What is your lens?

What is your lens? Each of us has a preferred lens to view an exercise, a specific movement or to evaluate a training method. Our preferred lens will bias our interpretation of what we see. For example, when I look at running, I immediately default to look at certain aspects of the stride. Over the years I have had to train myself to recognize this and to have an adjustable lens that is adaptable.

In psychology this is called a confirmation bias. As coaches we must guard against this. How can we overcome this? Just like anything it takes practice. Sometimes it is as simple as changing the observation point. Other times it demands getting with someone who you know has a different viewpoint and really listen to what they say. I have found the later particularly effective in evaluating training methods.

When I am reading articles, listening to presentations or viewing a training session I try to determine what lens was used. Someone who labels themselves a strength coach will look at sprint starting with a very different lens than a dancer. The strength coach will immediately default to what weight room exercise can be used to improve the start. The dancer will key on the posture, shapes, rhythm and tempo of the action. That does not mean that either are wrong, just a different lens that is biased by their background and training.

Don’t forget to recognize that there are different lenses. Work to have interchangeable lens so that you be more effective as a coach.


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