see anyone casting to any level of proficiency without moving their centre of mass but having sat and derived load charts for aircraft more than a few times, I guess it’s me being analytical again 😃.

Regards

Vince
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Re: What are we?

#49

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Nov 25, 2021 6:05 pm

Ok I don’t know any definitions for it either but for me it use it to refer to front foot to back foot weight transfer and vice versa. Basically open stance distance or closed stance with a step.

Cheers, Paul
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Re: What are we?

#50

Post by VGB » Thu Nov 25, 2021 7:00 pm

If you are having trouble sleeping, I could tell you about my 3 favourite wind tunnel experiments 😂
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