How We Learn
Getting Started With RVP
Step 1: Comparing a Student to the Pros
Before any player can improve, he needs a clear mental picture of what success looks like. With RVP, a coach can walk a student through a hitting or pitching motion indicating what is expected at each phase of the motion. This is a critical point of communication and where the coach and player get on the same page. A player cannot see himself when he performs so RVP enables the player to match what he thinks he is doing to what he is actually doing. The player gets a clear understanding of what he is trying to accomplish and the coach can now reference key mechanics with just a few words.
Step 2: Repetition
Most learning stems from trial-and-error or successive approximations. The RVP system helps students learn what success feels like and build the essential muscle memory. Muscle memory is not in the muscle but in the mind. It is really a response that our mind develops to react and perform complex actions, i.e., how to swing a bat and adjust to different speeds and locations of the pitch. It is important to note that is the movement we learn. We do not learn much from being set up in a static position. The student needs to learn the feel of the movement to a position.
Step 3: Game Mode vs. Practice Mode
Practice mode is the act of consciously refining or re-tooling your muscle memory. It is also where we build an internal database to respond to certain situations. We can’t learn to hit a breaking ball until we see one and learn how to correctly react to it. This is where the drills become important. It is the drills that do the real teaching and the best drills are the ones that force a correct move or only give a positive feedback for a correct move. The RVP video analysis shows where we can improve but it is in practice mode where we actually make the improvements. It is where we concentrate on the feel and the results of different elements of the motion and learn to sense a correct move. The more often we do an action correctly the more likely it will come out in the game. All the hard work is done in practice mode.
Game mode is the easy part or automatic mode. Game mode is like test day. It is where we find out how well we have built our muscle memory and how accurate our database is. We either have the answer or we don’t. This is where the student learns to trust their muscle memory and react to the situation without conscious thought. There is nothing a player can do to change their muscle memory in the middle of a game. When we hammer a nail we do not think about the mechanics involved. We just focus on the head of the nail and let the model in our mind figure out how to accomplish the task. If we miss on our first swing, we swing again and our mind will make the necessary adjustments to hit the nail on the head.
Step 4: Being in the Zone
At this point, a player can focus on the target and his mind and body react correctly to accomplish the task. The goal is to build the muscle memory and a solid database so that the task truly becomes a reflex action.
Step 5: Becoming Your Own Coach
The ultimate goal of a coach is to get a student to the point where he no longer needs him. The ultimate goal for a player is to be able feel what is right and understand what caused the problem when it feels wrong. RVP bridges this gap and speeds up the process.