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Developing habits, and enhancing creativity

Developing habits, and enhancing creativity

Studies show that close to half of what we do each day is automatic What does is it mean automatic? it means that when i’am doing it i am thinking about something else. Now that’s excellent because if i had to plan my way from the bedroom to the kitchen or how i make a cup of coffee i wouldn’t have time to think how i want my life to look like or how i plan my day Sports emphasizes two other very significat advantages that habits have. The first is time saving. A player faces a situation, and immediately acts. He doesn’t have to think in advance. And ofcourse we are in a domain where time is crucial. The second advantage is that Habits are resilience to pressure. Everyone who has ever coached knows that you prepare for a game and then the excitement, the stress and pressure take away everything that you’ve planned, or a large part of it. But habits have resilience to pressure. even more than that when there is pressure our habit behaviour increases so if you have bad habits pressure will kill you but if you have good habits, when pressure comes – you’ll be better and maybe the deal with winners and losers is actually this thing about habits. So how habits are created? The first and very important phase is the “button” that activates the action. it’s the context, the que. It can be anything It can be time – every Tuesday at 20:00 i go to the gym Regularly, When that time com’s – i am doing the action It can be an object, i see the T.V remote and i switch it on to see something it can be someone that i see, it can also be a feeling – i am bored so i send my hand to the cellphone and i’ll spare the obvious comment regarding all those who are now with their phones…. the second thing is, after i “push” this button and saw the context is the action itself and then there should be a reward for the cation there should be something that will secrete Dopamine in the brain it could be that if i see something on T.V it would make me laugh there for fun, and is a reward The thing is that the reward doesn’t have to be consistent that could explain why players keep on doing things that succeed once every ten times, because the reward doesn’t have to be there every time, but we won’t get in to that now and for the habit to assimilate we must have many repetitions in the same way each time. The question how long it takes for a habit to form is not the right question, the right question is, how may repetitions it takes to form a habit, and as we repeat it more the habit will form quicker so when in the game a habit can be useful for us? when the context is clear, obvious as shooting to the basket then the habit can be formed pretty quickly a players shoots – i need to box out, a players shoots if i’m on offense – i need to sprint back to defense – it’s simple, it doesn’t require decision making but even in complicated situations that require decision making we can automate it and that maybe real expertise What do i mean? here’s a pretty common situation in basketball – 3 on 2 and every time this situation is a bit different, both the offensive and the defensive players are located a bit differently every time our brain knows to unite, to do what’s called chunking to take all the data into one picture and all the situations that looks like that (referring to a diagram) the brain knows – now we’ll pass to that player all the situations that looks like that – we’ll stop for a shot and so forth, and if we’ll keep on practicing on it time and again it can become automatic or as Wendy Wood – a professor from south California – a well known habit researcher – puts it ” when we act on habit, we are essentially retrieving our practiced answers to previously solved problems” and that solution succeeded, and we just do what we did in the past and was successful. what does it mean practically? it means that a player has to meet in practice what he’s going to meet in the game. if we want that button to be there during a game, and to activate an action this button – the context – must be there also in practice, or it just won’t happen what is the context of the game? it’s the court – and not to practice widthwise but to work on the exact location that are there in the game and the other players, therefore my advice in order to develop habits is minimum time of drills without defense. Those should be used in situations when we have a specific technical problem that we want to solve, and we know how to do it. So my talk’s name is Assimilating habits and developing creativity where exactly is the creativity here? i am talking about creating robots… the thing is, that until we find the solution we want to automate, we need to give the players the tools to find their own automatic solution. it means that we need to create the situation for the player and let him find the solution we shouldn’t tell him: “pass, go, shoot” no, when i visited Davidson College and i saw Coach Bob McKillop who coached Steph Curry he uses the phrase “Figure it out” many times the players should solve the situation by himself – we don’t need to tell him what to do and that is a critical point so that the players will find their solutions I am working with talented players, and they are doing things that I didn’t see and if I would impose my solution , they wouldn’t have done what they did and the second thing is to teach the players to learn from the game. the game gives feedback. When you turn the ball over, the player sees that that he turned it over, it’s obvious for him that he should do something else when he shoots and the ball is short – it’s obvious what should be done but the problem is that we, the coaches, we took over. We keep on telling them what to do and they don’t learn from the game so we should teach them to learn from the game. How? we should ask the player what you could have done differently? why do you think that you’ve turned the ball over? and we should give direct feedback when we see that the players are not making their best effort when they are lazy, or when the game gives a confusing feedback so let sum it up: here are my recommendations to form habits and develop creativity 1. use drills at gamelike situations and almost always with defensive palyers if we do something without defense, it’s only if we want to solve a specific technical problem that we know how to solve 2. let the players find the solution by themselves , and teach them to learn from the game or as Professor Joe Baker from York University in Toronto puts it he’s a sports researcher you might want to follow coaches should stop seeing themselves as knowledge guides, they are not passers of information they should design optimal learning environments what is an optimal learning environment? the player meets game like situations, the player is the one to solve the problems that he meets, and the player should know how to learn from the game. Thank you

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