In this post we are going to talk about the non-linear factor of padel in order to understand how similar inputs may have very different outputs. It will help you to address whatever situation you face in the court in the short or long-term.

In the linear world we know that X causes Y. for example, every time I press a letter in my laptop, I see it on the screen. Humans tend to think in a linear way, we try to find what the consequences of doing X are or what the causes that Y happens were. But this is how simple or complicated structures work, for example machines, but human beings work differently.

Teaching and learning have been treated as linear system

Traditionally, teaching a sport has been seen as a linear model. We apply the same inputs to every player thinking that we should get the same output, X causes Y. However, as we commented in our post “Padel is a complex system”, the world and padel are complex. For example, in a padel training, what causes what? it is difficult to isolate or reduce inputs and outputs. Am I helping or hurting? this afternoon, the same physical load can be a benefit for one player and an injury for another. 

One “technical” tip that causes some success in a specific action, is the actual reason for that success? what about technical feedback? the same “technical” instruction (input) might not have effect (output 1) on John, will be fabulous (output 2) for Ana and cause “paralysis by analysis” (output 3) for Thomas.

Similarly, when we talk about the learning-process, you can see a very clear non-linearity for the majority of the player. There can be an exponential learning in one month followed by a valley or even decrease in the performance, and then, if things are being doing properly, another peak. The exception are those players who are improving in a steady and constant way.

We can see in all these cases that same inputs may generate different internal workings –that we do not know– causing different outputs. This makes us escape from correlations, causalities or simple linear assumptions such as “X causes Y”. 

In padel training, we should analyze every context with a critical point of view and try to not fall into simple assumptions. As Richard P. Feynman says… “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”