3 Stages of Learning

3 Stages of Learning

Our Mission: Helping young players fall in love with sports and learn fundamental skills while emphasizing teamwork and sportsmanship.

The reason our mission states that we want to help kids fall in love is b/c that’s the first ingredient necessary for them to put in the work later on. In 1929, Alfred North Whitehead discussed the 3 stages of learning: 

  1. Romance: What happens at this stage "influences" how long and how often individuals will stay involved with an activity.
  2. Precision: Learning the right way to do something
  3. Generalize: Applying it in new and novel ways

Schools often ignore 1 and 3, focusing exclusively on precision, on correct answers, on recall and memorization. What is the exact answer to this well-defined problem? Coaches do too. Run this play, this way, when I say. Being precise is an important step in the learning process. But, should it be 95% of it? 

“When the early or romance stage (stage 1) of learning is filled with required structured training (stage 2) and lots of instruction and competition, the freedom and enjoyment that can foster interest and passion for an activity are being suppressed.”
- Michael Hebron, PGA Golf Professional

We aren’t rolling the balls out at our camps and clinics. Far from it! Making a basketball experience more fun requires a certain level of creativity. You still need to work on the skills of dribbling, shooting, and passing. Footwork like pivoting, hockey stops, and jumping off of each foot are crucial. But, initially, we abstract out those skills and wrap a game around them.

Have you ever picked your child up early at our camps and seen “Betterball Tag?” Kids squeal with delight as they evade and juke the taggers. They do so by working on quick first steps, lunges, balance, decision-making, and court awareness. The taggers do it all too: quick passes, pivoting to be longer, peripheral vision, spacial awareness, deceptiveness, and cardio. Check out Florida MBB doing it in pre-season. SportsCenter even featured it!

What are the more traditional ways of building those skills above? Is laughter involved? Kids love playing tag. If you ignore the freedom of movement parts now, don't be surprised if they have trouble sticking with the nuanced footwork later on.

It isn’t all fun and games at our camps and clinics. But, we certainly don't skip it!

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