UNLEARNING ERRORS IS A LONG-TERM TEDIOUS TASK
Schmidt, R.A. (1988). Motor control and learning: A behavioral emphasis. (Second Edition). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
". . . change is stored in short term memory. To convert it to long term memory, repetition is essential. According to the science of motor learning (Schmidt) it takes 300 reps to create a bad habit, and 3,000 of the correct reps to undo it."
Implication. Good instruction has the potential to alter an undesirable movement pattern or element very quickly. Unfortunately, such changes are stored in short-term memory. If the next step in instruction is not taken, the behavior change will be lost and the individual will revert to the old established feature. Consequently, if an athlete displays a desired behavior change, it does not necessarily mean it has been learned and the coach need not attend to it any more. Unfortunately, that very often is a coaching response.
To convert a changed-behavior from short-term memory to long-term memory, many trials are required with very meaningful feedback provided on each trial. The number of trials required for the development or change of behaviors was estimated by Richard Schmidt (Schmidt, 1988) as being: 1) 300 trials to create a bad habit, and 2) 3,000 trials to correct or undo the error. When instruction is poor or haphazard, those numbers balloon dramatically.
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