One of the paradoxes of training is that you can build stability through destabilizing an athlete. Paul Venner has taken the concept to the next level as founder of the equipment company Ultimate Instability and head of athletic performance for the Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation. He joins us on this episode of the podcast to discuss stability, motor learning, the concepts of his mentor Frans Bosch, and how strength coaches can bring value in these areas.
Notes and Quotes
Venner started his career as a student of Frans Bosch in Holland. After that he continued his studies as a master’s student at St. Mary’s University in London. Before his current job at Dutch Baseball he spent at four years at the Olympic Institute of the Netherlands. Our conversation looked at motor learning from the point of view of the strength and conditioning coach, as well as some of the work he is currently doing relating to these topics in baseball.
Stability and motor learning
- 3:30 – How destabilizing can make you more stable and how the body gathers information to learn. “Stability is not about maintaining a position, but how quickly you can recovery after a perturbation. “
- 6:15 – Do you need to perfect technique before you start to destabilize it? “You don’t have to strive for a perfect technique before moving on; you need a rich environment for the athlete to sort out what works best. “
- 9:30 – Learning is non-linear. “If you fail every attempt you are not learning; you have to challenge the right amount. “
- 10:30 – Variation. “You don’t need variation for the sake for variation; it needs to be clear what the aims are. “
- 11:00 – How aquabags can help in training. “We often use in fixed sets with fixed movements, but situations in sport are not fixed. “
- 13:30 – What weight to use.
- 17:30 – Anti-rotation exercises and training core stability.
- 20:00 – Favorite aquabag exercises
- 22:00 – Hip lock.
- 23:30 – Foot from above.
- 25:30 – Deceleration mechanisms.
- 27:30 – Misconceptions about what is important for baseball.
- 28:15 – How to train attractors.
Building buy-in and other topics
- 29:45 – Getting skills and strength coaches to work together on motor learning. “Work from respect and be able to put your ego aside so that everyone is open to share. “
- 32:00 – Building up baseball in Europe.
- 34:00 – What throwers can learn from baseball.
- 35:00 – Throwing different weight implements. “If we strive for perfect movement we develop an athlete who doesn’t want to fail. “
- 36:45 – Creating an environment where it is good to fail.
- 39:00 – Training with intent. “The sole reason to move is to reach a goal. If the outcome it not clear, then you cannot expect the movement to be clear. “
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
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- You can learn more about Venner on Twitter and Instagram. His company, Ultimate Instability, is also on Twitter and Instagram.
- Aquabags are available in the HMMR Store. Learn more here. On Episode 126 we also discussed some of the aquabags we are trying out in training.
- We have lots of resources about Frans Bosch available on the site. You can purchase Bosch’s book in our store. We’ve reviewed the book, interviewed Bosch, and rugby coach John Pryor did an exclusive webinar for members about applying the concepts in training (and interviewed him here).