'Because Of' or 'In Spite Of': The Modes of Sport Preparatory Strategies

TAGS: competition results, sport advancement, modes of preparation, globalsportconcepts.net, Sport Preparatory Strategies, sports preparation, james smith

Amid the discourse of sports preparatory strategies, or any other profession host to systematic processes, it becomes necessary to contextualize statements in order to most effectively insight the potential for change in the interest of optimization.

Those familiar with my work on globalsportconcepts.net know my repudiation of the existing model of sport coaching infrastructure. My criticisms are steeped in unarguable basal constituents of already known psychological, technical (skill based biomechanics), sensorimotor (neurophysiological), physical preparatory (biomotor, biodynamic, bioenergetic) and physiotherapeutic measures that form the foundations of “right” and “wrong” in a given context.

Indeed the problem, however, is that many of those professionals and athletes alike who, vis-a-vis misinformed mentors, have been indoctrinated into various misguided belief systems, are the same professionals and athletes who are or have been part of winning organizations.


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In this way, it becomes necessary to distinguish between victory “because of” and victory “in spite of”.

Take care to recognize the infallible basis of evidence-based discovery and the role it plays in resolving arguments that, somehow, exist on the basis of the bad evidence and conjecture taken as gospel via the various routes of coaching education.

For example, consider participating in the following novel field experiment:

Walk 10 paces on your heels (ankles in maximal dorsiflexion) and then answer the following question:

  • Did you travel from point A to point B “because of” the fact that you walked on your heels or “in spite of” the fact that you walked on your heels?

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The closer one’s mind operates with an elementary innocence; or indeed a more sinister defiant ignorance, the more inclined one will be to answer “because of”.

By virtue of asking the question (is it answer A or B), however, implies the need to establish a context because both answers present viability in a given context.

Hence, based upon the presented information the most logical answer is neither “because of” nor “in spite of”; but rather, it depends.

The reason I use this example is because I consider it important to take such discussions to their logical conclusions. In this way, the next logical step is a continuation of the discussion that leads the scientific mind towards asking: is there a more efficient way to walk 10 paces?

Intuition is enough to answer yes; however, in the space of optimizing sports preparatory strategy, or indeed any other systematic process, the answer depends upon one’s knowledge of evidence based scientific discovery related to the domain of human/bipedal terrestrial locomotion.

Biomechanics knowledge in this realm equips us to understand that while humans are capable of generating locomotion via walking or running on their heels, this action poses detriment to those interested in economizing their movement. On this basis, we may answer the question: “in spite of”.

Now, consider the most recent victory, or victorious season, of your preferred athlete or sports team and examine what information is necessary to, on the basis of evidence based discovery, answer the same question: was it victory “because of” or “in spite of” the preparatory strategies taken?

No doubt the necessary information will be challenging to acquire lest you have direct access to totality of fundamental information via being part of a past or present winning element or organization yourself; or serve, or served, as a consultant to one.

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Consider all aspects of preparation: intellectual, analytical, psychological, technical, tactical, physical, physiotherapeutic… and to what extent each realm operates on the basis of logic, reason, and evidence based discovery in the context of the relevant sciences; and most importantly, in cohesion with the total aggregate of preparatory domains (reference: Sport Training Program Management— The Criminal Nature of its Absence) 

What you are likely to recognize, presuming you connect with what’s been stated thus far, is that one, some, or all of the modes of preparation operate amidst a correctable dysfunction.

Due to the current environment of sectarian sport organizational infrastructure, however, you are likely to experience trepidation in bringing the issues up for discussion. This trepidation, no doubt, is rooted in the unwritten psychosocial implication that, consciously or not, infuses itself into hierarchical organizations in which each department head operates more so based on the opinion that he/she has of him/herself (…their ego) then of what is most optimal (by way of evidence based practice- not to be confused with “this is what so an so did when he won the championship”) to advance the organization.


MORE: Is Sports Practice Rationally Constructed?


Until sports advance over the ages the way so many other professions have that began thousands of years ago, 21st century sports professionals, who dare to envision the level of holistic operation that may come to fruition hundreds of years from now, will, for the time being, have to navigate the current sectarian landscape with precision; and it starts with reason.

The study of mind and behavior, the way that a person performs basic movements or skills, of, relating to, or functioning in both sensory and motor aspects of bodily activity, the art or skill of employing available means to accomplish an end, and to restore to a former state are definitions found in Merriam Webster’s dictionary for psychology, technique, sensorimotor, tactics, and rehabilitation. They are also foundational elements of sports preparation most directly linked to competition results.

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Ask yourself to what end science and performance have advanced the disciplines of psychology, technical skill/sensorimotor/tactical development and rehabilitation. Now ask yourself to what extent all personnel in your organization charged with advancing each realm possess a high level understanding of it. Lastly, ask yourself to what degree each of these realms operates synergistically with each other.

The answer to these questions will determine to what degree your organization’s success is “because of” preparatory competence that is separate from your abundance of talented athletes who work hard; or “in spite of” a lack of preparatory competence; thereby successful only because you have an abundance of talented athletes who work hard.

For those interested in contacting me for my consulting and distance coaching services, you may find a general overview of services and contact email at this page of athleteconsulting.net.

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