Best performance behaviours are high quality movements, with high force for a long time.
Improved performance doesn’t happen until behaviour changes and it is the nervous system that permits behaviour to change. The process of changing behaviour starts with getting the attention of the individual – whether they know it or not. Conscious and subconscious attention getting are the domains of coaching, or programming of training. Each (conscious and subconscious) has a place.
Getting the attention of the individual requires a nervous system with healthy receptors that respond to stimuli.
The mechanoreceptors that we aim to improve attention of exist in the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments/capsules. Enhancing the sensory environment by improving mechanoreceptor attention creates a prime environment to use the art of coaching and cueing to enhance movement skills.
A prime opportunity exists for enhancing mechanoreceptors through the treatment of pain and improvement in mobility. Here is a digitally interactive manual that provides a video library and vast explanatory library of key mobility drills.
For clinicians who've reduced or abolished pain, and for clinicians and coaches who've improved mobility, improving central nervous system processing is the next step - it starts with breaking patterns - a key element is auditory cueing.
When you talk to an athlete to provide a cue, it requires healthy hearing. The role of audition and how it is used in motor performance is a largely understudied area, with some exceptions. The goal of auditory cueing is to gain attention, to break patterns, and to improve learning retention. Since auditory information is processed faster than visual information (but visual information seems to provide more useful information than auditory), it remains a pivotal tool for breaking patterns by gaining attention of the nervous system.
Auditory cues primarily remain useful for breaking patterns by getting attention. To be continued....
In: Chapters 5 and 11, Schmidt, R. A., & Lee, T. D. (2011). Motor control and learning : a behavioral emphasis (5th ed. ed.). Champaign, Ill. ; Leeds: Human Kinetics.