Best of the Week 2021-2022: Excellence in College Prep


SPORTS MEDICINE SENIORS TEST THEORY TO SEE FIRSTHAND HOW LONG IT TAKES TO LEARN NEW SKILLS

Senior students in Mrs. Amanda Nugent's Sports Medicine class have taken a hands-on approach to their "Skills in Sports" unit. While discussing what defines a skill and determining whether the skills that make athletes successful are learned, genetic, or both, students simultaneously tasked themselves with learning how to juggle or to learn a different skill they've not tried before to see how these skills pertain to body systems and how an athlete exploits their body's natural variation to excel. This lesson also anchors the ongoing theme of athletes using their bodies and skills in ways that non-professional athletes don't. As students begin to dive deeper in understanding the injuries athletes endure, they will also look at how development of ability and proper training can help mitigate the severity of athletic injuries. "This lesson acknowledges the misrepresentation of the 10,000 hour rule that Malcom Gladwell presented in his book, Outliers. By looking back at the original study, it states that an individual needs 10,000 hours to master a skill, but this lesson touches on the perils of fact checking sources and how to check reliability when consuming information," says Mrs. Nugent. "While there is much discussion about whether one needs 10,000 hours to learn or master a skill, our students put that theory to the test and determined that 20 hours of intentional practice is ideal to learn a skill. Our students are asked to learn new skills all the time, and they've proven that it does not take over five years of education to learn a single skill." By taking an innovative approach to testing sports medicine theories, students are able to form connections to the research they're absorbing and to make their own correlations to the content that can impact their day-to-day skills, routines, and athletic abilities.