Rapid Technique Correction Using Old Way/new Way: Two Case Studies with Olympic Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Finland
  • | 2 Kuortane Sports Institute, Finland
  • | 3 Finnish Athletic Federation
  • | 4 personalbest.com.au™, Australia
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Exploratory studies examine the effectiveness of old way/new way, an innovative meta-cognitive learning strategy initially developed in education settings, in the rapid and permanent correction of established technique difficulties experienced by two Olympic athletes in javelin and sprinting. Individualized interventions included video-assisted error analysis, step-wise enhancement of kinesthetic awareness, reactivation of the error memory, discrimination, and generalization of the correct movement pattern. Self-reports, coach’s ratings, and video recordings were used as measures of technique improvement. A single learning trial produced immediate and permanent technique improvement (80% or higher correct action) and full transfer of learning, without the need for the customary adaptation period. Findings are consistent with the performance enhancement effects of old way/new way demonstrated experimentally in nonsport settings.

Yuri L. Hanin is with the KIHU Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Rautpohjankatu 6,40700 Jyvaskyla, Finland. E-mail: <yhanin@kihu.jyu.fi>. Tapio Korjus is with the Olympic Training Center, Kuortane Sports Institute, Kuortane, Finland. Petteri Jouste is with the Finnish Athletic Federation in Helsinki, Finland. Paul Baxter is with personalbest.com.au™ in Queensland, Australia.

This study is a part of a large-scale multidisciplinary project involving Olympic level track and field athletes, soccer players, professional golfers, alpine skiers, and swimmers. This research project was supported by a grant (# 164/722/98) to Dr. Yuri Hanin from the Finnish Ministry of Education. Assistance and cooperation of athletes and coaches is greatly appreciated. For further information concerning this article, contact Yuri Hanin <yhanin@kihu.jyu.fi<.

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