There have been many advancements in the last few years in the science of how we learn. This is mainly been brought around by the fact that we no longer need dead test subjects in order to understand how the brain works, this has obvious advantages to science and more importantly the test subjects themselves (as you can imagine there are a lot more willing subjects). Modern technology allows us to scan the brain and gives us a very good idea of how it works.
One of the most exciting discoveries in this field is that of substance called Myelin. Myelin is a white substance which wraps around the neurons in our brain. Until recently little importance was given to its presence or absence in the brain. What we now know is that myelin speeds up the connection between neurons. As it wraps around neurons it isolates the pathway and speeds up any signal heading down that neuron. Think of it as the concrete on a road – as you add more it changes from a simple pathway into a superhighway.
This myelin coating is gained whenever we practice a skill. The myelin coats the pathways related to that particular skill, as we practice the skill, more and more myelin is added to the pathway, meaning the connection time is quicker and cleaner each time. Basically put the more myelin a neural pathway is coated in, the faster a more automatic the skill it relates to becomes.
What does this have to do with kite surfing I hear you ask, don’t worry I’m coming to that.
There was a study done recently on the Symphony Orchestra and the amount of hours the 1st violinist spent practising as compared to the 2nd violinists. (The 1st violinists being those violinists deemed the best, the 2nd the second-best) what was found was that the 2nd violinist actually practised more hours a day and the 1st violinists. This puzzled researchers until they looked at how the violinists were practising. The 2nd violinists would practice playing sections they found easy or were already good at. The 1st violinists would concentrate on the areas of difficulty and intensely focus on these areas until weaknesses were eliminated.
This idea of learning through struggle, by focusing on errors and ruthlessly eliminating them forms the basic premise behind deep learning. By adopting this method of learning we can literally learn what would normally take months in minutes by encouraging the brain to dump a huge amount of myelin around the necessary pathways.
I hope you can now see how this can be applied to kite surfing (indeed every aspect of our lives). By focusing on those areas of weakness and practising them again and again we can improve our kite surfing in a matter of minutes.
Here at Tantrum Kitesurf we fully incorporate deep learning technology into all of our courses, if you’d like more information, just leave a comment below or get in touch.