I coach at a fairly affluent suburban school. The vast majority of my athletes have been “coached” from a young age in various sports. I am a verbose person, but I constantly have to tell the athletes to “just do it and we’ll talk about it later.” They are constantly begging for feedback…”am I doing it right?” “Can you watch my power clean?” “Did you see my last acceleration?” I often wonder if they could pass the drunk driving “touch your nose” test while stone cold sober, since they apparently don’t have enough kinesthetic awareness to tell if they are holding their own hand in front of their face with eyes closed. I’m kidding (somewhat), but I really think the lack of unstructured play and the desire to “get kids involved in sports” in a structured way at a young age makes them kinesthetically stupid, rather than advancing their coordination. They might learn certain skills, but unless those skills are sequenced properly and applied intermittently in unstructured situations, they won’t learn how to apply them in any way other than robotically.
There are kids on my team that I will refuse to talk to after a certain amount of input, because they will ask for unreasonable clarity if I let them. I often have to explain that I’m not rejecting them or valuing them less…they simply need to JUST DO THE THING and FEEL what is happening and SELF ASSESS. I’ll tell them whether they are right later, but if you never toilet train the child, expect to wipe ass when they are teenagers, right?
On the bright side, very few of them have received any real coaching feedback specifically in track and field, so I’ve got that going for me.
I think there are those who need to “feel” their way through an event and those that are capable of thinking their way through it, and there is every combination of the two in between. Most need to feel it, but we coaches assume we can reach them through language because it validates us. I constantly have to watch that I’m not falling in love with the awesome cues I’m giving…what matters is results, not how high I score on the SAT verbal.