An extremely athletic friend of mine recently convinced me to do a “girls’ weekend” with her by attending an intensive swim clinic. While I can swim, no one would ever accuse me of being super proficient at the sport, so I thought “Why not?”
Our instructor was four time Olympian, gold medal winner Sheila Taormina. Clearly, Taormina knows her stuff when it comes to swimming. She has developed the STGRID, a metal contraption placed in the pool, so that when a person swims past it an underwater camera can capture the movements against the grid. This allows swim mechanics instruction to be articulated in measureable, definable, specific terms rather than vague, abstract verbal terms.
Using this grid, Taormina has filmed elite swimmers from all over the world. She has catalogued the common movements, collecting evidence for what contributes to the most successful careers.
Do you have a strong grid against which to measure the skills you are teaching? Have you assessed, in an objective, reliable way, what your most elite workers do to be successful? By developing and implementing a system like Taormina’s grid, you will be able to more clearly articulate to your learners what they need to do to improve.
I significantly increased my distance per stroke after seeing my performance against the grid. Now, if I could just stop eating brownies…
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Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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