Evolution of Education
US Performance Performance
During a casual game of basketball, I heard the “pop” in my knee. At the time, I thought no big deal, the swelling will go down. I was wrong. It continued to worsen, stiffness set in, and a there was a snap, crackle, pop that rivaled Rice Krispies. It was time to visit Doc.
A few hours, wiggles, and taps later, the doctors had a diagnosis. “Torn cartilage”, they said, shaking their heads. They didn’t think it was repairable. They told me with grim looks on their faces, “We’ll have to take the leg off above the knee. It’s the best way to help with possible infection later on in life.” It was the best solution.
Who was I to argue? They were the doctors. I smiled and shrugged and wondered how sharp their tools were…
If you’ve gotten this far and are a bit rattled, I’m glad. Imagine if this was still viewed as the best medical solution for torn cartilage? What if medicine hadn’t continued to evolve? What if we still amputated joint failures and prescribed “bleedings” for those suffering from the common cold? But we don’t. Medicine has evolved, continually.
How does this compare to education? Education is arguably as important as health. How would you rate its evolution? How has it progressed? It’s up for debate, but to compare its evolution to the medical world, we moved from a hatchet to some sort of bone saw for amputations, but we still consider amputations as a solution in most cases.
Times have changed. We have the capability of providing students with unique, individualized experiences in their education. Technology and developing pedagogy has created a new aspect of teaching. It has allowed for a more efficient approach that doesn’t target the biggest swath of students in a square classroom, but can be individualized for each child’s learning style and needs. That same technology will not provide all the answers standing on its own. It requires a unique combination of content and student support.
“Knee pain”, they said. “Ah ha. Nurse, hatchet and saw please. Give the patient a few tots of rum to dull his wits…” Oh the beauty of modern medicine!
We all want our children to be successful in life, have fun, go to a great school etc. In doing so, there seems to be this pressure to get great grades, to be on three sports teams, to play an instrument, and to do whatever else we think will give our kiddos a leg up down the road. That’s great, but why hasn’t the educational model evolved to support those interests?
by USPA President,
Amputations & The Evolution of Education
I speak to so many parents who tell me they are exhausted and their kids are exhausted. They paint a picture of an early day, getting ready for a practice, swim, or maybe just school. All day, moving from course to course, break to break. Then after school, training for a few hours, back for a music lesson, and then a late dinner. All followed by a few hours of homework. And then we hope they are in bed by 11:30 only to rinse and repeat. Why?
I bet some would make a strong argument that sleep is far more important developmentally than doing multi-step equations after school. Now, please understand that I believe math is important, but if homework is for assessment, why can’t we assess in real time. Oh wait, we can.
What about sitting down as a family, eating dinner, and then being able to relax before heading to bed at a reasonable time? What if you could create your educational schedule and integrate the sport or music interests at a level that didn’t run you into the ground and burn you out later in life? Oh wait, we can.
How about the idea that learning no longer needs to be dictated by where you are physically in the world? Is it truly meaningful learning when you get handed a folder full of worksheets, or told to Skype back and forth with your teacher with any questions as you try and manage time changes and training schedules? The email attachment is too big, or your schedules don’t line up. As one parent said to me, “We just get back to the hotel after a long day, open up the folder from her school and either cry or argue.” What if you could take your learning with you and the experience was meaningful, supported, portable, and consistent? Oh wait, we can.
Yes, choosing a new school can be scary. But so is continuing to be sleep deprived, having zero family interaction, and worrying about truancy issues when you are succeeding in another, important, aspect of life. It shouldn’t be as challenging as it is for our children to be successful in both school and sport.
It’s time to put the bonesaws away and recognize there is a better way.
By the way, should I be concerned if they asked me whether I wanted a fiberglass or carbon fiber leg?
What about sitting down as a family, eating dinner, and then being able to relax?
Five Ways to Mentally Prepare for Your
Tips from Athlete Learning Gateway
How confident are you that you can perform well in your next competition?
Mental anxiety can affect athletes at any level and have a negative effect on performance. Here are five tips from leading coaches and sports psychologists to help you find a positive mindset and enjoy your next event.
1. Boost your confidence through visualization
A very powerful tool when performed well, visualization is the process of creating a mental image of what you want to happen or feel in reality. It can help you overcome nervousness and develop expectations of success and self-belief.
Your thoughts should be as realistic and vivid as possible. When picturing your environment or situation, think about colors, movements, smells, sounds and even emotional feelings. Our course, ‘Performance Psychology - Getting in the zone’ has a visualization exercise for you to practice.
2. Find the optimal zone
Your ability to control your overall emotional state can have a big impact on how you perform. “Some people may need to be extremely relaxed before a race whereas others might need to be really pumped up,” explains Dr. Jen Gapin Farrell, a Certified Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.
“You can find your optimal zone by reflecting back on previous performances and gaining awareness of what you were physically and mentally doing before races in which you ran well and those in which you didn’t run so well.”
3. Accept negative thoughts and then say goodbye to them
“The top athletes have an acceptance-commitment mindset, which accepts thoughts are just that. They are not reality,” says John Coumbe-Lilley, of The University of Illinois at Chicago.
“A runner can have a negative mindset approaching a race, but their strategy is that they are aware and know their thoughts are harmless. As they approach competition they accept them and say goodbye to them, shifting their focus to the approach they need for the race.”
4. Begin your routine early
“For many athletes, a successful routine doesn’t begin on race morning, but can encompass elements of travel, pre-race routine or the hours leading up to competition,” says Drew Wartenburg, head coach of the Sacramento-based NorCal Distance Project.
“Like most race-day behaviors, relaxation techniques should be practiced in advance. The sports psychologist that our team uses helps introduce a variety of techniques from breathing exercises to visualization and mental cues for our athletes to experiment with as they refine their personal routines.”
5. Enjoy the moment
Triumphs don’t make you invincible, and failures are not the end of the world. Focus on racing your best and use the love of the event(s) and the joy of competition as your primary motivation.
This is a golden opportunity to discover how good you can be.
Around the World
Ria, made the US junior national team! This means she has qualified for and will be competing at junior worlds this year in Bratislava, Slovakia! Congratulations Ria!
Kids Answer Questions About the Olympics
100ml full-fat milk
2 tbsp natural yogurt
150g your favorite frozen fruits
1 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp goji berries
1 tsp mixed seeds
1 tsp honey
Blend in blender and enjoy!!
Super Fueling Smoothie
US Performance Academy