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teach:cues-and-cueing [2015/09/10 21:21] (current)
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 +====== Cues and Cueing ======
  
 +**A cue is an instruction that is given visually, verbally, or kinesthetically in order to encourage a correct movement or position**. Instructors must know proper movement patterns in order to spot bad positioning,​ have an arsenal of cues and drills to correct the faults, know how to prioritize which cues to give, and ensure they are following through by watching the change happen. ​
 +
 +People respond differently to the various types of cues. Some learn best when they are told what to do, others when they can see it, and still others respond best to an instructor actually moving their bodies into the proper position. You’ll likely have to use several different types of cues with any individual until you discover what works best for them. 
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 +Additionally,​ pay careful attention to students’ emotional responses to the cues. Some people get very self conscious when cued and may perform worse than before. Many people are not used to being physically cued and may freeze up, or become uncomfortable. ​ Nonetheless,​ it is important to continue giving regular feedback during class, and quick, effective cues of all types are a must for every instructor. If someone seems intimidated or upset after a cue, try a different approach.
 +
 +Lastly, don’t get caught in the watching-without-seeing pattern. It is very easy to just watch students move through drills, zone out or just let little things slide. //The little things are what make your students stronger, safer movers//. **After students have a few rotations to figure things out on their own**, without hindering their practice or overwhelming them you should be cueing each of your students multiple times during each module or drill. Remember to give them time to process the cue on their own before re-cueing.
 +
 +===== Setting Up Cues =====
 +
 +It is important to know the difference between explanations and cues. Your explanation comes at the beginning of a module or drill. This may take anywhere from 3-5 minutes. Within this time, you are letting students know what should be happening, while you are also setting up your cues. It does no good to cue with “Arms!” if your students have no notion of what it is supposed to mean. Use explanation time to review common mistakes you’ll be looking for, what the fixes are, and what you’ll be saying or doing to encourage that fix. 
 +
 +===== Prioritization =====
 +
 +The most important thing to know about cueing is that students can only process one cue at any given time. It is unwise to bombard students with multiple things to focus on or fix because the most likely result is them unable to focus on or fix any well enough to matter. Prioritization becomes essential because it is up to the instructor to decide which is the most important change to be made. The order of prioritization is generally simple:
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 +  - Is the movement/​position safe? -> 
 +  - Is the movement/​position correct? ->  ​
 +  - Is the movement/​position optimized?
 +
 +A good example would be a student showing an extremely quiet landing with knees hitting each other (valgus collapsing.) While we of course like to optimize movements by making them quiet, we first must insure that students are safe and correct. Even if the student becomes louder with impact when cued to land with knees out, the priority still lies in correcting the position and movement. ​
 +
 +===== Follow-Through =====
 +
 +It is not enough just to cue students, instructors must follow through to ensure the instruction has been understood and applied. ​
 +
 +  - Give the cue
 +  - Watch or help the change happen
 +  - Leave the student to practice independently
 +  - Return to ensure change has actually been made
 +  - Re-cue (with same or different cue) if necessary
 +
 +//Question: If you’re having to give a student the same cue repeatedly with no improvement,​ when is it appropriate to give up on a cue?//
 +
 +//Answer: If a cue is not working after 3 attempts, try a different cue altogether. If the student or the coach becomes too frustrated with the technique/​position after spending time trying to correct the same issue, take a break from that technique/​position.//​
 +
 +===== Visual Cues =====
 +
 +Visual cues are cues you can show students to encourage them to correct a movement or position. This includes things like exampling a movement, demonstrating an incorrect position, using hands to draw a path or angle of approach, or anything else that students can see in order to understand.
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 +Seeing someone perform a skill is very helpful to understanding how it works, and you’ll find yourself demonstrating movements repeatedly in your classes. If you can break a movement down into stages, perform it slowly, or stop partway through, it will help your students understand sooner. Do remember to check your sight lines before demonstrating a movement, and use an assistant or a student to example when possible, especially if you need to point out particular elements of the movement or position.
