Instruction Tips

This post is based on a document for Oympic athletes instructors, but it contains some important tips for any instructor, of any sport or martial art. This is just a selected sample. It is possible to orientate our thoughts to the Karate instruction and practice when we are reading this. Relevant to the instructors, but also to the practitioners!


Levels of instruction
Whatever type of fitness, basic levels of instruction are:

– verbal;

–  demonstration;

– physical guidance;

– physical assistance.


Athletes may require a single method or a combination of these methods to learn a skill. It is important to identify the methods that work best for their athletes. For example, an athlete may require only verbal instructions to acquire skills, another may require physical assistance and demonstration.

Oral instruction

Verbal instruction is the most common form of education and should be used first to introduce new skills. Be sure to submit the task instructions in one or two parts. All language must be clear and consistent throughout the lesson. Use simple keywords is essential. […].
Be clear, concise, consistent and east by the command.
This level of instruction is universal and can be used by the coach to help the verbal instruction of skill. When a skill becomes very difficult for the athlete to understand verbally, the demonstration should be used.
For new skills, combine demonstration with verbal instruction is more efficient.

Physical orientation
Physical orientation is most often used when verbal and demonstrative methods have little effect. The orientation by touch in order to get the athlete to assume the proper position is an example of physical orientation.

Verbal instruction and demonstration are also useful when using physical orientation.

Physical assistance
Physical assistance is used when all other levels of instruction were consumed. This level requires the technician to physically move the athlete for the position and that helps the athlete to complete the task. This method should be used with caution, especially if the athlete works on the lower level and / or does not like being touched.


Levels of education

Below are general guidelines to help you teach skills more efficiently.
1st.Briefly explain the skill.
2nd. Divide the skill into smaller steps easier for the athlete to be successful.
3rd. Demonstrate the ability quickly.
4th. Let the athletes practice the skills simpler.
5th. Combine the steps gradually until the skill is completely formed to the desired performance.
Observe athletes carefully during training in order to be able to offer feedback and positive reinforcement. Allow athletes to continue practicing, once you give feedback and corrected errors. It is important to ensure that athletes complete the skills and practice feeling successful and good about themselves.

Training Tips

1. Develop an element of skill at a time.
2. Learning is a long-term process. Patience is required.

The laws of physics may not change, however, the ways in which you present the preferences of basic skills will change from minute to minute, from athlete to athlete. An instructor may be able to simplify the components of instruction in short, concise sentences.

Explanation, demonstration and application of a particular skill can be presented in many different ways. Expand your knowledge of training to gain the confidence and information you need to establish a positive learning environment and fun and experience.

 (Adapted from: Special Olympics, TrainingGuides, Principles of Coaching. Translation by “martialspirit”)


About Karate-Do

I investigate about the fundamentals and principles of Karate-Do Shotokai - the practice of Mitsusuki Harada Sensei.
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