A Constraints-led Approach to Acquiring the Power Clean
Verhoeff, Wesley James
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The purpose of this study was to apply a constraints-led approach to the acquisition of the power clean. Strength and conditioning coaches need to coach complex motor skills, where the common method involves explicit instruction and task decomposition. However, contemporary skill acquisition theory is in conflict with this explicit and reductionist approach. Through three case studies the examination of individualised task constraints were used to reshape the state space of the participants, and allow a self-organisation process for skill development to take place. Constraints were applied across ten coaching sessions then evaluated via video analysis of every training repetition and post testing 1RM. The constraints employed for all three case studies achieved movement change in the predicted direction as well as successfully facilitating learning, exploration, and searching of the motor perception landscape. In two of the three cases, the movement changes resulted in performance improvements measured through 1RM. In conclusion, the constraints-led approach was an effective method for changing movement behaviour in the context of strength and conditioning. Practitioners can apply the processes implemented in this research to facilitate learning of exercise related skill in similar complex movements.