 +
 +Additionally,​ visual cues can move from what is seen to what is imagined. Saying something that encourages students to visualize what should be happening or how can be a very strong tool for understanding. This includes inspiring an image as well as encouraging visualization of movement, planning footsteps is a common example of this. 
 +
 +//Pro Tip: Remember you can use passive visual cues by setting up a course or environment in a particular way. An example is setting tic-tacs to encourage a left, right, left, precision response. By using elements like Curt Jordans, taped lines of approach or restrictions,​ and other clever set-ups that easily suggest and direct, you can get students to perform correct movements and positions.//​
 +
 +===== Verbal Cues =====
 +
 +Verbal cues are cues you can tell students to encourage them to correct a movement or position. This includes things like saying which hand or foot to use, short reminder phrases like “Knees out,” similes or comparisons to similar things, or anything else that students can hear in order to understand.
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 +Verbal cues must be precise and succinct. It is all too easy to over-explain,​ analyze, or otherwise provide unneccessary information to a student working a particular skill. Be sure to use only one cue at a time and wait for the fix to be consistent before moving on to a different issue. ​
 +
 +Pro Tips: 
 +  * Don’t waste your words. Statements like “Good,” or, “Nice,” lose value if you are constantly saying them. Be sure that if you say “Good” to a student, that the movement actually was good. If it was not, say nothing at all or give an appropriate cue. 
 +  * Positive verbal feedback is great before issuing a cue. “I like how quiet you were in that landing. Next time, knees out!”
 +  * If you use call-and-response questions, do wait for response. Rhetorical questions train kids especially not to listen to you. Often times conversations between students or the class can lead to cues and ideas that they can better connect to.
 +
 +===== Kinesthetic Cues =====
 +
 +Kinesthetic cues are cues you physically give to students to encourage them to correct a movement or position. This includes things like putting hands on shoulders to get students to drop them, touching sternum and lower back to encourage a tall torso position, drawing the line of where a roll should be against a students back and hip, or anything else that students can feel in order to understand. ​
 +
 +Sometimes the best way to get someone to perform a movement correctly is to actually move their bodies into the correct positions, especially children. It’s more common to not touch people, to be careful, but in the context of physical education and skill training, kinesthetic cueing is not only appropriate,​ it’s expected and invaluable.
 +
 +At the same time, be careful of touching “dangerous” areas. This tends to be more of a possibility in spotting, but if you do accidentally touch a dangerous area, don’t freak out. Doing so will make an accidental contact seem creepy. Just move on.
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 +Like all cueing, kinesthetic cueing is susceptible to overload. Be careful of overwhelming your students with too many inputs. Make one correction at a time. Be aware of your students’ reactions to kinesthetic cues: some people can feel singled out if they’re the only one getting cued this way, and some people have emotional (usually fear) reactions to certain body positions. If a kinesthetic cue is not working, look for another one or another type of cue altogether. ​
 +
 +===== Hybrid Cues =====
 +
 +It is extremely difficult to learn to give a single cue at a single time. A good way to navigate this is to use hybrid cues. An example would be a fix for seeing a head-down, butt-up landing. While touching/​pressing the low back to the ground and touching/​pushing the sternum up and saying, “Head up, bottom down,” counts as a single cue. Yes it’s multiple words and you are also touching them, but the cue is still simple and for a single change--from a generally bad landing position into a generally good position. Hybrid cues tend to be the strongest types, and once conscious of it, you’ll find that most of your cues have elements of at least two different categories. ​
 +
 +===== General Words of Wisdom =====
 +
 +  * Don’t try to explain and demonstrate a movement or technique simultaneously. It’s only asking for embarrassment,​ pain and sorrow.
 +  * If you mess up while demonstrating,​ don’t hide or ignore it--call yourself out! Use your mistake to assist in teaching.
 +  * Do not over-cue