Sunday, February 21, 2010

The "Bad" Side of TIVO

Recently, while judging the SEC Championships at the beautiful University of Georgia Aquatic Center, I made an observation which really got me thinking.

Like many pools around the country where competitive divers train, the TIVO is an integral piece of equipment that is used on a daily basis. (For those who do not know, a TIVO is a device that looks like a VCR and which records and then plays back what was recorded on a delay set by the coach. This allows the diver to instantly see the dive they just performed and is considered a "must have" training tool for divers).

What I noticed is that most of the divers in the competition would do their dive and then go right to the TIVO to watch their dive BEFORE looking to their coach for corrections and suggestions for improvement. My thought was that this was BACKWARD. The diver should go to the coach FIRST to get coaching on the dive and THEN go to the TIVO to watch the dive paying close attention to what the coach told them they needed to do on the next attempt. This way, the diver does not fall into the potentially bad habit of coaching themselves and thinking they know the best way to make corrections to their dive.

Without a doubt, a TIVO is a great asset for every diving team because it certainly helps the divers improve at a faster pace by giving instant feedback about the dive HOWEVER; it is my humble suggestion that the following rule be established: The diver first comes to the coach to get advice and corrections on the dive BEFORE going to the TIVO to watch it.


Eric Teske said...

I absolutely agree with your opinion on the 'order of operations' from a learning/feedback point of view. However, I think the habit comes from the fact that the TiVo is usually on a delay of only 8 or 16 seconds. The diver looks to TiVo first so they won't miss it, not because they think it is more important than the coach's comments.

Steve Voellmecke said...

You make a very good point! I think that situation could be corrected by simply increasing the delay setting on the TiVo.

Good luck to you this year with your diving.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that it should be that way. However, during a meet the Tivo is usually close to the boards and the coach is on the side. The timing of the delay is important as well.

Unknown said...

Hey Steve - I agree with your point on TIVO 100% - our routine at practice is: do your dive, get coached, look at TIVO for visual on your coaches point, dry off and prepare for next dive concentrating on coaches point...

Saw a funny tee-shirt at east nationals 2 years ago:
on the front it said "Unattached" -on the back it said: "coached by TIVO"
Billy McGowan

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Vlad said...

I agree with all the criticisms of TiVo, but have also observed - as a diver - that not all coaches provide prompt feedback. Further not all coaches consistently provide feedback. Both factors can shift a divers balance of attention from coach to TiVo.

I have observed in practices where coaches provide prompt, relevant feedback on a consistent basis, divers do not become overly reliant on TiVo... in fact they tend to use it only for selected dives, feedback from a good coach is faster, more precise, and objective than TiVo... despite TiVo's unique capabilities.

Anonymous said...

As a coach, I have instant feedback for a diver after he completes a skill. It is important not maintain focus on the immediate skill so they can relate the correction to specific skill just completed. Watching tivo for two or three minutes while waiting for the delay, diminishes the impact of the correction.

Unknown said...

I disagree I want my diver to look at the TIVO first because the dive is fresh in their mind. I also believe a diver should travel through time and not waste time thinking about a dive they just performed. Move on to the next dive. Your coach will give you the information on the previous dive. The coach should then give key points to remember on the upcoming dive.