Monday, May 24, 2021

Get the training done! - Tango training log

micro training - systematic video - figures
manage the repetition frequency
your learning speed

Quite early in my tango life I bought a camera and started to collect videos from various tango workshops. Since then I have also wanted to refresh those memorable moments with interesting teachers and activate again the moves. To reach that goal I needed something convenient to maintain and organize my activities. The spreadsheet below seems to do the work!

The videos and activities!

My learning content comes from the workshops and courses I have participated and it includes also interesting videos from friends, youtube, and net courses. These items fall naturally into two main groups of figure and technique videos.

The basic aspects of movements as walking and turning or rhythms which do not come naturally to me are called for micro training. Because I do just 1-4 physical repetitions of each per day I can run quite a number of them daily.

Among the figures, I spotted a number of top favorites, which I really want to have with me to the pista. I decided to work more on them so I watch the videos and do the physical repetitions for more weeks than for the other groups. I call all the other figures for the reference group and I watch them regularly but less often.

The scientific evidence supporting visual learning has convinced me so I have included systematic video watching as a part of my training. I have an active state of mind when watching and I check the same videos during a whole week. After a rest period, they are activated again!

There are physical repetitions alternating with video watching. Usually I run the physical micro training in the morning as well as the video watching sessions. Later in the afternoon, it is time for the figures!

The spreadsheet is driving my training!

 This simple type of spreadsheet below is the aid I needed for collecting and maintaining the important information. In the beginning, it was easy to have control over the weekly work but when I got more rows I started to use the filtering option. In this way, it is easier to focus on the rows chosen for the week and hide away the other ones. Take a look at the information available on the sheet I use today.

(Picture only)          

The records for physical and video activities are included in the numbers for example 2.0015 where two/2 stands for physical activities and fifteen/0015 for how many times the video was reviewed.
Weekly repetitions are shown in columns - total and per row
Accum column - total for the year and per row.

             The same information but in concentration!
The total for week 37 year 2020 is 24,0009 - Physical repetitions were 24 and video reviews 9.
Every row shows the numbers for repetitions I have done ( 2,0015 ) and they accumulate to a total number of activities so far during the year, on top of the sheet! ( 116,0063 )

To see the numbers growing and to be able to create a continuous flow of training marks on the log table keeps me active. When I feel for relaxing from training the idea of unticked boxes pushes me to the activities again. This helps to bridge some short-term dips but if the feeling is more persistent I have changed something. I skipped some activities for weeks, start to work on other aspects of content. I continue changing until I feel happy with the new scheme. So far I have had two rounds of these changes - After about three months focusing on Achaval/Soares content, I had a break from mid-December to February. Other videos were in focus then! During the last week of the break, I was eagerly looking forward to starting the Achaval/Soares work again. Now in May, I get signals again for a new pause or change of content and I am curious how the daily routines will organize themself! What content is going to feel meaningful to work with!


In my case, this has been SOLOtraining which means that I am free to place the activities wherever I want and when suitable! Usually I decide on Sunday what I feel for and what needs to be reviewed. Sometimes I plan for an easy week with few activities but weeks can be challenging too!

The physical part of training includes two types of activities. The figures I do include my moves and I am also leading the virtual follower's steps simultaneously. The short micro training is more about how my own body moves so I am just sensing my body and listening to my muscles! It takes maybe 5-10 minutes and fits in easily to my morning routines. Sometime later on the day, I run the figure groups on the spreadsheet. For figures and videos, I need to plan my time.

Learning speed

An unexpected result of these training records has been the information of how long time I have to work on different things until the skill starts to show. For most of the moves and figures, the number of repetitions has been surprisingly low. The level of performance is not of a champion but fully reasonable for a social dancer. When the figure or a move feels ok then just check the number of repetitions and ther you have your learning speed!

How about you? 

Want to stabilize your training? 

Do you want to know your learning speed?

Time to test maybe? 

If you want to know how to freeze the columheads try this video, starts at 1min  HERE!
I use a similar spreadsheet for a figure library and teacher notes. All of it you find HERE!

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