Home » Posts » athletics

Tag: athletics

University of California, Berkeley

BERKELEY, CA – Owen Monroy, Assistant Coach to the Cal Women’s Beach Volleyball team, contacted The Art of Learning Project after several years of experimenting with, adapting, and applying the learning concepts in his coaching. “The Art of Learning closely resonated with my instincts as a learner, and Josh’s experience and credibility increased my courage to re-imagine much of my coaching process,” Monroy says. After years coaching at the collegiate level (University of Illinois, Penn State, Saint Mary’s College of CA, Westminster College), Monroy returned to California with the hope of developing a better framework for skill acquisition and performance focused on beach volleyball, the fastest growing sport in the NCAA.
At Cal Berkeley, Monroy is engaging the team in a series of presentations and discussions, laying the groundwork for a culture and methodology which aims at feel-based learning, a mechanism for what they refer to as “dynamic response.” It is an incremental learning process, which pulls from concepts such as Form to Leave Form and The Soft Zone. “We try to limit rigid ideas around performance. Form, or technically explicit cues are not the norm here. We are focused on preparing well and allowing the body to shape movements in response to situational demands. The thing is,” Monroy points out, “encouraging athletes to color outside the lines of technique is counter-intuitive and often feels risky, yet our athletes are adapting to this approach incredibly well. Our ability to stay loose and produce dynamic results in chaos is taking off.”
With the support of the JWF, Monroy is developing a community of coaches, educators, and learners to discuss The Art of Learning principles and their role in athletics and education. If you are interested in joining the conversation, contact Coach Monroy.

MP4P – Mental Practice For Performance

RICHMOND, VA – Scott Rohlwing created MP4P to address what he saw as the lack of emotional intelligence and performance psychology instruction for adolescents in both athletic and academic environments. “As a society, we’ve become so busy that tasks supersede just about everything. Many people are growing up not understanding Emotional Intelligence, relationship skills, coping skills, and mental strategies,” Rohlwing told the JWF. “I thoroughly believe that emotions are extremely important and the more we are educated on emotions, the more aware we are, and the more we can manage emotions, the better performers we will become and ultimately, better people. Embrace your emotion, acknowledge it, enhance it.”

Rohlwing is currently teaching a Mental Performance course to adults at the University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. In this course his students explore the ideas of Emotional Intelligence and Performance Psychology through learning principles such as Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, Using Adversity, Making Smaller Circles, Downward Spiral, Stress and Recovery, and Power of Presence.

He is further developing the MP4P program with a local volleyball club, and plans to expand to a variety of youth programs such as gymnastics, soccer, and football. Ultimately, he hopes to expand to offering elective courses in middle schools and high schools through mobile learning and online micro-lessons.

Lakeside School

Seattle, WA – Lakeside School is an independent school serving 800 students in grades 5 through 12.  Derrek Falor, the Girls Soccer Program Head, previously worked with The Art of Learning Project in his position as the women’s soccer coach at Cleveland State University in Ohio.
Coach Falor gave his Varsity Soccer team at Lakeside an assignment to read The Art of Learning over the summer and explore the correlation between Josh’s experiences with chess and Thai Chi and their own experiences with soccer.  This assignment provided his athletes with the opportunity to develop an understanding of their relationship to the learning principles and gave Coach Falor a window into their own perceptions of their strengths and challenges on the soccer field.  He has shared a collection of student responses to chapters 4-6, chapters 7-8, and chapters 9-11 on our Resources for Educators page.
In response to the challenges that arose on the playing field as well as the ideas that came up in the student responses, Coach Falor developed a season-long, holistic program focused on examining how the players handled moments of transition throughout their days and developing strategies for working on Stress and Recovery in all aspects of their academic and athletic lives.  In future seasons he plans to work on The Power of Presence and The Downward Spiral to help his athletes remain in the moment rather than focusing on what just happened or what will happen next.  He is also hoping to expand the program to include Program Heads from a range of athletic departments in the school so that the students will encounter these learning principles across the various sports they play throughout the year.

Oberlin College

OBERLIN, OH: Costantine Ananiadis is a former D-I tennis athlete, tennis coach, martial artist, and chess player and coach. He has used The Art of Learning concepts in his teaching and his own competition. At his suggestion The Art of Learning was the topic of conversation for the book club in the athletics dept at Oberlin College. He also has all his tennis players read it.

Coach Ananiadis says, “I use Josh’s principles daily in my practice plans for my team and in my long-term mapping for our team’s improvement and skill development as well. It works wonderfully for both. As a former high level tennis player, and as I currently strive to reach master level in my “chess career”, I find that these principles are very practical and therefore easily incorporated into anyone’s developmental plan. I find myself re-reading the book over & over and learning/discovering new things (or rather understanding it at a deeper level) each time.”

John Morales, Private Tennis Coach

MELBOURNE, FL John Morales, a private tennis coach and competitive tennis player who studied with John McEnroe’s coach, is teaching The Art of Learning principles to his nine junior players in order to improve their mental toughness, the quality of their play, and their ability to handle adversity both on and off the court. The players are reading two chapters a day and jotting down introspective thoughts about how the principles they are mastering apply to their game and their lives. Chapter content and the written assignments are then discussed. Among John’s objectives: educating parents who are entirely results oriented about the value of mastering fundamentals and the growth that can come from insights gained from losses.

Hamilton Middle School

HAMILTON, MI. Ted Malefyt, read about Josh Waitzkin and The Art of Learning in an article that appeared in the NSCAA Soccer Journal, and was inspired to study its principles.  This Girls’ Varsity Soccer Coach and science teacher is now sharing The Art of Learning with fellow teachers, coaches and administrators who will convey the insights they’ve garnered to students to help them pave an individual path to success in the classroom and on the playing field.