Theory & Practice: To Drill or Not to Drill? The Answer is Obvious.

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An interesting question, isn’t it? On the one hand, as we all know, everyone who learns something is doing it through drills – in swimming, tennis, golf, etc. On the other hand, it is boring stuff, especially in running, where our common sense doesn’t even speak of drilling at all. In running we just run, and now we have this “new trend” – running drills. Is it really so necessary to go through this “trouble”? And if give in and decide to try because somebody we respect says that there’s no way we can do without it, then what’s the minimum, we have to do?

I guess that sums it up more or less to give you a picture. We could make some comparisons, with ballet, for example, where drilling/rehearsals is a necessity from the first step to the last, as it was mentioned by one of the greatest Russian ballerinas, Maya Plisetskaya. However, for most people, ballet is in a different category of events. It is a form of art! So is running, I would say, but I guess you would need some time and effort to switch your mind to a new way of looking at running. It is our perception that allows us to see things, which do not exist and which do exist, before we start seeing them.

The Purpose of A Drill

What is the role of any drill, in general, for anything we try to learn?

Drills simplify and dissect the learning object into parts, which we can see, feel, perceive and perform. The goal of this process is to develop our perception of things, which we couldn’t perceive in any other way. It is not about muscle strength, endurance, speed, agility, etc. It is about our perception.

What do we need to perceive in running? It is our bodyweight, its location and transfer (movement) from one point to another. All three elements of the Pose Method: Pose-Fall-Pull, are part of this perception. The bodyweight appears when we have support on the ground (the Running Pose), where the bodyweight is located on the ball of the foot. The perception of the bodyweight at this position is extremely important because only from this position can we start falling forward.

Doing Pose drills is developing our perception of holding (keeping) and transferring (moving) the body weight from one foot to the other. So we have to feel very precisely the bodyweight location and how and when it changes, as well. So when we are doing the Pony drill, our focus on these things – location of the bodyweight and its transfer – should be very strong and consistent. It should be developed to the level of skill, as if it were in dancing.

How many, what kind of drills and to which level do we need to go? Minimum drills are about just covering the perception of Pose-Fall-Pull before each training session and after running. Before the session, it is necessary to refresh the perception, and after it to recover it, especially after a long or intensive run. ‘How many’ is a question about perception as well. Our goal is to develop a very specific perception, so the quantity of drills should be ‘as many as it is necessary to get this perception’.

The Purpose of Regular Drilling

This is very important to note and to understand. Our perception is not what we can put inside us as in storage. It is a ‘fluid’ state in terms of maintaining and developing it. Like anything else, we can develop and then loose it, nothing is constant and forever (only “diamonds are forever”). So this fact is a reality and we have to understand that while we are developing our perception by doing drills, we need to use the same drills to maintain an existing level of perception, and then recover it when we are lose that level. As you see, there is no time, when we can drop our drills and say good bye to them. Just to make this a bit simpler, please find out for yourself, what is the most difficult perception for you and focus on this part mostly, keeping the rest on the same level.

If You Do Something Do It Right

It should be obvious that the entire purpose of the drills is to learn to run correctly. So it should be obvious as well that it is very important to do the drills correctly. For that purpose, we’ve filmed hundreds of drills and exercises to demonstrate how to do them correctly in order to ensure that anyone at any level could easily do what’s on their training schedule for the day and do it right anytime and anyplace.

“Change the Way You Look At Things”

As the theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, Max Planck, said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” The last advice that I have for you here is to try to change your view and perception of drills from something dull and obligatory to something interesting and helping you to rediscover yourself, perfecting your understanding and performance of “simple” running. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

About the Author: Dr. Nicholas Romanov is the developer of the Pose Method. A passionate proponent of higher level of education in athletics, Dr. Romanov dedicated his entire career to sports education, scientific research and coaching. An Olympic Coach and a bestselling author, Dr. Romanov has taught on all continents and visited almost every country in the world.

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One response to “To drill or not to drill?”

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