Car Mechanics or Car Driver!? Debate on sport expert education system...

This is a text about problem that bothers me as cosequence of our sport expert education system. This is not only a problem of sport expert education system but it is also a common to other educational systems.
I will try to explain this by drawing a parallel. Imagine the Faculty as a driving school in wich you enter for only one reason: to learn to drive a car.
On the first class the instructor put you in the front of the car and starts deassembling it. He then takes out the engine, streer mechanism, accumulator, dynamo, gear mechanism and other parts and then deassemble them to the tinyest parts. After that he explains, for the each tiny part, from wich material is it, its mechanical properties, its purpose and connection to other parts. After that he again assemble it (into a car) and supose you learned to drive it! Now imagine a different situation.
On the first class instructor puts you into the car, explains you usage of parts wich you use to drive and instrument table and how to read it. Then you start the car and find out that pushing the gas pedal car accelerate, turning the steering wheel it turns, without any knowledge about the parts and their interaction causing it.
You see, our sport expert education system works like the first example: from you he creates not drivers but car mechanics. It doesnt create experts that will know how to «drive» - menage sport preparation system but rather physiologist-biomechanist who know all about parts but have no idea how to put it all together and manage it – «drive it».
I want to say that to control some system it is unnecessary to know its parts and their complex relations, on the other hand it is imposible to do that! System is more that just a sum of its parts! To explain system behaviour and to control it, we cannot rely on information flow between its parts but rather to develop special sets of notions that explains input-output relations. In car this is information table, steering wheel, gear, pedals. You dont need to know axis and engine torque, dynamo voltage, caloric capacity of gasoline, steering wheel angle to drive! With athletes we can gather this information when listening to them, watching them perform, sweat, hear their breeding patterns, skin color, sound of their feet striking the floor etc. You dont need to know blood Lactate level, urhea and ceton levels in urine, biochenistry status of blood, heart frequency, O2 consuption and other non-usefull data. You are looking at your athlete, but do you see the feedback he is giving to you and allow you to «drive» him better?
The best experts in the field (coaches) maybe dont know about physiological reactions in the body, maybe they dont know how to do a biomechanical anylisis but the one is sure… they know to drive; the only thing that matters!!
On the other hand, to drive a car it is unnecessary to say: turn the wheel for 56deg, push the gas pedal with 17N of force, but rather to say more or less, that is all! This is why the training represents more the art than science. You need to feel how much pressure is neccessary to turn the car in right direction, you dont need to know how much force you used to push the wheel! The same is with the athletes, you need to know what is the right dosage for individual athlete but to do that you allways need to monitor their behaviour and to use the feedback he gives to you! With this example I wanted to say that it is unnecessary to introduce numerical data and numerical analysis for controling the system but only qualitative data (fuzzy logic, qualitative analysis). In our education system they are asking us to memorize unnecessary and anusable numerical data and not qualitative data and phenomenom relation (resoning, critical thinking etc).
Although I just finished 3rd year of 4-year studing plan, and I know a lot of data I still dont know how to DRIVE… All the things that I learned (parts) I have to re-evaluate and to put them all together into the WHOLE!!
Everything in this text lead to a conclusion that is necessery to use a application of cybernetics, complex theory, chaos theory, catastrophe theory , fuzzy logic, qualitative analysis, critical thinking in a sport expert education system and to forget about learning in parts, quantitative analysis, mechanical learning.
But the main question remain unanswered: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE? CAR MECHANIC OR CAR DRIVER?


could you perhaps put that all into a simple syllogism?

To me it seems to set up a sort of straw man/ hollow man, argument. In the Indy 500, there is a car, a driver, and a team of mechanics, a pace car, people to refuel the car etc. It isn’t an either or situation. Both are necessary. I know a few people who know how to drive but don’t know how to change the oil. How long do you think their cars will last? Driving a honda civic is certainly different from driving a turbocharged race car.

I was thinking generaly (drawing only a prabola) but I was hoping someone will ask something like that Herb…tnx
You can learn and know how to drive and to fix a car but it is unnecessary to know how to fix a car to drive it… only thing you should know is to change a tire, oil and refill it…
On a sport field this correspond to first aid and restoration methods, also you can know something about mechanics and fixing but you cannot apply this because it is out of your expertise… (and you dont have time to learn both, paralel)
So to have a superb car (athlete) you should have a good driver (coach), refueler and tire mechanic (physiotherapeut), mechanic (sport medicine doctor)… there is no question that there should be a team of experts to make a results! The question is what do you want to be?
Again, I am drawing a parallel, not talking about cars…

How much knowledge is practical knowledge (for a driver or mechanic) and how much knowledge is superflous? Where can you draw that line? Can it be a line? or should it just be an area waves in generally northern direction over there?

There is no too much knowledge…

It is not enough to have a good mind.
The main thing is to use it well.
Rene Descartes, Discourse on Method

If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?
Thomas Henry Huxley, English biologist and writer

Those of you who have read extensively on the subject of sprinting soon learn who are the “drivers” and who are the “mechanics” as decribed.
On second thought, as a real mechanic must have intimate knowledge of what the machine can take to keep functioning, I think the terms here should be: “driver/mechanic” vs “salesman/philosopher”.
The real division is between those who are actually out there doing it and those who only talk about it. Remember the old saying: “Money talks. Bullshit walks!”

I found the opposite to be true: bullshit is always talking while money is walking. :slight_smile:

That’s AFTER the race, not during!

Gentlemen, start you engines…
Stop phylosophing, start doing

i would have to say, a top driver will drive a test lap, stop and tell a mechanic “dude, the rear is swaying, its pulling to the left around corners and it lags power coming off bends” then the mechanic will resolve the problem from what the driver says.
Though, if the driver just pulls up and says to the mechanic “dude, this car is stuffed” which is what you get a lot, what is the mechanic to do??
So, even though a driver may not need to know what the steering arm is made up off, he still needs to know it exists and what it does or he will just say, “the cars stuffed”.
A top driver will know his car and its vital parts that perform.
A hoon will just know how to drive.

You might get away with a ’just do it’ mentality if you’re lucky enough. Nevertheless, once you dig into “mechanics”, you better follow the whole way through, or self-doubt will eat on your confidence before a feeling of completeness is achieved.

A car mechanic sets himself up with the potential to be a better driver. The best drivers in the world will usually have at least a decent knowledge of car mechanics. So I suppose, as usual in a debate, the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

over here in europe the F1 and especially the WRC drivers are very much in touch with the machines they are driving.they themselves must know the set-up of gear ratio,suspension etc because after all it will they themselves who are in charge of driving it and the set-up in essential for their driving style

I agree…
But again, the issue is that education should offer us a behavioural ephasis not just “part knowledge”, also a mechanic should “feel” the engine working (sound, vibration etc) and not only to know parts…
I wanted to say that to control some complex system (be you a mechanic -doc or a driver-coach) you should know its behaviour in a whole, not just numerical data and parts knowledge…

I agree you should know the system as a whole, but can you get the “feel” any way other than doing - actually being a sprinter or coaching sprinters or both? Is it really practical for a school to provide this sort of “feel” training, i.e. actual experience? Maybe whoever designed the education program fully intended it to be a supplement to real world experience and not a substitute.

maybe at the first place is good not to know what do you want to be. as the time passes and knowledge with expiriance accumulates you will feel the thing that fits you the most.

i think that is a one logic way.
the best drivers are good mechanics and the best mechanics are good drivers.