11 keys of Motor Preferences Approach

March 4, 2024 by
11 keys of Motor Preferences Approach
Motor Preferences Experts, David Genest
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Motor Preferences Approach

Key 1 = Determinate your profile

Find out what is your profile between the two extreme ones: aerial and terrestrial. An assessment done by a expert will determinate it.

This motor preference is not adaptable, no matter what you will do. It drives the best conditioning approach (volume of plyometrics vs concentric + specific drills).

Mechanically, it has a direct impact on your motion style : more up-down & away or more tall & fall! It will also identify if you are generating power from upper or lower body !

Key 2 = Needs Pyramid of the living (and therefore athletes !)

(ranked from bottom to top of the pyramid)

1) ENERGY = Eat, drink, rest = make sure that I have enough energy to live & perform
2) BALANCE = balance, perception, action = Don't fall, stay coordinated
3) EMOTION = Pleasure / pain ratio = Avoiding too much pain
4) EFFICACY = Energy/tissue efficiency = Be efficient

Key 3 = The triangle of preferences

To coach an athlete, you must consider is ''off field environment'' and his life, in order to complete all the information you need to prepare is athletic planning., regarding his goals.

MOTOR PREFERENCES (past)= How athlete's life has created the ''how his body wants to perform at this moment'' (age, injuries, volume of practice, nutrition...)

CURRENT SITUATION (present) = What is the athlete's energy level and the means at his disposal to increase his performance (time, schedule equipment ...)

GOALS (futur) = What are the goals of the athlete ? Are they realistic ? What plan can be proposed ?

These 3 poles are in interaction and must be in adequacy.

Key 4 = Think focal and global
To understand this optical illusion, you will have to go back and forth between your global and focal vision.
The same is true for the technical gestures:

Hypothesis as an example:

''A player who does not put his weight on his forefeet. Since this is a dominant pattern in baseball infield defensive, you might think it's not right. But if you look more globally at the player, and see that he is more flexed on his legs, with a lower center of gravity than others, you will understand that he has an Terrestiral profile, that his motricity is not based on the bounce on the forefoot, but on a flexion system, initiated by the pelvis". And to do so his weight must be on the back 1/3 of his feet.''

So to evaluate the value of the detail of a gesture, it is necessary to integrate it in the complete motion and to see if in the motor system of the player, it is an advantage or an incovenient. All this while taking into account the intention and the environment. And you must go back and forth to adjust !

Key 5 =The personal zone (think the complexity)

Movement emerges from interconnected underlying elements that combine in a dynamic balance, in order to reach an optimum!
Each has its own optimum (which is not a maximum). And each one has to look for his personal zone in which he can reach his optimum.

1) On average, the faster you go, the more you put your forefoot down.
2) On average, shoes are not related to injuries.
1) This runner goes faster and stays at the same heel level.2) This runner's injury is triggered by his shoes.
Terrestrials place their weight on the the back vs. the aerials place their weight on the front.
Very Aerial, I am more terrestrial if I place my mass at the back of myself while I am still an aerial

Key 6 = Magnifying Effect

The Motor Preferences are a range. Each athlete's profile must be evaluated individually and placed in this range.

Differences between athletes in the same group may be difficult to perceive. So to simplify the approach, the key is to use the extremes to better visualize: Willis is a very marked AERIAL. Darvish is a very strong TERRESTRIAL. It is therefore easier to see the specificity linked to their profile and to be able to refine them according to more adaptable profiles.

Key 7 = Decision tree

We need to think systemic instead of causal.

The seventh key used in motor preferences approach to work, is to understand no move is good or bad but it is only an individual optimum.
It is important to know the standards of the group (eg baseball players) then the ones of a sub group (eg Pitchers) and to end, the ones of the player concerned.
The average standards of a group are potentially not those of a sub-group and even less those of an individual.
Identifying all average standards allow to know where the athlete is and his own optimum targets.

KEY 8 = Cumulative observations
It is necessary to have different points of view to analyze motor preferences of an athlete. To do so, motor preference experts accumulate many observations:
- Posture

- Balance (determines the best coordination and muscle tone) 
- Running
- The technique (technical gesture) in its environment (field) 

The expert can also take into account the observations obtained from the triangle of preferences, in the decision tree, the personal zone and the primary reflexes.

Key 9 = Alignment of Intention - Emotion - Action

Are you free to decide what to do? Of course not. They depend on the image that each of us has of the world around us and the image we have of ourselves.

Studies in neuro-science show that our unconscious mind decides before our conscious mind what we are going to do and this up to 10-12 seconds earlier! We think that our conscious mind is overpowering, but it is much less powerful than our unconscious mind.

7 out of 10 marathon runners, from the 30th km onwards, encounter a "wall" but the instability of their stride is measurable from the 10th km onwards: the body of these athletes knows several hours before the runner, that it is going to experience a deficiency.

To make a type of movement that goes with a type of balance and feeling, you have to develop an intention and a representation that are concomitant. Coherence makes the living evolve.

Key 10 = Structure the action

Now that the first 9 keys are done, it is time for action. But as you saw with my posts, there was a time of reflection and complexity. We can't keep going with complexity at the risk of getting lost in our thoughts and of not acting.

Now there is a time for simplification and action. Simple actions with a hierarchical order.

Advice 1: .....

Advice 2: .......

Advice 3: .......

To return to the simple things to better advance, to better act and be quickly in action.

Key 11 = The monitoring

Motor preference experts are first and foremost human and can make mistakes. To minimize the consequences of bad advice, we follow very closely the evolution of the athletes in our care. We need to know their feelings and their progress...

Humanity and collaboration are then at the center of the sport practice.

11 keys of Motor Preferences Approach
Motor Preferences Experts, David Genest March 4, 2024
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